This was a program-defining win for Minnesota under Jerry Kill’s watch. But really, it was much more than that. The Golden Gophers’ 34-23 upset victory over No. 24 Nebraska was a testament to the foundation that Kill has laid since arriving in the Twin Cities in 2011. It also embodied the toughness Kill possesses as a coach and in his fight to control his epilepsy.
It’s that time of the week, time to take my Big Ten grid quiz to prep you for a big Saturday full of action. Clear your desks, take out your No. 2 pencils and get ready to have your brain bent. You’ll thank me later. I promise.
Saturday is almost here. Can you feel it? Can you sense it? OK, if you can’t, just fake it until you make it. Every team gets four downs to make something happen. So, why not me? That’s the idea behind this article.
Thanks goodness it’s Friday. Or, in my household, it’s called “Football Eve.” Pretty nice, huh? Let’s start daily links with this way-cool look at Big Ten teams and TV. Can you tell much about a program by the TV time slots it draws? It’s something Dan Hoppen of HuskersOnline.com looked at. Hoppen went back and tracked the starting times and TV networks for Nebraska games since the program joined the Big Ten in 2011 through this past weekend.
Another light, yet exciting week ahead, with four teams off–Indiana, Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin. Still, this Saturday has a marquee, prime-time game to hang its hat on with Penn State playing at Ohio State.
Here is a good place to start daily links on this chilly Thursday in late October. Interesting piece from the great Tom Shatel: If Nebraska has the Big Ten blahs, it has only itself to blame. It seems some Huskers fans aren’t enamored with their new home. But, Shatel has some interesting insights: The inability to move up the rankings, or flag down the Associated Press voters? That’s on Nebraska’s inability to show well in a big game — most notably UCLA — not the mediocrity that is Big Ten football.
This is a light menu for Week 9, as there are just four games. Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue and Indiana all are off this week. And there is just one marquee game, with Penn State playing at Ohio State looking to end the Buckeyes’ remarkable run of 19 victories in a row. Here’s a look at this week’s games.
Ra’Shede Hageman arrived at Minnesota in 2009 as a tight end, fighting for a place to fit in on Tim Brewster’s roster. Now, the 6-6, 311-pound senior has become arguably the best defensive tackle in the Big Ten under a new regime in the Twin Cities.
It’s that time of the week, time for me to reach into my mailbag. Keep those cards and letters coming, as there is much to talk about. This week, Ohio State’s BCS title game hopes, Michigan’s defense, Purdue’s Darrell Hazell and much more. So, let’s get started.
Ohio State is still on the outside looking in when it comes to playing in the BCS title game (BCS Standings), but plenty of time remains. Don’t fret, Brutus. The Big Ten has a decent shot to get two teams into BCS bowls, with Wisconsin a good bet to finish 10-2 and claim a sweet postseason slot. In fact, I have the Badgers slotted to be an at-large BCS bowl team in this week’s rankings.
The first BCS standings were released on Sunday night. Alabama is No. 1, which was no shock. It was a shock that Florida State is No. 2 over Oregon, which is No. 3. Ohio State came in at No. 4, which was not a surprise. Missouri is No. 5. The only other Big Ten teams in the standings: Michigan No. 22; Nebraska No. 24.
So much went on this Saturday, I don’t know where to start. How about with 110 points and 1,323 yards, which is what Indiana-Michigan combined for in a game that left many breathless. While the Wolverines may have answered some questions about their listless offense, questions about their defense may have been created in the process. Oh, well. What else did I learn? Check it out.
With Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan winning—and Nebraska being off—there were no changes to the top of my Big Ten power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. But there was plenty of shifting in the bottom half, highlighted (lowlighted?) by Northwestern’s continued descent. It wasn’t long ago that I had the Wildcats No. 2 in the Big Ten. Now? Well, have a look for yourself.
For the most part, it was business as usual in the Big Ten on this Saturday. Ohio State reasserted its dominance with a 19th victory in a row. Wisconsin dominated Illinois and Michigan State was methodical vs. Purdue, while Michigan beat Indiana in one of the wildest games of the season. Northwestern? I don’t know what to make of the Wildcats. Here is a wrap of Week 8.
Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – There is gonna come a time in, say, February or March when Wisconsin fans are gonna wonder: What if? What if the Badgers hadn’t been rooked by the refs at Arizona State? What if the Badgers had found a way to win at Ohio State?
It’s that time of the week, time for four predictions, four thoughts, four truths, four jockstrap games and four factoids.
Before the second half of the season starts, let’s take a snapshot of the Big Ten at the halfway mark. Following is my team-by-team report card with award winners for each squad as well as projected won-loss totals, among other juicy tidbits.
Happy Football Friday! Let’s not waste any time, OK? Let’s dig right into some of the Big Ten news that’s making ripples from Lincoln to State College—and all points in between. This caught my attention: Urban Meyer offers a midterm report card for his 6-0 team. There obviously are many areas that get good marks. The areas of concern?
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The release of the USA Today coaches poll is another indicator of how close we are to beginning basketball season. I was not shocked to see five Big Ten teams ranked in the new poll: 2. Michigan State, 9. Michigan, 10. Ohio State, 21. Wisconsin and 24. Indiana.
After first looking at the menu for Week 8, you may be inclined to rake leaves this Saturday. But, don’t. I have a funny feeling we could have an upset.
There are five games on the Big Ten docket this week. But none of the clashes figures to have a big impact on the league race—unless we have some major upsets. Still, there will be a lot to keep an eye as we begin to wade into the second half of the season.