I said at the beginning of last week’s Numbers that the Illinois game excited me the most of any one on the Week 3 slate, and the Illini did not disappoint. Their 17-14 win over then-No. 18 Arizona State turned the nation on to something Howard, Gerry and I believed when we saw them in the pre-season: The Illini are for real. The numbers I gave last week were related to their offense, but the real story of the game was the “D.” So that’s where we’ll begin this week.
Get ready to be excited. The last full week of nonconference football is Saturday, and that means more competitive, entertaining and meaningful games are on the horizon. Week 4 also gives us the Big Ten’s first open weeks, with Northwestern and Purdue both off this weekend. BTN will air five Week 4 games, including Michigan hosting San Diego State, Brady Hoke’s old team, at noon ET. Use our GameFinder to find your BTN game, hear your coach’s latest teleconference, and track all of Saturday’s action on our Big Ten scoreboard.
Find out more about: Weekly B1G Previews
The Big Ten held the weekly teleconference with the 12 football coaches and the media this morning, and @B1GFootball from the Big Ten Conference office tweeted the event live as always. Get a taste of each coach’s Tuesday phone call with the media via selected tweets, or listen to each entire call on your own. We post these calls every week.
Find out more about: Teleconferences
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 3 saw the Big Ten go 9-3, including Illinois’ 17-14 victory over No. 18 Arizona State. 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.
Find out more about: Power Rankings
Every week during the fall, BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina recaps the week that was in Big Ten football. Each recap includes Brent’s superlative winners and the best stats, quotes and tweets, among other things, from around the Big Ten that particular week. Have a worthy stat, quote or tweet that you think should make the recap? Tweet it to @BTNBrentYarina. Watch BTN’s interview with Purdue basketball standout Robbie Hummel now.
Find out more about: #B1G Honors
(AP) Denard Robinson ran for 198 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, leading Michigan to a 31-3 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines (3-0) started poorly on both sides of the ball, trailing early in the second quarter, and finished strong. Robinson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to give Michigan a 28-3 lead late in the third quarter. The Eagles (2-1) drove into Michigan territory on their first five possessions, but came away with just a field goal. They fumbled, got stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 1, threw an interception and punted in a half filled with missed opportunities. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score and see our Big Ten scoreboard.
Find out more about: Rapid Recaps
I wouldn’t necessarily have thought this going into the season, but the game that excites me the most on the Big Ten slate this weekend is Illinois’ game with Arizona State. Obviously, Ohio State–Miami and Michigan State–Notre Dame are generating more national buzz. But Gerry, Howard and I thought the Illini were a legitimate contender in the Leaders Division when we watched them in the pre-season and this is our first opportunity to see if we’re right.