Got a case of Mondays? Well, a quick spin through my daily links may cure what ails you. Then again, maybe not. But, heck, why not give it a try? If it doesn’t work, you can always get back to doing your TPS reports.
Three weeks are in the books. And this much I know: I don’t know what to make about a lot of teams. My Big Ten power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, didn’t suffer a massive shakeup following a strange Saturday. Michigan State and Minnesota are most upwardly mobile; Penn State and Illinois took significant hits. Check it out.
Week 3 was a mixed bag for the Big Ten, which went a disappointing 7-5, including a 1-3 mark vs. the Pac-12. And, in some ways, it seemed fitting the end to a bizarre Saturday was capped by a finish to the Wisconsin-Arizona State game that still has my head spinning. Here is a look around the Big Ten’s third week of action.
A strange and bizarre Week 3 ended late on Saturday night (or early on Sunday morning, depending on where you were) in the heat of the Tempe, Ariz., on a weird final play in the Wisconsin-Arizona State game. Many lessons can be learned from the controversial conclusion that cost Wisconsin a victory. Here’s what I learned over the entirety of a strange Saturday.
UCLA made it look easy. Too easy. And that’s not a good thing for Nebraska. This was supposed to be the Cornhuskers’ chance to show the world that the 2013 team was different from last year’s squad.
This will be a Saturday that helps define the Big Ten’s national image, with four big-time games vs. the Pac-12. And Purdue will be on a national stage with its clash vs. Notre Dame. Get prepped for all the action in Four Downs.
It’s quiz time! Clear your desks and get out your No. 2 pencil. Game day is almost here! To get you ready, take this pop quiz that will help get you up to speed for all the action on what shapes up as a terrific Saturday of games–a Saturday that will go a long way toward shaping public opinion about the Big Ten.
Last week was a dud. This week is a doozy. This is the best week of non-conference action with the highlights being four games vs. Pac-12 foes. The only unappetizing clashes: three games vs. the MAC, and two vs. FCS foes. Still, there’s lots to like with UCLA at Nebraska; Wisconsin at Arizona State; Ohio State at Cal; and Illinois vs. Washington in Chicago.
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
This is by far the best slate of games of the short 2013 season. The Saturday menu is highlighted by four games vs. Pac-12 schools—Illinois vs. Washington in Chicago; Wisconsin at Arizona State; UCLA at Nebraska; Ohio State at Cal. Purdue also gets its annual crack at Notre Dame, adding more name-brand appeal to the weekend. And we have in-state rivals Iowa-Iowa State clashing.
This week’s schedule features four games vs. Pac-12 teams: UCLA at Nebraska; Ohio State at Cal; Wisconsin at Arizona State; Illinois vs. Washington at Chicago. But recent history tells us the Pac-12 should win these games.
All eyes will be on Nebraska this Saturday, as the Cornhuskers welcome UCLA to Lincoln for the biggest game of the weekend. Huskers fans need no reminder of last year’s meeting vs. the Bruins in Pasadena. UCLA won, 36-30, as the Bruins obliterated the Nebraska defense to the tune of 653 yards. It was a sign of things to come.
We are two weeks into the season, but a lot already has happened. Ohio State and Michigan have had their moments, Northwestern looks legit and Illinois has been a surprise. It has given us all a lot to write and talk about.
We are halfway through the non-conference season. Can you believe it? And, so far, so good for the Big Ten, which has gone 21-3. The losses: Purdue at Cincinnati, 42-7; Iowa to Northern Illinois, 30-27; Indiana to Navy, 41-35. None of those are shameful. And there have been some impressive wins.
Another week, another round of bowl projections. Just one Big Ten team lost on Saturday, with Indiana falling at home to Navy, 41-35. The other 11 schools won. But my bowl projections have changed—at least the lower-tier bowl projections.
What a Monday to wake up and be Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner! They guy is the BMOC in Ann Arbor after that sensational performance vs. Notre Dame on Saturday night. Heck, he’ll be a BMOC for a while with his skills and this offense. Nick Baumgardner of Mlive.com says if Devin Gardner is on the money, the Wolverines’ offense knows no limits.
Michigan’s pulsating 41-30 victory over Notre Dame capped another strong week for the Big Ten, which went 11-1 after opening 10-2 last week. It also showed that Brady Hoke’s Wolverines should be taken seriously. Very seriously.
We have two weeks in the books, and teams continue to jockey for position in my weekly power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Here is how I stack the Big Ten schools following two weeks of action. Keep an eraser handy.
Another week is in the books. There has been a lot to be impressed with over the first two weeks of the season, with strong starts by teams like Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State, among others. Saturday provided some clarity, but much remains unknown. Here is what I learned in Week 2.
Welcome to the big time, Devin Gardner. And get used to being here, kid. This was the win you needed. This was the victory that provides validation of your special skills.
It’s Friday, one day before the big test on Saturday. So, here’s a pop quiz to make sure you’re up to speed before kickoff. Get out your No. 2 pencils … eyes down … begin.
Saturday is almost here. Can you feel it? Can you sense it? OK, if you can’t, just fake it until you make it.
Happy Friday! Let’s all meet at Cha Chi’s after work for some potato zingers! OK, let’s not. But let’s at least take this time to discuss some Big Ten headlines, OK? If Michigan is going to beat Notre Dame, QB Devin Gardner has to have a good game. That mean he has to avoid the picks, of which he had two last week … vs. a directional school.
This isn’t a Saturday filled with scintillating matchups, but it’s saved by the marquee Notre Dame at Michigan game. One problem: There are three games vs. FCS foes: Indiana State at Purdue; Tennessee Tech at Wisconsin; Missouri State at Iowa. And Penn State plays host to Eastern Michigan, which is like a FCS school. Also, South Florida (which is at Michigan State) and San Diego State (at Ohio State) are horrible.
Week Two brings us a blockbuster matchup: Notre Dame at Michigan, one of the sport’s iconic rivalries. This will be a great test for a Wolverines’ program that is on the rise and the pick of many to win the Legends Division. Since the series was renewed in 1978, it is tied 14-14-1. However, this will be the last time for the foreseeable future that the clubs will meet in Ann Arbor.