Like the November rain, the questions never stop coming. Each week I pose a key one for each Big Ten squad. There are some vexing queries this week. Chief among them: How will the Wisconsin offense look without injured quarterback Joel Stave? See what other questions I have as we head toward Week 11 of the Big Ten season.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein remains the Heisman front-runner, but his future may be murky after he got hurt last week. If Klein misses time or is ineffective, that would open opportunities for Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and others like Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, among others, to climb the Heisman ladder.
Happy Election Day, Big Ten denizens! But before you get out and vote—if you haven’t already—read these Big Ten links. Fittingly, they begin with a big decision that has to be made at Wisconsin. See what I just did there? Big. Decision. It’s Election Day. OK, forget it and read on.
No changes at the top of my bowl projections this week with Nebraska and Michigan taking care of business, and Wisconsin and Northwestern being off. But the “lower-tier” bowls are in flux.
Just three weeks remain in the regular season, as schools continue to jockey for division championships and bowl eligibility.
Before we turn our attention to Week 11, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 10 predictions. Believe it or not, we all went a perfect 5-0 in a week that, to be honest, wasn’t littered with many tough games. So, we’ll enter Week 11 with BTN.com fans and Dienhart tied for the top spot.
Not a lot of movement in my latest Power Rankings following Week 10 of the season, as Ohio State and Nebraska retained possession of the top two spots. Indiana was the biggest mover, as it continued to turn heads with a home win over Iowa. See where all 12 teams land this week in this post.
It was another interesting Saturday that saw Nebraska continue its hot streak in its quest to win the Legends Division. And even though Wisconsin didn’t play, it saw its competition in the Leaders Division heat up with Indiana’s win over Iowa. Here’s what I learned following another glorious day of football.
Another week is in the books. The AP and Coaches polls are out. Now, it’s time to release my Top 10 for the week. Here’s a look at the good, the bad and the whatever-the-heck-I-feel-like-looking-at as I glance back on Saturday from my Sunday perch.
It’s official: This looks like it will be Nebraska’s year. This wild and crazy finish in a 28-24 win at Michigan State is just the latest example in what has been an incredible and impressive three-game stretch for the Cornhuskers.
Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions to each conference game. Get Dienhart’s immediate thoughts from Indiana, Ohio State and Penn State’s wins in this post. Want a teaser? Following its loss at Indiana, Dienhart wonders where Iowa goes from here?
Welcome to the calm before the storm of football Saturday. First up on my Friday links is a look at Michigan. I’m gonna go ahead and call the Wolverines’ game at Minnesota a must-win if they want to stay in the Legends Division race – just look at the standings. So, what is it that the Wolverines must do to defeat the Golden Gophers? Kyle Meinke of MLive.com tells us here.
Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials Bill Carollo remembers the hit. Whoever saw that hit will never forget it. The collision that took place between Michigan safety Daydrion Taylor and Penn State’s Bob Stephenson back in 1997 resonates today. “And you know what?” says Carollo. “Back then, it was a legal hit. But today, it would be a penalty.”
Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE
Coaches always say: You play the games to remember in November. Well, my calendar says “November.” While this Saturday may lack some pizzazz on the surface, there still are several contests that will go a long way toward shaping the Legends and Leaders division races.
Indiana’s Stephen Houston proclaimed it in his BTN interview following the Hoosiers’ win at Illinois last week. On the field, Houston proclaimed the Hoosiers are a threat in the Leaders Division. At 1-3 in the Big Ten, Indiana controls its destiny in a division paced by a pair of ineligible teams.
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Among my other daily links from around the Big Ten, Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer got an exclusive interview with New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. You may have heard of him. In addition to being known for an iconic pose, Tebow once was a Heisman winning quarterback for Urban Meyer at Florida. Lesmerises talked to Tebow about a variety of subjects, including Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller. What advice would Tebow give Miller?
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.
With just over a month to play, the bowl picture is starting to come into focus. You can’t talk bowls without talking bowl payouts. And, in 2012, the Big Ten’s postseason bottom line may take a hit.
You have questions, and I have answers in this week’s mailbag. A good variety of queries populated my in-box this week, with fans wondering about Wisconsin quarterback Danny O’Brien and the stagnant Michigan offense, among other topics. Let’s get started!
When it comes to biggest surprises of the 2012 season, the emergence of Philip Nelson as quarterback at Minnesota ranks right up there. Only one quarterback in the history of Golden Gopher football that has won the job as a true freshman and kept it for four seasons. That was Rickey Foggie. See what Foggie has to say about Nelson and check out other Big Ten news in my daily links.
The exhibition season already has tipped off for Big Ten men’s hoops teams. Before the games start to count, though, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina wanted to offer his Big Ten players in the spotlight. Whether the players have big shoes to fill, they’re considered the missing piece or they’re coming off down years, Yarina offers one guy for every Big Ten team. See the list in this post.
The Heisman race doesn’t appear to be coming into focus.
The Big Ten slate isn’t loaded with many great games this Saturday, but questions still loom for each team. Chief among them are if Indiana can keep its momentum rolling? Is Denard still Denard? Will the Nebraska defense continue its solid run? Check out those and the other nine pressing questions for Big Ten teams this week.