The early returns are in, and the new penalty for targeting is having an impact. According to Big Ten officials coordinator Bill Carollo, there have been 54 targeting calls in 534 FBS games in 2013. Fifteen were subsequently overturned upon replay review, putting the number of disqualifications through 534 games and nine weeks of action at 39.
As we head full steam into the second half of the season, my mail box is getting stuffed with comments and questions. You know what that means: I have to reach into my mail bag and answer the best of your queries. Thanks for all of the interest! Keep the cards and letters coming! And don’t forget to watch this week’s top ten plays in this post, too.
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.
Not much movement in this week’s bowl projections. Ohio State is still No. 4 in the BCS standings and has a big hill to climb to get to the Nos. 1 or 2 spots. But Wisconsin still has time to perhaps be a BCS at-large bowl bid. The Badgers were just No. 24 in the BCS standings; they need to get into the Top 14. Michigan is No. 21; Michigan State is No. 22. The Spartans’ situation has improved, as have the bowl destinations for Iowa and Minnesota.
What did I learn in Week Nine? Ohio State and Michigan State are really good—and may be headed for a showdown in Indianapolis. Minnesota is a feel-good story that keeps getting better. Iowa is alive and well. And Northwestern’s season is on the edge.
If you somehow had any doubts prior to Saturday about who was the best team in the Big Ten, Ohio State surely cleared those up with its dominating effort vs. Penn State. Iowa and Minnesota were big risers. But Saturday wasn’t so good for Nebraska and Penn State. Here are my post-Week Nine Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal.