The Big Ten opened the 2011 season with a 10-2 clip in Week 1. It was a solid opening act, considering the two losses — both away from home — came by a combined nine points. This week, the competition gets tougher with five BCS opponents on the slate, including No. 2 Alabama and Notre Dame. Unlike last week, all 12 games are on Saturday this time around. Six of the games will air live on BTN. Use our GameFinder to find your BTN game. Listen to BTN.com’s Week 2 Preview Podcast and read my Week 2 Preview inside.
When the 2011 NFL season kicks off Thursday night, expect to see a lot of familiar faces. The Big Ten, according to BigTen.org research, boasts 234 players on the league’s recently finalized 53-man rosters. That’s the second-highest total of any BCS conference, trailing only the SEC (268). Ohio State has the most Big Ten pros, with 35 — good enough to be tied for fifth among all schools.
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One week in the books. I was obviously fascinated to see a number of Big Ten teams in their openers for a variety of reasons – everything from coaching changes, to new quarterbacks and offenses, to overhauled defenses. It’s dangerous to jump to too many conclusions, particularly given the level of the competition that some conference teams played. But there were certainly a few numbers that stood out. Let’s start with the teams breaking in new coaches.
Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins joined BTN on Tuesday night for the season debut of “The Next Level.” Cousins, the three-time Michigan State captain, talked about his early NFL chances with Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Jon Jansen. Cousins’ take on the ultra-competitive NFL? “You have to be able to play at a high, high level every day and work at a high level,” he said. That’s exactly what Cousins has done during his successful Spartan career, going 17-9 and throwing for 6,037 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Find out more about: Kirk Cousins