There have been some impressive coaching jobs thus far in the Big Ten. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald all have coached lights out through five weeks.
Any conversation about the Michigan State defense begins with stud end Shilique Calhoun, one of the most feared—and affable—players in the Big Ten. Check out BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart's Q&A inside!
The great Pat Forde has his Forde-Yard Dash out. And, in it, he predicts when each of the remaining unbeaten will taste defeat. In case you forgot, the Big Ten has four unbeatens. The first loss for each: Northwestern: at Michigan Iowa: at Northwestern Michigan State: at Michigan Ohio State: at Michigan You notice what I noticed? You know, that the Wolverines are slated to dole out three “first losses”? *** Sporting News had some fun with a slide show that identified what it felt have been the worst loss for each Big Ten team over the last 25 years.
A full slate of Big Ten games is on tap with all 14 teams in action. And the “big one” is up in the Big House, where 4-1 Michigan will take on 5-0 Northwestern in a fascinating inter-divisional clash.
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.