Three weeks are in the books, but the bowl picture remains a work-in-progress. To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012.
Find out more about: Bowl projections
Before we turn our complete attention to Week 4, it’s time to look back at how we did with our Week 3 predictions. Following a terrible showing last week, I went 10-2 to lead the way this week, while Tom Dienhart and BTN.com fans went 9-3. Three weeks in, the standings remain tight, with BTN.com fans and Dienhart tied for the top spot, at 28-8.
Find out more about: B1G Predictions
Following Michigan State’s 20-3 home loss to Notre Dame, there’s a new team on top of my Week 4 Power Rankings. Who is it? Here’s a hint: It’s the only remaining undefeated team from the Leaders Division. Check out my Big Ten Power Rankings in this post.
Find out more about: Power Rankings, Rankings
Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 3? Find out in this post.
Every Sunday during the college football season, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo hits Twitter to share his thoughts from the previous day’s slate of games. What did DiNardo have to say about the Big Ten after a 10-2 performance in Week 3? Read all of his Sunday Ruminations in this post.
Max Shortell replaced an injured MarQueis Gray and passed for 188 yards and three touchdowns, helping Minnesota overcome a sluggish start to beat Western Michigan 28-23 on Saturday. Gray hurt his left leg late in the second quarter with the Gophers (3-0) trailing, but Shortell steered a six-play, 78-yard march for the go-ahead score that A.J. Barker capped with his second of three touchdown receptions.
In the third quarter, Alex Carder fought back for Western Michigan. He threw for 66 yards and ran for seven yards and one touchdown, but the margin is still 11, as the Broncos trail 28-17. Western Michigan finished off a 71-yard drive when Carder turned a quarterback sneak into a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 21-17.