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Fun with numbers: Miller vs. NU pass defense

The streaking No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes head to Evanston on Saturday night to battle No. 15 Northwestern in one of the biggest conference games of the year. With Ohio State riding an FBS-high 17-game win streak and Northwestern 4-0 for the third time in the last four seasons, look for this matchup of unbeatens to come down to the Buckeyes’ strong passing attack vs. the Wildcats’ pass defense. [ MORE: Follow @BTNStatsGuys on Twitter! ] Between sensational quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton, the Buckeyes’ 19 touchdown passes lead the Big Ten and rank second in the FBS behind

Dienhart: Is this the biggest game in NU history?

The excitement seemingly has been building since the spring for Saturday’s Ohio State at Northwestern game. Oh, who am I kidding? The buildup actually began the moment last season ended. Back then, we all could see the delicious possibilities. The Buckeyes had a loaded roster for a team that was coming off a 12-0 debut under Urban Meyer. Northwestern also had lots of veteran talent back from a 10-win team that was coming off the program’s first bowl victory since the 1948 season. Every Big Ten watcher circled October 5 on their calendar, anticipating the Buckeyes’ trip to Northwestern in

Listen to your Big Ten football coach

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. Also, @B1Gfootball spotlights a tweet or three from each coach on the call live on Twitter in case you want to follow along online. Listen to Coach Brady Hoke: Listen to Coach Gary Andersen:  Listen to Coach Bo Pelini:  Listen to Coach Mark Dantonio:  Listen to Coach Kirk Ferentz:  Listen to Coach Jerry Kill:  Listen to

Video: Pat Fitzgerald answers reporter's cell phone

It’s kind of a big week at Northwestern. The 4-0 Wildcats are hosting Ohio State, which has won its last 17 games, Saturday night in a game that could be a preview of the 2013 Big Ten title game. If Monday’s press conference is any indication, Pat Fitzgerald isn’t letting the pressure of the big-time battle ruin his disposition. Not even a poorly timed phone call. In what is becoming a more common occurrence these days, a call came through to a reporter’s cell phone that was placed in front of Fitzgerald to record his comments. And, let’s just say,

Player Rankings: See who makes first list of 2013

I’ve said it several times: College football polls shouldn’t come out until at least October. You know, until we see what the teams look like and how they perform against quality competition. Well, with the calendar flipped to October, that means we’ve seen enough football to also consider other things. Like, for example, player rankings. View my first Big Ten player rankings of the season in this post. 1. Ohio State quarterbacks. Braxton Miller or Kenny Guiton, it doesn’t matter. The duo has combined to win the last three Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week awards, and it has

Bowl projections: Where is your team this week?

It’s never too early to make postseason plans, right? Yes, it is. Well, forget all of that and play along with me in my weekly bowl projections. It’s fun to play make-believe! Iowa was the biggest mover in my weekly bowl prognostications, as I now have the Hawkeyes in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, where they would play Baylor. Minnesota fell to the Little Caesar’s Bowl—if it is able to reach bowl eligibility, which could be difficult. In the end, the Big Ten may have difficulty filling all of its bowl slots. Penn State is ineligible, while Indiana and Purdue

Power Rankings: Surging Iowa shoots up list

With six schools off and just four games that featured no upsets, there was little movement in my weekly Big Ten power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Iowa was the biggest winner, jumping three spots from No. 9 to No. 6. Conversely, Minnesota fell like a rock from No. 6 to No. 10. Here is my latest Power Poll. [ MORE: Enter the Buffalo Wild Wings Trip to the Football Championship Sweepstakes ] POWER RANKINGS PRESENTED BY 1. Ohio State (5-0, 1-0). Braxton Miller looked impressive in his first action since early in the second game of the season. This team

Ohio State remains No. 3 in Coaches Poll

The latest Coaches Poll was released Sunday, and Ohio State remained No. 3 following its 31-24 victory over Wisconsin, which fell out of the poll. Northwestern comes in at No. 15, setting up a top-15 matchup Saturday night vs. the Buckeyes. Two other Big Ten teams are ranked in the poll: Michigan (No. 17); Nebraska (No. 25). Coaches’ Rankings Rankings as of 9/29/2013 Rank School Votes Prev Rank 1 Alabama (4-0) 1546 (59) 1 2 Oregon (4-0) 1479 (2) 2 3 Ohio State (5-0) 1397 3 4 Clemson (4-0) 1352 (1) 4 5 Stanford (4-0) 1325 5 6 Georgia (3-1)

Debate It: Who will win the Legends Division?

Each week during the season, BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman and a featured guest will debate a topic related to Big Ten football. This week, Nebraska beat writer Brian Rosenthal and I debate the following question: “Heading into Week 5 of the college football season, which team is your favorite to win the Legends Division”? Our answers may surprise you… [ MORE: Enter the Buffalo Wild Wings Trip to the Football Championship Sweepstakes ] Sean: This is the burning question on every Big Ten fan’s mind right now. I can say that all six teams have a legitimate chance at

Kain Colter speaks on APU Demonstration

Kain Colter and the Northwestern football team have a bye week before their much-anticipated Big Ten showdown with Ohio State on Oct. 5. However, the senior quarterback is making some of his own national news during the team’s off week. Colter is one of several college football players who initialed the letters “A.P.U.” on various game clothing and equipment items this past weekend. The three letters stand for “All Players United,” which is an effort to raise awareness about important issues that college football players deal with, such as proper funding for medical bills related to playing injuries. Why is