Happy Football Friday! Let’s not waste any time, OK? Let’s dig right into some of the Big Ten news that’s making ripples from Lincoln to State College—and all points in between. This caught my attention: Urban Meyer offers a midterm report card for his 6-0 team. There obviously are many areas that get good marks. The areas of concern?
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The release of the USA Today coaches poll is another indicator of how close we are to beginning basketball season. I was not shocked to see five Big Ten teams ranked in the new poll: 2. Michigan State, 9. Michigan, 10. Ohio State, 21. Wisconsin and 24. Indiana.
After first looking at the menu for Week 8, you may be inclined to rake leaves this Saturday. But, don’t. I have a funny feeling we could have an upset.
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There are five games on the Big Ten docket this week. But none of the clashes figures to have a big impact on the league race—unless we have some major upsets. Still, there will be a lot to keep an eye as we begin to wade into the second half of the season.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Previews
The College Football Playoff announced Wednesday the 13 members of its selection committee that will pick the four teams to participate in a coming playoff in 2014.
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The Big Ten announced Wednesday its conference schedules for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. And there are some good cross-division games.
Find out more about: Big Ten Schedules
It’s Wednesday, Hump Day. And, it seems Michigan Nation is still aflame over the loss at Penn State. The analysis and problem-solving boils. Brady Hoke said it. We all know it: Devin Gardner can’t carry the ball 27 times a game. Gardner actually ran it 24 times at Penn State. And when he ran it, Michigan had some success. When he didn’t run, the offense—well, it stunk. So, that’s the conundrum.
Who’s the best linebacker in the Big Ten? Is it Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier? Michigan State’s Max Bullough or Denicos Allen? How about one of Iowa’s guys: James Morris, Anthony Hitchens or Christian Kirksey? Maybe Illinois’ Jonathan Brown, Penn State’s Glenn Carson or Northwestern’s Chi Chi Ariguzo?
My mailbag is getting full as the season hits the halfway mark. And, many of my letters are from antsy Michigan fans and happy Michigan State fans. By the way, only three more weeks until they play! So, let’s dig right in and answer some questions.
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Seven weeks down, seven weeks to go. At the midway point of the 2013 Big Ten football season, it’s time to release my All-Big Ten Midseason Team. I also did a midseason report. See who made my midseason team in this post.
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The days are growing shorter, as Halloween draws nearer. It all means one thing: We are at the midseason point of the season. Here’s a look back at what we’ve experienced so far in the 2013 season—and a look ahead at what’s about to come in the season-defining home stretch.
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I’m finally gonna acquiesce to the notion that Ohio State faces a challenge to get to the BCS title game. Yes, the Buckeyes have a great shot to go unbeaten. But that may not be enough for OSU to finish No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS standings, as teams like Alabama, Oregon and Clemson are primed to likely finish ahead of Ohio State if they remain unbeaten. So, I’m moving the Buckeyes from the BCS title game to the Rose Bowl.
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So much happened on Saturday. Where do we start with daily links? How about here, with a look at a Northwestern season that began with such promise but now is filled with questions after two losses in a row. That’s what happens when you play back-to-back games vs. arguably the Big Ten’s best teams–and not Illinois and Purdue, like Nebraska. Still, the Wildcat defeat at Wisconsin was particularly disturbing.
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Another week, more changes to my power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan State were the big winners, as the Badgers went from No. 4 to No. 2, the Cornhuskers from No. 5 to No. 3 and the Spartans from No. 6 to No. 4. Penn State is also up. Week Seven wasn’t so kind to Northwestern, which dropped from No. 2 to No. 6.
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There were only four Big Ten games on Saturday, but there still was a lot to learn. Wisconsin is good—very good. Purdue? Not so good. Nebraska is sitting pretty. Penn State has life. Northwestern may be on the edge. Oh, and Michigan is a team of mystery. Here’s what I learned.
Find out more about: What Tom Learned
There were just four Big Ten games on the docket, but there was plenty of action and drama, headlined by the early front-runner for Game of the Year: Penn State’s four-overtime thriller over Michigan. Michigan State sent a statement with a strong home win vs. Indiana, while Wisconsin showed it will be a force to be reckoned with by dominating Northwestern. Here is a wrap on Week Seven.
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Michigan was living on the edge, always a dangerous place to be. It was bound to tip over at some point and catch up to the Wolverines. And, it finally did on one insane night in State College, Pa.
Game day is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for my weekly B1G grid quiz. Get out a pad of paper and your trusty No. 2 pencil. This your final chance to show that you have what it takes to maximize your enjoyment of Big Ten football this weekend. I hope you have studied and prepared well.
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Every team gets four downs to make something happen. So do I. Here are four more predictions, truths, thoughts and more about the coming Saturday to get you fired up. Can Northwestern rebound at Wisconsin? Will Michigan State’s offense play well again?
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Yes, there are only four games this week, but there still are some interesting storylines. Northwestern’s trip to Wisconsin is a good cross-division clash between schools that haven’t met since 2010. Each has lost to Ohio State this year. Can the Badgers afford a third loss already? Can the Wildcats get up for a second big game in a row?
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Minnesota announced today that Jerry Kill will focus on dealing with and treating his epilepsy and not return to the sidelines for the time being. It’s not known when Kill will return to coaching, but he will be back at some point. While away from coaching, Minnesota defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will serve as acting head coach.
Find out more about: Jerry Kill
Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald has watched a lot of Big Ten football so far this season. He also has watched a lot of football during his illustrious career as a writer. And he has come to this conclusion: The quarterback play in the Big Ten in 2013 has been disappointing so far. I’m certainly not going to argue with him. In fact, the quarterback play in the Big Ten hasn’t been that good for years.