The Michigan-Ohio State game is the annual exclamation mark on the Big Ten season. This year’s storyline: Can the Wolverines end the Buckeyes’ seven-season run of dominance? A Wolverine victory not only would ease the pain for Michigan fans, but it also will enhance the team’s resume in its bid to earn a BCS at-large bowl slot.
Week 11 of the NFL season is in the books, and Big Ten products made quite the impact. 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 our interview with Nebraska’s Alfonzo Dennard now and see Brent’s Week 11 winners in this post.
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It was only a matter of time before former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez received another opportunity. On Monday, Arizona AD Greg Byrne tweeted this picture, announcing Rodriguez as the new Wildcats head coach. And on Tuesday, the coach was officially introduced. Rodriguez went 15-22 in three seasons at Michigan, but he experienced a lot of success at West Virginia, where he went 60-26 in seven seasons. The coach spent this season as an analyst at CBS Sports. Read the AP story on Rodriguez’s hiring and its story on his introductory press conference.
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The bowl picture is firming up, but the Big Ten may feel a squeeze if it gets 10 bowl eligible teams, as the conference has just eight bowl slots guaranteed. A win by Purdue at Indiana would give the league 10 bowl eligible squads, meaning the Big Ten would need other leagues to fail to have enough bowl eligible teams to accommodate all of their schools.
Saturday is still five days away. But it isn’t too early to sneak a peek at the matchups. There’s a lot riding on the line for the last weekend of regular-season action. Penn State and Wisconsin will play to decide who will advance to play Michigan State in the Big Ten title game; Purdue is trying to become bowl eligible; and it’s Ohio State-Michigan week. The storyline: The Wolverines are trying to end seven years of misery and enhance their BCS at-large resume.