Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
In sports, we constantly hear the phrase, “What a difference a year makes.” It’s a cliche, no doubt about it. But, often times, it’s so true. And that’s the case when one compares the first four weeks of the 2012 Big Ten football season to the first quarter of the 2011 campaign.
Saturday night’s Wisconsin-Nebraska Big Ten opener didn’t need a gimmick to prove it was a big game. There’s one anyway, thanks to adidas and its inaugural “Unrivaled Game,” an annual matchup of top adidas programs. The company has dubbed the tilt, “The Quick and the Red,” and, as we’ve reported (Nebraska & Wisconsin), the two teams will wear new alternate uniforms.
Four weeks are in the books, but the bowl picture remains a work-in-progress—as usual 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.
With Week 4 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.
The final full week of non-conference football is complete, and now it’s time for Big Ten play. There are five Big Ten tilts set for Saturday, including Ohio State-Michigan State and Wisconsin-Nebraska. Before the action kicks off, here are BTN.com’s top 10 most-read stories of Week 4.
I have a twist on my weekly “Tom’s Top 10” this week. With non-conference play complete save for two games and Big Ten action set to kick off on Saturday, I take a look at the “best” of the non-league season. What was the best game of the non-conference season? How about the best performance? And the best moment? Find out below.
Before we turn our complete attention to Week 5 and the start of Big Ten play, let’s see how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 4 predictions. Everyone involved went 8-2, meaning Dienhart and BTN.com fans remain tied for first, at 36-10, one game ahead of me.