The great Pat Harty of the Iowa City Press-Citizen takes the temperature of the Big Ten race. Did you see that video of Iowa players celebrating Saturday? Urban Meyer says Ohio State did nothing wrong with that game film. And at 0-1 in the Big Ten, Wisconsin seems to be in familiar territory. We take a look at those stories and more in today’s Big Ten Links.
Five weeks are in the books, and the bowl picture is coming into a bit sharper focus … a bit. To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012.
Find out more about: Bowl projections
Nebraska’s 30-27 win over Wisconsin offers much to build on, but there also remains a lot to fix following the 17-point comeback, according to the great Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald. The Cornhuskers may not have fallen behind and struggled early against the Badgers if they cut down turnovers and limit penalties. There will be little room for error in the game at Ohio State this Saturday in what shapes up as the latest “Game of the Year” in the Big Ten. Read more Big Ten links in the rest of my post.
Ohio State solidified its case for the top spot in my Week 6 Power Rankings, this after going into East Lansing at knocking off Michigan State. But what about the rest of my list? See my latest rankings in this post. Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below or tweet me (@BTNTomDienhart).
Find out more about: Power Rankings, Rankings
Before we turn our complete attention to Week 6, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 5 predictions. BTN.com fans went 5-1 and Tom and I went 4-2, meaning the fans have moved into sole possession of first place in the season standings. After five weeks, BTN.com fans are 41-11, one game ahead of Tom. I’m bringing up the rear, at 39-13.
Find out more about: B1G Predictions
And then there were two. The first week of Big Ten play saw previously undefeated Minnesota suffer its first loss of the season. That leaves Ohio State and Northwestern, both 5-0, as the Big Ten’s lone remaining perfect teams (B1G standings). See my 10 observations—some whimsical, some fact based, some opinionated—from Week 5.
Find out more about: Tom's Top 10
The opening week of Big Ten play did not disappoint, as Ohio State and Nebraska each claimed late wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin, respectively, in two of the day’s biggest games. But what did I learn from the first week of Big Ten action. See the five biggest things in this post.
Find out more about: What Tom Learned
We interrupt your week filled with Big Ten bashing to tell you that Ohio State is good. It’s very good, in fact. Probably the best team in the Big Ten and reason to emote some conference pride.
Every Saturday during the football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions to every Big Ten game. See his thoughts from the Big Ten’s three early Week 5 games in this post. Among his thoughts: Is it time to put Matt McGloin in the conversation for Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?
Raise your hand if you’re positively sick and tired of hearing all of the negativity about the Big Ten? I’m not saying the criticism isn’t deserved, because it is, and in the end it’s the football teams that can do the most about it. The Big Ten is 6-9 combined against schools from Automatic Qualifying conferences and Notre Dame, and Northwestern provided three of those wins.
Find out more about: B1G Picture
Earlier this week I helped take a look at who might land in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship game. Well, the road to that big game starts Saturday as Big Ten teams put a rocky non-conference run behind them and focus on pounding on each other. In this post, I take a close look at all six games, and then I’m headed to East Lansing to cover Ohio State and Michigan State on Saturday.
Saturday marks the beginning of Big Ten play. For the next eight weeks, Big Ten teams will be battling for their respective division crowns and a berth in the annual Big Ten title game. Who will make it to Indy? We’re only four weeks into the season, but BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina decided to share their best guesses.
Find out more about: Debate It
The Gophers can thank one specific unit for their early rise this season. Wisconsin has a new face in the backfield and he looks electric. Penn State does something interesting with their offensive lineman each week, and the Wisconsin-Nebraska game is becoming a new rivalry. And where is Nebraska looking when it comes to finding a new athletic director? Read about all of this and more in today’s Big Ten 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.
It’s that time of week again. You’ve been sending me your Big Ten questions all week, and now I offer my answers. On tap this week: What’s wrong with Illinois? How could I have two Big Ten teams headed to BCS bowls in my latest bowl projections? Find my answers inside.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag
Staid and stoic. I can’t think of two words that better describe Tom Osborne. He also was very good at whatever he did, and he did plenty. First as a football coach. Later, as an athletic director. Now, the 75-year-old Osborne is retiring effective Jan. 1, making the announcement today in Lincoln.
Find out more about: Tom Osborne
This is a big week for the Big Ten’s top two Heisman contenders, as Ohio State’s Braxton Miller meets Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell.
It’s Floyd of Rosedale Week! Hallelujah! Not only that, but this is the first week of full-scale conference—save for one game. And there are some intriguing matchups. The headliner is Ohio State’s visit to Michigan State. The Buckeyes lost an ugly 10-7 game last year in Columbus with just 178 yards of offense.
Find out more about: Best Suggestions
Another Saturday looms. And, I have questions. Here are my most pressing queries for the 11 teams in action entering Week 5, the first week of conference play.
Looky here: After an 0-2 start, Penn State is now 2-2 as we sit on the doorstep of Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions have some mojo as they head to Illinois on Saturday. Could this team win the Leaders Division? Hmmmm. If the offense keeps playing well under the leadership of surprising quarterback Matt McGloin, it could happen. No Big Ten quarterback is passing the ball better. Simply amazing. Read those Penn State links and find more of the Tuesday headlines from around the Big Ten further down in this post.
Four weeks are in the books, but the bowl picture remains a work-in-progress—as usual To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012.
Find out more about: Bowl projections
My Monday links include some good and provocative pieces from my various colleagues in the Big Ten press corps. Here’s one: Bench Michigan QB Denard Robinson? Are you serious? It’s an idea that the great Kyle Meinke of MLive.com discusses in this interesting piece. Yes, Robinson has had some tough outings against quality foes—including his recent five-interception effort at Notre Dame. But he’ll still leave Michigan as one of the Big Ten’s best players ever.
I have a twist on my weekly “Tom’s Top 10” this week. With non-conference play complete save for two games and Big Ten action set to kick off on Saturday, I take a look at the “best” of the non-league season. What was the best game of the non-conference season? How about the best performance? And the best moment? Find out below.
Find out more about: Tom's Top 10