You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mail bag. Keep the great questions coming as we enter Week 7 of this Big Ten season.
We’re officially halfway through the 2012 Big Ten football regular season. That means it’s a good time to start debating such things as early Big Ten Player of the Year and Coach of the Year candidates. Today, we’re going to focus on the latter.
The Wisconsin offense appears to perhaps be turning a corner after some early season tumult that saw the offensive line coach fired and the staff make a quarterback change. There have been many keys to the slow ascent. One key: quarterback Joel Stave is given the option to “tweak” plays—not necessarily totally change them—at the line based on the defense he sees.
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.
The Wisconsin offense has had its ups and downs this season. It’s no secret. Wideout Jared Abbrederis knows it. But the unit may be coming to life after a solid effort in a 31-14 victory vs. Illinois last week that saw the Badgers notch 427 yards.
In today’s Big Ten Links, we’ve pulled together a number of stories, including a look at the possibilities for Penn State for the rest of the season. Penn State is 4-2. And few—if any—envisioned that. Now, with six games to go, it’s time to dream big in State College, Pa. Or, is it? Also, learn more about another player named Watt at Wisconsin, the youth movement at Minnesota, Ohio State tight ends, and running quarterbacks in the Big Ten.
Is anyone gonna catch Braxton Miller as the Big Ten’s top Heisman contender? It may be difficult. The Ohio State quarterback has a great chance to enhance his Heisman dossier playing this Saturday at Indiana, which has the worst rushing defense in the Big Ten (196.8 ypg).
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Week 7 is at our doorstep, but the questions keep coming. Here are my most vexing queries for each Big Ten team with Saturday just around the corner. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here and don’t forget to send any of your questions my way for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.
This isn’t a great weekend for games, especially with Nebraska and Penn State off. And the league’s two best teams appear to be in mismatches, with Michigan hosting Illinois and Ohio State visiting Indiana.
Six weeks are in the books, and the bowl picture is coming into a bit sharper focus … a bit. To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are banned from the postseason in 2012.
Some strong opinions are emanating from Nebraska after that 63-38 loss at Ohio State. Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald thinks Bo Pelini needs to shake up things. Big Ten writers are covering a number of other stories today, including a disappointing showing by Illinios, an Ohio State team apparently ahead of schedule, and a Penn State team that has shown real resilience. Read it all in Monday edition of Big Ten Links.
How about them Wolverines? Michigan went into West Lafayette and dominated a pretty good Purdue team Saturday afternoon. The performance was exactly what Michigan needed in its first action since struggling at Notre Dame. But what did the 44-13 victory do for the Wolverines’ stock in my latest Power Rankings?
We’ve reached the midpoint of the 2012 Big Ten football season. Before we turn our complete attention to Week 7, though, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 6 predictions. Dienhart led the way, going 4-1, while BTN.com fans and I went 3-2.
Believe it or not, we’re halfway through the 2012 Big Ten football season. Six weeks in, Ohio State is the final undefeated Big Ten team. See my 10 observations—some whimsical, some fact based, some opinionated—from Week 6.
And then there was one. With its impressive victory over Nebraska on Saturday, coupled with Northwestern’s loss at Penn State, Ohio State is the Big Ten’s final unbeaten team. At 6-0, the Buckeyes are cruising. Up next: at Indiana.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Throughout Saturday’s Week 6 action, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offered his Snap Reactions to all the Big Ten games. See what Dienhart had to say about Ohio State’s impressive and prolific 63-38 victory over surging Nebraska in this post.
Every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the Big Ten action and offers his Snap Reactions. Earlier today he offered his thoughts from Michigan State and Penn State’s comeback victories over Indiana and Northwestern, respectively. Here, he looks at Wisconsin’s 31-14 victory over Illinois.
Every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the Big Ten action and offers his Snap Reactions. See his reactions to Michigan State and Penn State’s comeback victories over Indiana and Northwestern, respectively, in this post.
Michigan is coming to Purdue to play a big football game (4 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go). Saturdays like this aren’t commonplace in West Lafayette, Ind. Big basketball games? They happen almost every winter in this hamlet tucked just off I-65 an hour north of Indianapolis and two hours south of Chicago. But big football games? They have been sparse in the last, oh, generation. So, pardon the natives if they aren’t accustomed to the fuss of a big football Saturday.
There are plenty of storylines for this weekend’s batch of games, including a very intriguing game for Nebraska in Columbus. Does Ohio State stay perfect? Is this the weekend when Northwestern and Purdue win over a doubting sports press corps? What’s in store for Illinois when they kick off in Madison? I preview all five Big Ten games in this post.
When talking best running back in the Big Ten, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina agree it’s Le’Veon Bell. Through five games, Bell leads Big Ten backs in yards (655 – yes, he also has most carries) and ranks in the top two in receptions (20) and receiving yards (125). He’s also a terrific blocker.
Let’s just say it isn’t a great year for Big Ten quarterbacks. In fact, according to David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the conference’s signal-callers are at the bottom of the barrel. In other headlines in my daily links, we look at stories on Ohio State’s improved linebacker play, Iowa’s defensive uptick, and a fascinating comparison of the Buckeye and Husker programs through the years. Let’s dive in.
You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my answers on when Northwestern and Purdue will start to get respect and how the Big Ten could fare this bowl season. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
In many respects, Michigan’s season starts now. The 2-2 non-conference record? The ugly losses to Alabama and Notre Dame? Forget about them.
Bo Pelini vs. Urban Meyer. The matchup has juicy possibilities this Saturday night when they square off at Ohio State. And the two have some history. Meyer was a Buckeye graduate assistant coach in 1986-87, which were Pelini’s first two years as an Ohio State defensive back. The two also have met three times as coaches, from 2005-07, when Pelini was LSU defensive coordinator and Meyer was Florida head coach. And Pelini’s teams went 3-1 against Meyer’s teams.