What’s the best game for Week 13? The top quarterback matchup? What team is on upset alert? Who’s in a must-win situation? As usual, I line up all of that and more in the Best of Week 13.
This is a good place to start Thursday links. USAToday has a Playoff Projection it conducts each week, with media panelists from across the nation taking part in selecting a mock playoff field. And, this week, it has Baylor as the No. 3 seed ahead of Ohio State.
The penultimate week of the season is upon us, with some interesting storylines. Minnesota will try to win the Axe from Wisconsin for the first time since 2003, while Michigan State and Ohio State will look to win outright the Legends and Leaders Division, respectively. The Buckeyes also are aiming for win No. 23 in a row in its quest for the BCS title game. Here’s a look at all of the Week 13 matchups.
The early basketball signing period started last Wednesday, Nov. 13, and ends today. The Big Ten had a decent haul.
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Let’s begin Wednesday’s links with a salute to an awesome triumvirate of Iowa linebackers. This Saturday vs. Michigan will be the final game in Kinnick Stadium for Hawkeye seniors James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens. What a trio it has been, says Rick Brown of HawkCentral.com. I agree. And you should, too.
So many good running backs to choose from, so few spots on the all-conference team to fill. That’s the conundrum that Lee Barfknecht of Omaha.com is dealing with. I feel his pain. So, let’s start daily links there. Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah gets one spot. The other? That’s a toughie. Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde? Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon or James White? Minnesota’s David Cobb? Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford? Indiana’s Tevin Coleman? So difficult.
No major shakeups. Stanford’s loss at USC means Oregon is now slated to play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. But UCLA just as easily could be the foe. The Buckeyes cling to BCS title game hopes, resting at No. 3 in the current standings.
Just two weeks are left in the regular season, and things are heating up down the stretch. Among the hot button issues: Who is the second-best team in the Big Ten? Michigan State or Wisconsin? Read about that, and more, in my weekly mailbag. Keep those cards and letters coming.
The BCS race is getting a bit interesting, as Baylor has narrowed the gap—and I mean REALLY narrowed the gap as in .001 narrow—behind Ohio State.
It was a Saturday filled with blowouts. Still, there was a lot to learn, beginning with the continued domination of Ohio State and Michigan State. Oh, and Wisconsin is pretty good, too. Everyone else? See what I learned in Week 12 in this post.
Ohio State remains on top with another impressive victory, but I finally am moving Michigan State past Wisconsin and into the No. 2 spot in my power rankings. Yes, that win at Nebraska was that vital. Sorry, Wisconsin. Without a doubt, there seems to be a big drop between the top three teams and everyone else.
It’s time to put a wrap on an interesting Week 12 that will be remembered for its blowouts, a wild overtime thriller and a signature victory by Michigan State that clinched at least a share of the Legends Division crown for the Spartans. With that said, here’s a wrap on Week 12 in the Big Ten.
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LINCOLN, Neb. — The credentials of the Michigan State defense have been well-chronicled in 2013. We’ve all heard and seen the numbers recited. The unit entered today’s game No. 1 in the nation in total defense (210.2 ypg), No. 1 in rushing defense (43.4 ypg), No. 1 in pass efficiency defense (90.3 rating), No. 1 in first downs defense (12.7 pg) … and on and on it goes.
It’s time to take my weekly Big Ten football quiz in preparation for another big Saturday football. It’s an intriguing slate of five games, with the Big Ten Nation fixated on the Michigan State at Nebraska game. Don’t worry – this isn’t graded on a curve. And? I provide the questions and the answers. So just have fun.
Saturday is almost here. Can you feel it? Can you sense it? Every team gets four downs to make something happen. So, why not me? That’s the idea here. Here’s what’s running through my mind with Week 12 of the Big Ten season on the horizon.
Happy Football Friday! The analysis of the Michigan State at Nebraska game continues. Why not? It’s gonna be a great battle that essentially will determine the Legends Division race. But the latest injury news from Lincoln isn’t great, as the offensive line is banged up. Not good news for a Huskers team facing a terrific Spartans front.
An interesting Saturday of action is headlined by what could be the Big Ten Game of the Year: Michigan State at Nebraska. Ohio State will look to remain unbeaten when it plays at Illinois. The Buckeyes have owned Illinois, winning the last five meetings and eight of the last nine. The lone Fighting Illini victory in that stretch was when they stunned No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus in 2007 on the way to the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes haven’t lost in Champaign since 1991.
Ohio State has produced a raft of great linebackers, including Chris Spielman, Tom Cousineau, Andy Katzenmoyer and A.J. Hawk, among others. And Randy Gradishar was one of the best. In fact, he may have been the best. After an All-American career in Columbus, Gradishar went on to a stellar pro career with the Denver Broncos and led the team to Super Bowl 12. But his days as a Buckeye remain special. And one of Gradishar’s most memorable moments was the 1973 game against Michigan, which is the topic of the BTN Originals documentary “TIEBREAKER” airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
It’s Thursday, and that means we are one day closer to Saturday, which means we are one day closer to the Michigan State at Nebraska game. Thank goodness! Let’s start links right there, shall we? Nebraska has a big task on Saturday trying to beat Michigan State. No doubt, big plays will be needed for the Cornhuskers to emerge victorious. But, big plays have been rare with Taylor Martinez out of the lineup.
This Saturday features some intriguing clashes. All eyes will be on Lincoln, Neb., for Michigan State’s visit to Nebraska in what essentially is a de facto Legends Division championship game. If you aren’t stoked, then I feel sorry for you.
Dennis Franklin vividly recalls many details from the 1973 Michigan football season when he played as the Wolverines quarterback. Why not? Michigan had a special team in a special season that forever changed the Big Ten, as documented in the BTN Originals film “TIEBREAKER” airing this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
The college hoop season opened last Friday, but it REALLY opened last night with that big double-header that featured No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan State. Let’s start daily links there. The Spartans delivered a nice salvo to the rest of the nation with their victory over the mighty Wildcats. What did the win mean? Well, it’s November, so not much. But MSU will become the No. 1 team in the nation. And, the victory showed the preseason hype is justified.
Iowa’s comeback from a disappointing 4-8 effort in 2012 is almost complete. But fullback Mark Weisman and his teammates still have unfinished business.
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The cards and letters keep coming in. Thanks. And, by the look of things, many of you are excited about what Minnesota is doing. No doubt, to be 8-2 and riding a four-game winning streak is pretty incredible. Michigan has many flummoxed. And Nebraska’s rise has stirred the masses.
Randy Gradishar walks off the elevator wearing a snappy sport coat from the 1974 Rose Bowl and a necklace of buckeyes draped around his neck. The former Ohio State linebacking great seems pleased with himself. “Check that out,” says former Michigan quarterback Dennis Franklin, eyeing Gradishar’s jacket. “Did you get that for going to the Rose Bowl?”