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.
The consensus amongst, well, everyone, was that Nebraska was set to finish last in the Big Ten this year. And we’re still very early in the season, so it’s premature to start upsetting the prediction apple cart too much based on a handful of games. But it’s impossible not to notice the fact that Tim Miles’ team is well ahead of where most figured it would be this year. To wit, the Huskers entered the season ranked as the #123 team in the Pomeroy ratings, which reflects an assessment of how last year’s team played, along with what players they have returning to and entering into the program. But after last night’s tough loss to a good UMass team, Nebraska checks in at number 74.
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.
In last January’s Outback Bowl, South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney produced the highlight of the year when he hit Michigan running back Vincent Smith, sending Smith’s helmet flying.
No player in the Big Ten has been more surprising this season than Minnesota running back David Cobb.
There were five Big Ten men’s basketball games on Thursday, including Wisconsin’s impressive 88-64 win over Bowling Green. The Badgers had six players score in double figures, led by Ben Brust, who had a game-high 19 points. This is the first time Wisconsin has had back-to-back 80-plus point games since December, 2012.
Wisconsin and Penn State each notched big wins in the opening round of the NCAA men’s soccer tournament. Northwestern and Indiana, the reigning NCAA and Big Ten champions, fell to Akron 3-2. Catch up on all of Thursday’s NCAA men’s soccer action in this post.