Time to sift through my inbox for some good emails to answer. And, from the look of things, some people like me ... but many don't. And, that's OK! Onto the mail room!!!
It is difficult to believe Iowa is ranked in both polls for the first time since … 2010? This is the ninth different Iowa team to get ranked during the 17-season Kirk Ferentz era. Four of those teams — 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009 — ended the season in the Top 10. This is a good sign. *** Indiana has a big game at Penn State this Saturday. How will the Hoosiers perform coming off an emotional near-win vs. No. 1 Ohio State? It will tell us a lot about this IU squad. And it would help the Hoosiers’ cause
Time to check in on the playoff and bowl projections of Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com. Bowl assignments have been altered, but 10 Big Ten teams are still penciled into the postseason. However, one of them isn’t 4-1 Illinois. [ MORE: Week 5 scoreboard | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Latest polls | Power Rankings | Bowl Projections | Best of Week 5 | Week 5 picks revisited | Week 5 uniforms | What Tom Dienhart learned | Week 5 top performers | Gerry DiNardo’s tweets | Dienhart: Wildcats can dream big | John Harbaugh visits Michigan sideline
Lackluster. Is there any other way to describe Michigan State’s win over Purdue. How did the Boilermakers almost knock off the No. 2 team in the nation in East Lansing? Here is how. Thanks, Mike Griffith of Mlive.com. The good news: Most of what ailed MSU was of its own doing. So, it’s correctable. No worries, Sparty. Carry on. *** If you didn’t see James Franklin’s post-game presser on Saturday, you missed Franklin at his Franklin best. I admire his positivity. I wish I had more of it. No way is anyone gonna call the Nittany Lions’ win over Army
I learned a lot on Saturday, including the notion that Michigan has played better than any team in the Big Ten East—or perhaps the Big Ten. And they have a boatload of grape soda in the Northwestern press box. See what else I learned inside!
With the first week of full-on Big Ten play behind us, there is quite a bit of change in my latest power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. The biggest development: 4-1 Michigan is up to No. 2.
The first full weekend of Big Ten action continued to affirm the legitimacy of Iowa and Northwestern, which each moved to 5-0. And, sorry, Ohio State and Michigan State, but Michigan has been the most impressive team in the Big Ten East.
Where were you the night of Oct. 6, 2013? Northwestern knows exactly where it was back then. Why shouldn’t it? The program hasn’t been the same since that infamous night—the night the music died for the Northwestern program as it slipped from relevancy.
Big Ten action is finally here on a full-scale. And there are three interesting clashes involving West Division squads that will help set up an early pecking order in what looks like a wide-open race: Iowa at Wisconsin; Minnesota at Northwestern; Nebraska at Illinois. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats are looking to remain perfect, while the Fighting Illini are looking for a signature victory and the Huskers for some credibility.
The race to win the Big Ten West shapes up as a wild and wooly one, with five teams seemingly in the hunt (sorry, Illinois and Purdue). And the opening Saturday of full-blown Big Ten action will give us an early taste of what’s to come with three key West Division tilts: Iowa at Wisconsin; Minnesota at Northwestern; Nebraska at Illinois. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a nice breakdown of the contenders. My pick? I went with the Gophers to win the West back in August. And, I’m going to stick with them! Meanwhile, the legendary Loren Tate