It turns out Ohio State and Penn State do have something to play for this season, despite being on NCAA probation and ineligible to win the Big Ten or go to a bowl game. The Big Ten has said if either team finishes first in the Leaders Division, it will be awarded with the division trophy and be deemed “Leaders champion.”
While there’s always a certain excitement surrounding opening weekend, last week’s slate in the Big Ten left quite a bit to be desired. Outside of Michigan’s match-up with Alabama and Michigan State’s battle with Boise State, very few of the games elicited much in the way of excitement. That is far from the case in Week 2, where I’d venture to say as many as eight or nine games carry a fairly significant level of intrigue.
Venric Mark accounted for 281 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including an 82-yard punt return, in Northwestern’s 42-41 win at Syracuse last week. His reward: A cool image of himself from the game on a wall of the Northwestern team room. Mark’s picture was placed on the wall because he won Northwestern Player of the Week, and each ensuing honoree will be added every week.
Purdue produced Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, so it’s only appropriate the school honors the late astronaut. Starting Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame, the football team will wear an Armstrong helmet decal on the back of its lids. The sticker, which features an astronaut holding a Purdue flag inside of text that includes Armstrong’s surname and years of birth and death, will sit atop the American flag on Purdue’s helmet.
You have questions, and I—as usual—have answers. It may not always be what you want to hear. But, find my responses to your questions in this post. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Are you ready for Week 2? BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina and myself offered our predictions for all 12 Big Ten games Saturday. Vote for your winners, too!
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag
BTN.com spotlighted the throwback uniform Iowa will wear for Saturday’s rivalry game against Iowa State back in June. With the game just days away, we have an updated photo of the uniform. And this one displays the entire collection, including a jersey with the mandatory “B1G” patch on the right chest and a helmet that reads “IOWA” where “Riddell” was in the earlier photo.
BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) love to talk football, and that includes prognostications. Every week, the duo gives their predictions for each Big Ten football game, plus includes a poll for fans to vote for their winners.
Find out more about: B1G Predictions, Illinois vs. Arizona State, Indiana vs. Massachusetts, Iowa vs. Iowa State, Michigan State vs. C. Michigan, Michigan vs. Air Force, Minnesota vs. New Hampshire, Nebraska vs. UCLA, Northwestern vs. Vanderbilt, Ohio State vs. Central Florida, Penn State vs. Virginia, Purdue vs. Notre Dame, Wisconsin vs. Oregon State