The early returns are in, and the new penalty for targeting is having an impact. According to Big Ten officials coordinator Bill Carollo, there have been 54 targeting calls in 534 FBS games in 2013. Fifteen were subsequently overturned upon replay review, putting the number of disqualifications through 534 games and nine weeks of action at 39.
On Wednesday’s episode of “The Journey: Big Ten Football 2013,” presented by Best Buy, our crew spends time with Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to learn what it’s like to be the starting quarterback and a husband at the same time. Also, come meet Iowa linebacker James Morris and Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman and learn about their family backgrounds. This week’s show also features the usual lush highlights from the Iowa’s OT thriller against Northwestern and Minnesota’s upset over Nebraska.
As we head full steam into the second half of the season, my mail box is getting stuffed with comments and questions. You know what that means: I have to reach into my mail bag and answer the best of your queries. Thanks for all of the interest! Keep the cards and letters coming! And don’t forget to watch this week’s top ten plays in this post, too.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag
Not much movement in this week’s bowl projections. Ohio State is still No. 4 in the BCS standings and has a big hill to climb to get to the Nos. 1 or 2 spots. But Wisconsin still has time to perhaps be a BCS at-large bowl bid. The Badgers were just No. 24 in the BCS standings; they need to get into the Top 14. Michigan is No. 21; Michigan State is No. 22. The Spartans’ situation has improved, as have the bowl destinations for Iowa and Minnesota.
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The Big Ten office released its Week 9 Players of the Week on Monday morning. Ohio State had a pair of honorees, Braxton Miller and Dontre Wilson, for its 63-14 victory over Penn State under the lights. See all the honorees in this post.
What did I learn in Week Nine? Ohio State and Michigan State are really good—and may be headed for a showdown in Indianapolis. Minnesota is a feel-good story that keeps getting better. Iowa is alive and well. And Northwestern’s season is on the edge.
Find out more about: What Tom Learned