Michigan came close to winning the Legends Division but still is in search of its first league title since 2004. A win here would prime the program for a strong run in 2013, as this is a young roster. Three of the team’s four losses were to the top three teams in the nation: Notre Dame; Alabama; Ohio State. The other was to 10-win Nebraska.
Ken Pomeroy and Dan Hanner are both within the inner circle of tempo free statistics, so it’s notable when they disagree. On the topic of “clutch,” Pomeroy is on record as saying that clutchness is a myth. Hanner, for his part, rejects Pomeroy’s argument and believes “there is such a thing as clutch play.”
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This is a battle between the losers of their respective conference title games. It also is a game that will feature one of the better quarterback matchups, with Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez facing off with Georgia’s Aaron Murray. And which Cornhusker defense will show up? The one that allowed 653 yards at UCLA, 63 points at Ohio State and 70 points to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game? Or the one that backstopped a six-game winning streak leading into the league title game?
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Indiana has one final tune-up before opening Big Ten play when the No. 5 Hoosiers play Jacksonville tonight at 8 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go. Read the full preview here and find the latest Big Ten men’s standings and more links inside this post.
Northwestern is looking to end a nine-game bowl losing skid and take another step in its evolution as a program under Pat Fitzgerald. And the Wildcats will be facing a Mississippi State squad that finished the season by losing four its last five games.
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Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez joined his Badgers football team at Disneyland on Wednesday as part of the traditional kick off to the week’s festivities leading to the historic game in Pasadena on Tuesday. They were welcomed by Mickey Mouse, who high-fived the head coaches. “I thought these days are over,” said Alvarez, who has returned to coach this one game for Wisconsin after Bret Bielema left for Arkansas. “It’s like a Christmas present for me.”
With the holiday here, we thought we’d look back at our 100 favorite photos from the 2012 Big Ten football season. There’s a lot of great shots from USA TODAY Sports, and we hope the gallery brings you some enjoyment this holiday season.