You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mailbag. Many of your questions this week center on Big Ten expansion. The tenor of most readers was the same: Miffed about the decisions to add Maryland and Rutgers. Read on, folks. There even is a basketball question.
Two days, two new teams. It has been that kind of week for the Big Ten—an historic week, really. Maryland came aboard on Monday … Rutgers took its turn yesterday, swelling the Big Ten ranks to 14 schools. I’m checking my emails every five minutes for the next press conference alert … none yet. Stay tuned. See what the Big Ten’s leading pundits had to say about the monolithic conference’s newest bouncing bundle of joy—Rutgers—in my daily links.
This is the last week of the regular season. Rivalry trophies are on the line. (Hello, Old Oaken Bucket, Land of Lincoln Trophy, Heroes Trophy!) Bowl eligibility is up for grabs. A division title still must be decided. Here are the key questions for each team this week.
And then there were 14. We all knew this day was coming, right? We all knew the Big Ten would grow to 14 schools. The SEC made the move prior to this season, which certainly had to catch the eye of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.
With Kansas State and Oregon losing in a wild Saturday night, the Heisman race seemingly has opened up. Some straw polls have Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel on top in the Heisman hunt. Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, Kansas State’s Collin Klein and USC’s Marqise Lee also remain viable.
Expansion is the buzz around Big Ten media outlets, with the league officially announcing that Maryland will be joining the conference in 2014 and Rutgers to announce that it is following suit today at a 2 p.m. ET press conference. Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald says the moves by the Big Ten show that power and money once again have trumped traditions. He’s exactly right. I just wonder why this is a shock to anyone. See what Shatel has to say here and check out other league news in my daily links.
It’s Rivalry Week! Michigan at Ohio State. Indiana at Purdue. Illinois at Northwestern. Nebraska at Iowa. And a lot is on the line in the final regular-season week.
The Big Ten bowl picture continues to solidify. Nebraska remains the favorite to get to the Rose Bowl. But with Notre Dame—my projection last week to play the Huskers in Pasadena–now projected to play in the BCS title game, the Cornhuskers have a new foe: Oregon.
Find out more about: Bowl projections
Some high drama on Saturday, headed by Ohio State’s 21-14 overtime win at Wisconsin. But no upsets. What’s it all mean? My weekly power rankings didn’t change much as we head toward the last week of the regular-season. But there’s still time for some chaos next Saturday!
Find out more about: Power Rankings, Rankings
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Here’s a look back at the Saturday that was—along with a few sneak peeks forward—in my weekly top 10. It’s good to be a Nebraska and Michigan fan. Ohio State, too. It’s also not to be bad being a Penn State fan, what with the way Matt McGloin and Allen Robinson are playing.
Find out more about: Tom's Top 10
As you recover from the excitement of that overtime thriller between Ohio State and Wisconsin, check out the five things I learned on Saturday. Time is running out on teams searching for bowl eligibility. I’m looking at you, Purdue and Michigan State.
Find out more about: What Tom Learned
Yahoo! Sports reported Saturday that the Big Ten is in “advanced discussions” with Maryland and Rutgers about joining the Big Ten.
Find out more about: Big Ten expansion
It wasn’t easy—nothing in life that is good ever is–but Ohio State’s march to perfection continues. And the Buckeyes have their defense to thank.
As he does every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his immediate thoughts from the latest Big Ten games. See Dienhart’s Snap Reactions to Nebraska’s impressive victory over Minnesota and Purdue’s narrow win at Illinois in this post.
Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the action and offers his immediate thoughts from every game. Read Dienhart’s Snap Reactions to Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern’s wins over Iowa, Indiana and Michigan State, respectively, in this post.
It’s Friday. Game day is near. Time may be running out on your school’s bowl hopes. Or, maybe your school is trying to enhance its bowl prospects with another victory. Ohio State? It has no such concerns, as probation means the Buckeyes can’t play in the Big Ten title game or in a bowl. Still, Ohio State would like to finish unbeaten and faces its toughest test yet at Wisconsin.
You can’t help but notice the clunky brace on Robert Marve’s left knee. It wasn’t there way back in 2007, when Marve was one of the nation’s hottest shots, a can’t-miss prospect from Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. Name a school, any school, and Marve could have gone to it.
The focus this week is on Madison, where Ohio State will try to move to 11-0. Wisconsin has a spot in the Big Ten title game sewn up but would like to win a share of the league title. To have a shot, the Badgers must down the Buckeyes.
If and when Denard Robinson returns from his right elbow injury, who should Michigan start at quarterback? Is it Robinson, or Devin Gardner, the replacement the past two games? The question may seem crazy, considering Robinson’s experience and ability to rack up big statistical days, but Gardner has impressed in two starts.
The Big Ten enhanced its postseason situation with news that the ACC and the Orange Bowl committee will consider a team from the Big Ten to serve as a potential participant in the game beginning with the 2014 season. Of course, the Big Ten already has a spot in the Rose Bowl, giving the Big Ten ties to two prestigious bowls.
No doubt, Braxton Miller is a special player, the fulcrum of the Ohio State attack, the straw that stirs the proverbial drink. When a big play is needed, Miller usually delivers. But ten games into the season, he still is having to carry too big of a load. Read about that and other Big Ten topics in my daily links.
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 season is winding down, but the questions continue to pour in. Questions about the bowl matchups are trending. And some wonder about who will be in the discussion to be Big Ten Coach of the Year. I tackle those questions—and others—in this week’s mailbag.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has missed the last two games with a right elbow issue. It has been a heck of way for his senior season to come draw to a close. What if he can’t play Saturday on Senior Day? It’s a possibility. See what Nick Baumgardner and Kyle Meinke of MLive.com say about that topic—along with other Big Ten news in my daily links.