Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
It’s that time of the week, time to take a look at four predictions, four truths, four thoughts, four numbers and four jockstrap games. Yep, it’s time for Four Downs.
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It’s rivalry week, and there are a lot of intriguing storylines and angles in what also is the final week of the 2013 regular season. Can Michigan upset Ohio State and end its rival’s BCS title game dreams? Can Iowa snap its funk vs. Nebraska?
See the picture above? Minnesota coach Jerry Kill thinks Wisconsin’s actions following last Saturday’s rivalry win at TCF Bank Stadium should lead to a discussion about axe protocol. Really. Read more here.
We are a day closer to “The Game.” And, there is a lot on the line for each team. So, let’s start these pre-Thanksgiving links here. For Ohio State and its quest to reach the BCS title game, it must beat Michigan and then topple Michigan State in the Big Ten title game while hoping Alabama or Florida State loses down the stretch.
The final week of the season is upon us. Even better: It’s rivalry week. There’s Ohio State at Michigan in “The Game.” Northwestern is at Illinois in the Land Lincoln Trophy game. Purdue is at Indiana in the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket. Iowa is at Nebraska in the “Heroes Game.” Here is a look at all the action of Week 14.
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It’s Tuesday, two days until Thanksgiving. Until then, feast on a Heisman race that got turned sideways last Saturday with losses by Texas A&M (Johnny Manziel), Baylor (Bryce Petty) and Oregon (Marcus Mariota). And Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has a potentially murky future due to legal issues. Could Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller get back into the race?
There is a lot to talk about as the season winds down. Ohio State and the BCS are on the minds of many, as is the always-anticipated Buckeye-Wolverine clash this Saturday.
Sitting at No. 15 in the BCS standings, Wisconsin’s hopes for an at-large BCS bowl bid are looking better and better. The Badgers need to finish No. 14 or higher to be eligible for selection. Gotta think that’s gonna happen over the next few weeks. First, Wisconsin needs to beat visiting Penn State in the finale. Then, sit back, watch and wait.
Things held steady at the top of my Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, though I’m sure debate will continue to rage on if Michigan State should be ranked ahead of Wisconsin. Debate on, America. This week’s fast-riser: Iowa. See my latest list in this post.
Week 13 brought clarity to the Big Ten season, as Ohio State (Leaders) and Michigan State (Legends) wrapped up division titles and will meet in the Big Ten championship game. We also saw Penn State and Nebraska play an overtime thriller, as well as Illinois end a 20-game Big Ten losing skein. Here is my wrap on Week 13.
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Week 13 saw Michigan State (Legends) and Ohio State (Leaders) wrap up their division to set up the 2013 Big Ten title game that I think we all can be excited about. But there were many other things I learned on Saturday. Check it out.
Minnesota has been lauded for its feats this season. And rightly so. Michigan State also has received many plaudits for a stunningly successful season that saw the Spartans clinch the Legends Division today. Ohio State has been in the spotlight all season, stacking win after win after win. Impressive.
If you are like me, the prospect of taking a quiz sends a shiver down your spine. The mere specter of clearing my desk and being told to keep my eyes on my paper still gives me the cold sweats. But, this is a quiz-giving world—and I’m just living in it. So, take this Week 13 B1G Quiz. The grade will go on your permanent record.
Once again, Saturday is almost here and I’ve rolled up my sleeves and cranked out four downs worth of football predictions, thoughts, and truths about Week 13 of the Big Ten football season. Why four downs? Because in this post we never punt.
Where to start Friday’s links? How about with this story on Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory? Sure. The junior-college transfer leads the Big Ten with 8.5 sacks. Has newcomer made a bigger impact in the Big Ten this season? Well, you could make a case for a guy he’ll play this Saturday in Penn State’s true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Still, Gregory has had just as much impact in his own way.
No player in the Big Ten has been more surprising this season than Minnesota running back David Cobb.
What’s the best game for Week 13? The top quarterback matchup? What team is on upset alert? Who’s in a must-win situation? As usual, I line up all of that and more in the Best of Week 13.
This is a good place to start Thursday links. USAToday has a Playoff Projection it conducts each week, with media panelists from across the nation taking part in selecting a mock playoff field. And, this week, it has Baylor as the No. 3 seed ahead of Ohio State.
The penultimate week of the season is upon us, with some interesting storylines. Minnesota will try to win the Axe from Wisconsin for the first time since 2003, while Michigan State and Ohio State will look to win outright the Legends and Leaders Division, respectively. The Buckeyes also are aiming for win No. 23 in a row in its quest for the BCS title game. Here’s a look at all of the Week 13 matchups.
The early basketball signing period started last Wednesday, Nov. 13, and ends today. The Big Ten had a decent haul.
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Let’s begin Wednesday’s links with a salute to an awesome triumvirate of Iowa linebackers. This Saturday vs. Michigan will be the final game in Kinnick Stadium for Hawkeye seniors James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens. What a trio it has been, says Rick Brown of HawkCentral.com. I agree. And you should, too.
So many good running backs to choose from, so few spots on the all-conference team to fill. That’s the conundrum that Lee Barfknecht of Omaha.com is dealing with. I feel his pain. So, let’s start daily links there. Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah gets one spot. The other? That’s a toughie. Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde? Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon or James White? Minnesota’s David Cobb? Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford? Indiana’s Tevin Coleman? So difficult.
No major shakeups. Stanford’s loss at USC means Oregon is now slated to play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. But UCLA just as easily could be the foe. The Buckeyes cling to BCS title game hopes, resting at No. 3 in the current standings.
Just two weeks are left in the regular season, and things are heating up down the stretch. Among the hot button issues: Who is the second-best team in the Big Ten? Michigan State or Wisconsin? Read about that, and more, in my weekly mailbag. Keep those cards and letters coming.