Penn State is the lone Big Ten squad that is unbeaten in league play. But it has a tough stretch run—Nebraska, at Ohio State, at Wisconsin–giving the Badgers a shot to still win the Leaders Division and advance to the conference title game.
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Prior to the 2011 college football season, the Big Ten announced the creation of 18 new trophies, including two for the new Big Ten Championship Game and two for postgraduate awards. Each trophy honors the Big Ten’s rich history, with two Big Ten legends’ last names on it (i.e. Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year).
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Every week during the football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 9 saw Nebraska hand Michigan State its first Big Ten defeat and Penn State remain unbeaten. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
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In arguably the biggest weekend this season in the Big Ten, Nebraska announced that it still is in the hunt for the Legends Division title with a dominating win over Michigan State, Minnesota carded its first Big Ten win and Penn State remained perfect in Big Ten play. Following is a look at who was hot and who was not in Week 9 action.
(AP) MarQueis Gray‘s fourth-down sprint for the pylon from the 2-yard line in the closing minutes lifted Minnesota to a 22-21 victory over Iowa on Saturday, giving the Gophers possession of the Floyd of Rosedale bronze pig trophy for the second straight year. Gray went 11 for 17 for 193 yards and a touchdown and ran 11 times for 62 yards and the go-ahead score for the Gophers (2-6, 1-3), who lost their first three Big Ten games by an average margin of 38 points. Marcus Coker carried the ball 32 times for 252 yards and two touchdowns, but the Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2) missed a chance to move into a four-way tie for first place in the Legends Division. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and check out the Big Ten scoreboard.
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Week 9 is here, and my picks are in. It’s a huge Saturday with a myriad of storylines. Can Michigan State win its fifth in a row while navigating through a brutal gauntlet of games? Will Wisconsin rebound from the adversity of its first loss? Can Illinois stop the bleeding of a two-game losing skid? Could Purdue win at Michigan for a second time in a row? I pick those games and the others.