With Week 8 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. Why six of both? Because it opens up the field, plus there are six teams in each division. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa. [RELATED: Week 9 Power Rankings |
Two new Big Ten helmets were introduced to the college football world in Week 8 action Saturday. There was Michigan State’s HydroChrome lid and Northwestern’s matte black shell. Here’s a running gallery, in chronological order, of the new helmets we’ve seen so far during the 2012 season. BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.
This is the Wisconsin we all expected at the beginning of the season. The last three games, the Badgers have outscored foes 107-41 and outgained them 1,485 yards to 781. Those offensive line troubles are ancient history and the defense has played well all season long. Where do the surging Badgers land on my latest Power Rankings? See my Week 9 Power Rankings in this post. [RELATED: Where are Big Ten teams ranked in latest polls?] 1. Ohio State (8-0, 4-0). The 29-22 overtime win over Purdue wasn’t pretty—but the team showed toughness and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.
Before we turn our attention to Week 9, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 8 predictions. Everyone involved went 4-2, meaning Dienhart remains on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans. All of us missed the Indiana-Navy game. The other misses: Dienhart and myself were wrong on the Nebraska-Northwestern game, while BTN.com fans had Iowa over Penn State. SEASON RECORDS Tom: 52-16; .765 BTN.com fans: 51-17; .750 Brent: 49-19; .721 Ohio State 29, Purdue 22 (OT) Tom’s pick: Ohio State, 55-13 – Are there two more diametrically opposed programs in
Brendan Gibbons made a 38-yard field goal with 5 seconds left, lifting No. 23 Michigan to a 12-10 win over Michigan State on Saturday. The Wolverines (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten) beat the Spartans (4-4, 1-3) .for the first time since 2007, avoiding a school-record, five-game losing streak in the series. Denard Robinson threw a 20-yard pass to Drew Dileo to set up the game-winning kick. Michigan State’s Dan Conroy made a go-ahead field goal with 5:48 left after a fake punt kept the drive alive. The Spartans forced the Wolverines to punt from midfield after going ahead, but couldn’t stop
Michigan State held Michigan to 20 yards through the air during the third quarter and the Spartans have taken a 7-6 lead. Andrew Maxwell’s two-yard touchdown pass to Paul Lang finished off a 10-play, 80-yard drive and gave Michigan State the lead, 7-6. The Wolverines will start the fourth quarter with possession on the Spartans’ 23-yard line. [ PREVIEWS | BY QUARTER | BOX | PBP | CONNECT | WEATHER | WATCH ON BTN2GO ] EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts recaps after every quarter of every Big Ten football game. Use the links above for more info on
Michigan stuffed the run, giving up just 10 yards on the ground in the second quarter and the Wolverines now lead 6-0. Michigan struck first when Brendan Gibbons drilled a 24-yard field goal, the final play of an 11-play, 77-yard drive. The Wolverines made their lead 6-0 when Matt Wile kicked a 48-yard field goal on the last play of a five-play, 39-yard drive. Michigan will start the second half with the ball. [ PREVIEWS | BY QUARTER | BOX | PBP | CONNECT | WEATHER | WATCH ON BTN2GO ] EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts recaps after
There were more punts than points in the first quarter and the game is tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. With neither team able to move the ball, there were five punts in the quarter. Michigan has possession at its own 20-yard line to start the second quarter. [ PREVIEWS | BY QUARTER | BOX | PBP | CONNECT | WEATHER | WATCH ON BTN2GO ] Read more from BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart on this game: Player on the spot: Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell. He continues to deal with consistency issues. Last week, the junior hit just 12-of-31 passes
It was rumored to happen Saturday at Michigan, and it’s official: Michigan State is wearing new HydroChrome helmets for this afternoon’s rivalry game. Watch a quick video of the new helmet that we grabbed from our exclusive BTN Field Pass camera that was live from Michigan Stadium prior to kickoff. The helmet had been rumored since earlier this week. Michigan State officials, however, remained quiet when we asked them about the possibility. A year ago against Michigan, Michigan State wore its Nike Pro Combat uniform, and late this week rumors starting popping up that Michigan State had something special planned
In my preview of Saturday’s six games, I take closer looks at one big rematch (Nebraska at Northwestern), a pair of major rivalries (Michigan State at Michigan, Minnesota at Wisconsin), two more with some intriguing recent history (Penn State at Iowa, Purdue at Ohio State), and a non-conference game with a Big Ten team hungry for a win (Indiana at Navy). I’ll be in Evanston on Saturday covering the Huskers as they seek revenge for last year’s loss to the Wildcats, so follow me on Twitter @BTNTomDienhart. I’ll also be tracking all of the other games with my usual Saturday