Ra’Shede Hageman arrived at Minnesota in 2009 as a tight end, fighting for a place to fit in on Tim Brewster’s roster. Now, the 6-6, 311-pound senior has become arguably the best defensive tackle in the Big Ten under a new regime in the Twin Cities.
Jerry Kill wasn’t expected to be at the Minnesota-Northwestern game Saturday. The head coach was on a leave of absence to get his epilepsy under control, after all. But there was Kill in the Minnesota coaches box at Ryan Field. Kill’s wife, Rebecca, drove him to the game, because he couldn’t stand not being there with his team after missing the Michigan game.
Each Tuesday morning during the Big Ten football season, the 12 Big Ten football coaches hold a Big Ten teleconference with reporters from around the country. We post the audio for each segment of the call here, and we do this every Tuesday afternoon.
Ohio State is still on the outside looking in when it comes to playing in the BCS title game (BCS Standings), but plenty of time remains. Don’t fret, Brutus. The Big Ten has a decent shot to get two teams into BCS bowls, with Wisconsin a good bet to finish 10-2 and claim a sweet postseason slot. In fact, I have the Badgers slotted to be an at-large BCS bowl team in this week’s rankings.
So much went on this Saturday, I don’t know where to start. How about with 110 points and 1,323 yards, which is what Indiana-Michigan combined for in a game that left many breathless. While the Wolverines may have answered some questions about their listless offense, questions about their defense may have been created in the process. Oh, well. What else did I learn? Check it out.
With Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan winning—and Nebraska being off—there were no changes to the top of my Big Ten power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. But there was plenty of shifting in the bottom half, highlighted (lowlighted?) by Northwestern’s continued descent. It wasn’t long ago that I had the Wildcats No. 2 in the Big Ten. Now? Well, have a look for yourself.
For the most part, it was business as usual in the Big Ten on this Saturday. Ohio State reasserted its dominance with a 19th victory in a row. Wisconsin dominated Illinois and Michigan State was methodical vs. Purdue, while Michigan beat Indiana in one of the wildest games of the season. Northwestern? I don’t know what to make of the Wildcats. Here is a wrap of Week 8.