Every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the Big Ten action and offers his Snap Reactions. Earlier today he offered his thoughts from Michigan State and Penn State’s comeback victories over Indiana and Northwestern, respectively. Here, he looks at Wisconsin’s 31-14 victory over Illinois.
Every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the Big Ten action and offers his Snap Reactions. See his reactions to Michigan State and Penn State’s comeback victories over Indiana and Northwestern, respectively, in this post.
Michigan is coming to Purdue to play a big football game (4 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go). Saturdays like this aren’t commonplace in West Lafayette, Ind. Big basketball games? They happen almost every winter in this hamlet tucked just off I-65 an hour north of Indianapolis and two hours south of Chicago. But big football games? They have been sparse in the last, oh, generation. So, pardon the natives if they aren’t accustomed to the fuss of a big football Saturday.
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There are plenty of storylines for this weekend’s batch of games, including a very intriguing game for Nebraska in Columbus. Does Ohio State stay perfect? Is this the weekend when Northwestern and Purdue win over a doubting sports press corps? What’s in store for Illinois when they kick off in Madison? I preview all five Big Ten games in this post.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Previews
When talking best running back in the Big Ten, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina agree it’s Le’Veon Bell. Through five games, Bell leads Big Ten backs in yards (655 – yes, he also has most carries) and ranks in the top two in receptions (20) and receiving yards (125). He’s also a terrific blocker.
Find out more about: Debate It
Let’s just say it isn’t a great year for Big Ten quarterbacks. In fact, according to David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the conference’s signal-callers are at the bottom of the barrel. In other headlines in my daily links, we look at stories on Ohio State’s improved linebacker play, Iowa’s defensive uptick, and a fascinating comparison of the Buckeye and Husker programs through the years. Let’s dive in.
You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my answers on when Northwestern and Purdue will start to get respect and how the Big Ten could fare this bowl season. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
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In many respects, Michigan’s season starts now. The 2-2 non-conference record? The ugly losses to Alabama and Notre Dame? Forget about them.
Bo Pelini vs. Urban Meyer. The matchup has juicy possibilities this Saturday night when they square off at Ohio State. And the two have some history. Meyer was a Buckeye graduate assistant coach in 1986-87, which were Pelini’s first two years as an Ohio State defensive back. The two also have met three times as coaches, from 2005-07, when Pelini was LSU defensive coordinator and Meyer was Florida head coach. And Pelini’s teams went 3-1 against Meyer’s teams.
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.
Another Saturday looms. And, I have questions. Here are my most pressing queries for Big Ten teams entering Week 6, the second week of conference play. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here and don’t forget to send any of your questions my way for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.
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.
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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.
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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.