Week 8 of the NFL season is in the books, and Big Ten products compiled some impressive performances. All season long, use our Big Ten NFL Stat Tracker to see how ex-Big Ten stars performed each week. Simply click on a player’s name, and the link will lead you to his NFL.com game log. Every Tuesday, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances, plus links to their NFL.com highlights. Watch now as Russ Lande breaks down his latest draft board and see Brent’s Week 8 winners in this post.
Another day, another Indiana receiver out of the picture. One day after Kevin Wilson dismissed Damarlo Belcher, the Hoosiers announced that Duwyce Wilson will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury (read the full AP story). It’s been a tough season for Indiana (1-8, 0-5) in its first year under its new coach, and it’s only going to get tougher the final three games. Wilson led the Hoosiers in touchdown grabs (3) and was third in receiving yards (217) despite playing in only six games.
The Big Ten Conference released its individual cross country awards for both the men and women Tuesday. Big Ten champs Caitlin Lane (Penn State) and Mohammed Ahmed (Wisconsin) took home Women’s Athlete of the Year and Men’s Athlete of the Year, respectively. The coaches of the championship teams, to no surprise, won their respective Coach of the Year honor. Watch our Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Championship highlights now and see all the honorees in this post.
The calendar turns to November, when the games that we all remember will be played. Many big contests loom down a home stretch that will go a long way toward determining who will meet in the inaugural Big Ten championship game. There’s Nebraska at Penn State; Penn State at Ohio State; Nebraska at Michigan; Penn State at Wisconsin; Ohio State at Michigan.
Indiana had already begun to move along without receiver Damarlo Belcher, who was dismissed from the squad Monday for violating team rules. Belcher had started six games this season, but he missed the Iowa and North Texas games due to injury and was suspended for last week’s game against Northwestern. He paced Indiana with 25 catches for 286 yards and a touchdown.
CHICAGO – A brand new episode of Big Ten Icons, presented by Discover and hosted by Keith Jackson, airs at 8pm ET Tuesday with a profile of legendary Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne. The show will be followed at 8:30 PM ET by Osborne’s final game as head coach at Nebraska, the 1998 Orange Bowl. In that game, Scott Frost, Ahman Green and the Blackshirts defeated Peyton Manning and Tennessee, 42-17. Nebraska finished the season ranked number one in the coaches’ poll to earn a share of the national championship.
It’s always fun trying to predict the next breakout players, the Trevor Mbakwes and Darius Morrises of last season. To me, those are the true breakout players, the guys who didn’t do much of anything the previous season(s) before figuring things out and making a name for themselves. How about possible 2011-12 Big Ten breakout players? See my five candidates in this post.