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.
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It’s good to be Pat Fitzgerald. He’s a hot, young coach whose program is on the rise as it’s ranked in 2013 coming off a 10-win season and the school’s first bowl victory since the 1948 season. If he was a stock, he’d have a “buy” rating. Now, he’s a whole lot richer, too.
Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has had his share of ups—and downs—while in Champaign. As a result, the senior has developed resiliency. He knows not to get too high, or too low. This last Saturday is a perfect example.
Happy Wednesday! What’s that mean? Not Hump Day. Hope. It means we are one day closer to Saturday. And that’s a beautiful thing. And, looky here: It seems Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly is in full spin mode about this ND-Michigan rivalry stuff. Now, Kelly is open to renewing the school’s rivalry with Michigan, but commitments to play five ACC teams a year is an obstacle.
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So, Brian Kelly thinks that Notre Dame-Michigan is a regional rivalry? Kelly’s words are getting a lot of attention, naturally, because they come days before the two rivals meet under the lights Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
The season has started, and my mail box is getting stuffed with comments and questions. You know what that means: I have to reach into my mail bag and answer some of your queries as we head into Week Two of the season. Thanks for all of the interest! Keep the cards and letters coming!
One week down—and my bowl projections already have changed following a 10-2 opening week. Don’t tell me that you’re surprised. The first week of the season was more kind to some than others. I’m looking at you, Nebraska and Purdue. And, yes, that’s Iowa you see moving into my bowl picture—even after a loss, which gave me some faith in this Hawkeyes team. Without further adieu, my Week 2 bowl projections.
It was a busy first week of action, as we saw coaches make debuts (Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen and Purdue’s Darrell Hazell) and quarterbacks, too (Iowa’s Jake Rudock and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg). Here are 10 things I learned in Week One.
We have one week in the books. How great is it to have football back in our lives? Really great. The Big Ten went 10-2 in the opening week, with the losses coming vs. Northern Illinois and at Cincinnati. How do I rank the Big Ten teams after one week? See my latest power poll, presented by ArcelorMittal, in this post.
One week is in the books. There was good, and there was bad. Good: Northwestern went to Cal and rallied for a big comeback win. Bad: Purdue looked awful in a rout at Cincinnati. Here are my thoughts, ruminations, honors, grades and numbers from an exciting and eventful opening week around the Big Ten.
MADISON, Wis. – Coaches usually want to get the first game behind them. Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen was no different. The Jitters, the unknown. Just get here and get over. Now. This not only was the first game of the 2013 season—it also was his first game as Badgers coach.
According to an ESPN report, true freshman Christian Hackenberg will start for Penn State on Saturday when the Nittany Lions open the season vs. Syracuse in MetLife Stadium.
The Big Ten took the lid off the 2013 season last night, with Minnesota and Indiana recording resounding victories by registering point totals that would have tilted a pinball machine. The unveilings continue tonight, with Michigan State playing host to Western Michigan, and then the other nine schools play Saturday. Here are questions I have for each of the 10 schools yet to kickoff.
Eric Crouch is a college football icon and a Nebraska legend, the winner of the 2001 Heisman Trophy who led the Cornhuskers to the BCS national title game the same season. The guy knows his football. And he’s bringing that knowledge to BTN as an analyst.
Be sure to tune in tonight for the next installment of “How The Quarterback Turns” at Michigan State, which opens vs. Western Michigan. Andrew Maxwell will start, but Connor Cook will play. And Cook wants to show he’s the guy. Heck—who knows?–all four Spartans quarterbacks may see action, along with a few guys from the stands.