Michigan further solidified its status as the Rose Bowl front-runner in the Big Ten with a third win in a row. This time, the Wolverines dumped Michigan State, 12-10, ending the Spartans’ four-game winning skein in the series.
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Took a quick spin around the headlines this morning and here’s what I found. How can Michigan’s offense keep it going? What’s fueling Penn State’s attack? How worried are the Hawkeyes? And here comes that rematch. Let’s dive in.
This is the Wisconsin we all expected at the beginning of the season. The last three games, the Badgers have outscored foes 107-41 and outgained them 1,485 yards to 781. Those offensive line troubles are ancient history and the defense has played well all season long. Where do the surging Badgers land on my latest Power Rankings? See my Week 9 Power Rankings in this post.
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Before we turn our attention to Week 9, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 8 predictions. Everyone involved went 4-2, meaning Dienhart remains on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans.
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Here is my weekly “Top 10,” a fun and offbeat look at this past Saturday of action—and beyond.
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Ohio State is a resilient and resourceful squad, I tell you. The way the Buckeyes rallied and stayed perfect despite losing star quarterback Braxton Miller late to what looked like a serious injury was nothing short of remarkable. Backup Kenny Guiton deserves much of the credit. What a performance in the clutch. Find out what else I learned in Week 8 in this post.
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Throughout Saturday’s Big Ten football action, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions from every Big Ten game. See his immediate thoughts from Penn State’s easy road victory at Iowa in this post.
It’s an overstatement to say this was the most important game of the Bo Pelini era. But it certainly was the biggest of this season.
Every Saturday throughout the fall, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions from every Big Ten game. See his immediate thoughts from Michigan’s 12-10 comeback victory over Michigan State and Indiana’s narrow defeat at Navy in this post.
Every Saturday throughout the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions to all the action. See what Dienhart had to say about today’s early games: Ohio State’s comeback victory over Purdue in overtime and Wisconsin’s easy rivalry win over Minnesota.
The season is halfway over. There have been surprises. There have been disappointments. The second half of the season is thick with storylines: Who will win the rugged Legends Division? Can Ohio State finish unbeaten? Can Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller win the Heisman? Buckle up. It’s going to be a fun ride over the next month and a half.
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Saturday is almost here. Here are my most pressing questions for each school as we kick it into overdrive and head into the second half of the 2012 football season. Also, catch “The Football Report” tonight at 7 p.m. ET as I’ll be making an appearance with Mike Hall, Rosevelt Colvin, and Tony banks.
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A week or so ago, it would have been crazy to entertain such a topic. But with a 4-3 record and a grueling slate of games remaining, will Michigan State get bowl eligible? It’s a fair question, especially when one takes a look at the team’s final six games: at Michigan, at Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern and at Minnesota.
In today’s batch of Big Ten Links, I open with a good look at Ohio State’s struggling defense, which allowed a combined 87 points the last two weeks. That’s no secret, and as Bill Rabinowitz writes today in the Columbus Dispatch, a big reason for the struggles is the lack of strong linebacker play. Attrition through transfers, injuries, and position switches has chipped away at the unit’s depth.
You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my prediction on who will meet in the second annual Big Ten title game and address Ohio State’s struggling defense. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
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. After seven weeks, it’s Dienhart on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans and three ahead of Yarina. See our Week 8 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller continues to strengthen his Heisman candidacy—not just in the Big Ten, but nationally. West Virginia’s loss at Texas Tech hurts the resume of quarterback Geno Smith, but he remains in the race. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein continues to roll, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o also is in the mix.
Nebraska plays at Northwestern this Saturday in Evanston, but that venue could change in the future. Why? Money. A lot of people could make a lot of it if Nebraska played Northwestern in venerable Wrigley Field. And, it could happen, according to Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald.
This shapes up as an interesting week, with two key Legends Division clashes on a Big Ten menu that has six games. The headline clash is Nebraska at Northwestern.
Northwestern became the first Big Ten team to reach bowl eligibility with its 21-13 win at Minnesota. Wisconsin also enhanced its bowl prospects with a dominating 38-14 win at Purdue, as the Badgers now look like the clear favorite to represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten title game.
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Looks like the Iowa running back hex continues. Sophomore sensation Mark Weisman didn’t appear on the depth chart released today by the school. He apparently hurt his right ankle in the Hawkeyes’ 19-16 double-overtime win at Michigan State last week after running 26 times for 116 yards.
My first Big Ten Links of the weeks takes a look at how Wisconsin reloads on the offensive line. Losing star left tackle Ricky Wagner with a knee injury at Purdue hurts, but the Badgers front didn’t skip a beat with left guard Ryan Groy slipping into the spot. The result: Wisconsin ran for almost 500 yards on the Boilermakers.