This week’s schedule features four games vs. Pac-12 teams: UCLA at Nebraska; Ohio State at Cal; Wisconsin at Arizona State; Illinois vs. Washington at Chicago. But recent history tells us the Pac-12 should win these games.
All eyes will be on Nebraska this Saturday, as the Cornhuskers welcome UCLA to Lincoln for the biggest game of the weekend. Huskers fans need no reminder of last year’s meeting vs. the Bruins in Pasadena. UCLA won, 36-30, as the Bruins obliterated the Nebraska defense to the tune of 653 yards. It was a sign of things to come.
We are two weeks into the season, but a lot already has happened. Ohio State and Michigan have had their moments, Northwestern looks legit and Illinois has been a surprise. It has given us all a lot to write and talk about.
We are halfway through the non-conference season. Can you believe it? And, so far, so good for the Big Ten, which has gone 21-3. The losses: Purdue at Cincinnati, 42-7; Iowa to Northern Illinois, 30-27; Indiana to Navy, 41-35. None of those are shameful. And there have been some impressive wins.
Another week, another round of bowl projections. Just one Big Ten team lost on Saturday, with Indiana falling at home to Navy, 41-35. The other 11 schools won. But my bowl projections have changed—at least the lower-tier bowl projections.
What a Monday to wake up and be Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner! They guy is the BMOC in Ann Arbor after that sensational performance vs. Notre Dame on Saturday night. Heck, he’ll be a BMOC for a while with his skills and this offense. Nick Baumgardner of Mlive.com says if Devin Gardner is on the money, the Wolverines’ offense knows no limits.
Michigan’s pulsating 41-30 victory over Notre Dame capped another strong week for the Big Ten, which went 11-1 after opening 10-2 last week. It also showed that Brady Hoke’s Wolverines should be taken seriously. Very seriously.
We have two weeks in the books, and teams continue to jockey for position in my weekly power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Here is how I stack the Big Ten schools following two weeks of action. Keep an eraser handy.
Another week is in the books. There has been a lot to be impressed with over the first two weeks of the season, with strong starts by teams like Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State, among others. Saturday provided some clarity, but much remains unknown. Here is what I learned in Week 2.
Welcome to the big time, Devin Gardner. And get used to being here, kid. This was the win you needed. This was the victory that provides validation of your special skills.
It’s Friday, one day before the big test on Saturday. So, here’s a pop quiz to make sure you’re up to speed before kickoff. Get out your No. 2 pencils … eyes down … begin.
Saturday is almost here. Can you feel it? Can you sense it? OK, if you can’t, just fake it until you make it.
Happy Friday! Let’s all meet at Cha Chi’s after work for some potato zingers! OK, let’s not. But let’s at least take this time to discuss some Big Ten headlines, OK? If Michigan is going to beat Notre Dame, QB Devin Gardner has to have a good game. That mean he has to avoid the picks, of which he had two last week … vs. a directional school.
This isn’t a Saturday filled with scintillating matchups, but it’s saved by the marquee Notre Dame at Michigan game. One problem: There are three games vs. FCS foes: Indiana State at Purdue; Tennessee Tech at Wisconsin; Missouri State at Iowa. And Penn State plays host to Eastern Michigan, which is like a FCS school. Also, South Florida (which is at Michigan State) and San Diego State (at Ohio State) are horrible.
Week Two brings us a blockbuster matchup: Notre Dame at Michigan, one of the sport’s iconic rivalries. This will be a great test for a Wolverines’ program that is on the rise and the pick of many to win the Legends Division. Since the series was renewed in 1978, it is tied 14-14-1. However, this will be the last time for the foreseeable future that the clubs will meet in Ann Arbor.
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
It’s good to be Pat Fitzgerald. He’s a hot, young coach whose program is on the rise as it’s ranked in 2013 coming off a 10-win season and the school’s first bowl victory since the 1948 season. If he was a stock, he’d have a “buy” rating. Now, he’s a whole lot richer, too.
Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has had his share of ups—and downs—while in Champaign. As a result, the senior has developed resiliency. He knows not to get too high, or too low. This last Saturday is a perfect example.
Happy Wednesday! What’s that mean? Not Hump Day. Hope. It means we are one day closer to Saturday. And that’s a beautiful thing. And, looky here: It seems Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly is in full spin mode about this ND-Michigan rivalry stuff. Now, Kelly is open to renewing the school’s rivalry with Michigan, but commitments to play five ACC teams a year is an obstacle.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
So, Brian Kelly thinks that Notre Dame-Michigan is a regional rivalry? Kelly’s words are getting a lot of attention, naturally, because they come days before the two rivals meet under the lights Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
The season has started, and my mail box is getting stuffed with comments and questions. You know what that means: I have to reach into my mail bag and answer some of your queries as we head into Week Two of the season. Thanks for all of the interest! Keep the cards and letters coming!
One week down—and my bowl projections already have changed following a 10-2 opening week. Don’t tell me that you’re surprised. The first week of the season was more kind to some than others. I’m looking at you, Nebraska and Purdue. And, yes, that’s Iowa you see moving into my bowl picture—even after a loss, which gave me some faith in this Hawkeyes team. Without further adieu, my Week 2 bowl projections.
It was a busy first week of action, as we saw coaches make debuts (Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen and Purdue’s Darrell Hazell) and quarterbacks, too (Iowa’s Jake Rudock and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg). Here are 10 things I learned in Week One.
We have one week in the books. How great is it to have football back in our lives? Really great. The Big Ten went 10-2 in the opening week, with the losses coming vs. Northern Illinois and at Cincinnati. How do I rank the Big Ten teams after one week? See my latest power poll, presented by ArcelorMittal, in this post.