Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
In sports, we constantly hear the phrase, “What a difference a year makes.” It’s a cliche, no doubt about it. But, often times, it’s so true. And that’s the case when one compares the first four weeks of the 2012 Big Ten football season to the first quarter of the 2011 campaign.
Normality prevailed this past weekend as Indiana and Northwestern got their conference seasons off to a winning start. However, the standout result of the weekend was Penn State’s impressive road win at Wisconsin.
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According to USAToday.com, six cities are in the mix to host college football’s first championship game as part of the four-team playoff system that will begin in the 2014 season. The list of candidates includes the cities of the four BCS bowls – Miami (Orange), Pasadena, Calif. (Rose), New Orleans (Sugar) and Glendale, Ariz. (Fiesta) – plus Atlanta (Chick-fil-A) and Arlington, Texas (Cotton).
Saturday night’s Wisconsin-Nebraska Big Ten opener didn’t need a gimmick to prove it was a big game. There’s one anyway, thanks to adidas and its inaugural “Unrivaled Game,” an annual matchup of top adidas programs. The company has dubbed the tilt, “The Quick and the Red,” and, as we’ve reported (Nebraska & Wisconsin), the two teams will wear new alternate uniforms.
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Four weeks are in the books, but the bowl picture remains a work-in-progress—as usual To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012.
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With Week 4 behind us, it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings. Again, I’m doing these a little different this year. Whereas I used to rank the top 10 players – a practice that was tough due to all the talent on both sides of the ball – I’ll rank the top six offensive and defensive players each week.
The final full week of non-conference football is complete, and now it’s time for Big Ten play. There are five Big Ten tilts set for Saturday, including Ohio State-Michigan State and Wisconsin-Nebraska. Before the action kicks off, here are BTN.com’s top 10 most-read stories of Week 4.
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