Week Four in the Big Ten is over. And, it was a mixed bag in what was the last big full-blown Saturday of non-conference action. The headliner game was Michigan State at Notre Dame. The Spartans came up short, as the Fighting Irish won despite notching a scant 221 yards in a 17-13 victory.
It’s time to get powered up with my Sunday Big Ten rankings. This Saturday didn’t provide any dramatic victories or stunning losses, so my ranking didn’t shift dramatically. But, Wisconsin did make a move, as did Minnesota, Penn State and Iowa, while Michigan State sinks the most.
Kenny Guiton continues to be America’s top super sub. Today, he was at his best yet. The senior captain hit 24-of-34 passes for 215 yards with a school single-game record six touchdown passes—all of which came in the first half—in a 76-0 romp over Florida A&M.
I had this ninth grade English teacher named Mr. Trent at West Lafayette High School. And every Friday, he’d give us a “Super Quiz.” Only he spelled Quiz “Kwiz.” Man, I hated that. And I hated his quizzes even more. They ruined the Friday of every 14-year-old. So, it is in the late Mr. Trent’s honor that I present you with this week’s B1G grid quiz. Good luck. You’ll need it—or maybe not.
It’s that time of the week again, time for Four Downs, an informative and fun look at the Saturday ahead.
Happy Friday, Big Ten Nation! Game day almost is here. Don’t you love those words? Sure you do! Let’s start here with daily links. The last two seasons, Michigan has had issues with turnovers in its first road game. How bad has it been? Michigan has 16 turnovers in five recent road losses. Will those issues persist with this year’s maiden voyage away Ann Arbor, at UConn this Saturday?
There aren’t many high-calorie contests on this 10-game Big Ten menu for Saturday, just light fare for the most part.
Game day is drawing near. Thank goodness, as the Big Ten needs to get back onto the field after last Saturday’s disappointing 7-5 mark. Michigan State has the headliner game, as it travels to Notre Dame with the nation’s No. 1 defense that coordinator Pat Narduzzi calls “average.” If the Spartans defense is average, I’d like to see good. But, Narduzzi may have a point. After all, the combined record of Michigan State’s first three opponents against FBS competition is 0-7.
There are 10 games on the schedule this Saturday. And, at first glance, it’s not a great lineup of contests. No doubt, Michigan State’s visit to Notre Dame is the headliner. Lots of good storylines around the Spartans, who think they have found their offense. We shall see. Also, Big Ten play opens, with Purdue traveling to Wisconsin.
Is there a better offense in the Big Ten than Indiana’s? The stats say there isn’t. The Hoosiers are No. 1 in the league in total offense (571.3 ypg) and No. 1 in scoring (50.0 ppg). The attack came out of the game ablaze, registering 632 yards in a 73-35 win over Indiana State.
Bo Pelini has to feel better knowing he has the support of Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and A.D. Shawn Eichorst. The duo issued a joint statement Wednesday in support of Pelini. So, too, did Nebraska legend Tom Osborne.
We all know Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had a bad game vs. Akron. Brady Hoke’s advice: move forward. Well, that’s often easier said than done. I have to think Gardner has some self-doubt in his mind. And, the only way to get over it is to have some turnover-free games—starting with Saturday’s visit to UConn.
The weeks are flying by, and my mail is backing up. Keep those cards and letters coming! There is much to talk about after three weeks of action. Like, what should Ohio State do at quarterback this week. Or, what’s wrong at Nebraska? So, let me big into my mailbag and get after it!
Pelini-gate is sweeping the nation, as a secret recording of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini surfaced yesterday. And, it wasn’t flattering to the Cornhusker boss. In addition to crude language, Pelini is heard disparaging Nebraska fans. The reactions have been interesting.
Not only is Nebraska coach Bo Pelini dealing with fallout from a tough 41-21 loss to UCLA that saw the Huskers blow a 21-3 lead, he now is at the center of firestorm surrounding an audio recording from 2011 that was posted today by the website Deadspin.com, which said it obtained the 102-second recording from a tipster.
With Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois losing, my weekly bowl projections have changed. Michigan’s great escape vs. Akron also caused me to shuffle bowl slots. But, Ohio State continues to take care of business, so there is no change at the top of my projections. So, let’s get to it: Here are my Week 4 bowl projections.
For Wisconsin, it’s a case of too little, too late. But the Pac-12 admitted Monday that its league officials didn’t “properly administer the end of game situation and act with appropriate urgency on the game’s final play” during Arizona State’s 32-30 win on Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz.
Nebraska legend Tommie Frazier apparently is fed up with Cornhuskers’ football in its current incarnation. And he let the world know about it after witnessing Nebraska’s 41-21 home loss to UCLA on Saturday.
Got a case of Mondays? Well, a quick spin through my daily links may cure what ails you. Then again, maybe not. But, heck, why not give it a try? If it doesn’t work, you can always get back to doing your TPS reports.
Three weeks are in the books. And this much I know: I don’t know what to make about a lot of teams. My Big Ten power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, didn’t suffer a massive shakeup following a strange Saturday. Michigan State and Minnesota are most upwardly mobile; Penn State and Illinois took significant hits. Check it out.
Week 3 was a mixed bag for the Big Ten, which went a disappointing 7-5, including a 1-3 mark vs. the Pac-12. And, in some ways, it seemed fitting the end to a bizarre Saturday was capped by a finish to the Wisconsin-Arizona State game that still has my head spinning. Here is a look around the Big Ten’s third week of action.
A strange and bizarre Week 3 ended late on Saturday night (or early on Sunday morning, depending on where you were) in the heat of the Tempe, Ariz., on a weird final play in the Wisconsin-Arizona State game. Many lessons can be learned from the controversial conclusion that cost Wisconsin a victory. Here’s what I learned over the entirety of a strange Saturday.
UCLA made it look easy. Too easy. And that’s not a good thing for Nebraska. This was supposed to be the Cornhuskers’ chance to show the world that the 2013 team was different from last year’s squad.
This will be a Saturday that helps define the Big Ten’s national image, with four big-time games vs. the Pac-12. And Purdue will be on a national stage with its clash vs. Notre Dame. Get prepped for all the action in Four Downs.
It’s quiz time! Clear your desks and get out your No. 2 pencil. Game day is almost here! To get you ready, take this pop quiz that will help get you up to speed for all the action on what shapes up as a terrific Saturday of games–a Saturday that will go a long way toward shaping public opinion about the Big Ten.