I wouldn’t necessarily have thought this going into the season, but the game that excites me the most on the Big Ten slate this weekend is Illinois’ game with Arizona State. Obviously, Ohio State–Miami and Michigan State–Notre Dame are generating more national buzz. But Gerry, Howard and I thought the Illini were a legitimate contender in the Leaders Division when we watched them in the pre-season and this is our first opportunity to see if we’re right.
As discussed here last Wednesday, the Week 2 schedule was a lot more challenging than what the Big Ten faced in the opening week. As a result, the Big Ten struggled to a 7-5 record, one week after going 10-2. Well, the Week 3 schedule has a few more tough tests, with dates against Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Arizona State and Miami (Fla.). BTN will air five games Saturday, including Illinois hosting No. 18 Arizona State at 7 p.m. ET. Use our GameFinder to find your BTN game. Watch our latest Big Ten Blast now and check out Brent Yarina’s Week 3 Preview inside.
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. It was a rough Week 2 for the Big Ten, as the conference struggled to a 7-5 record. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
Every week during the fall, BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina recaps the week that was in Big Ten football. Each recap includes Brent’s superlative winners and the best stats, quotes and tweets, among other things, from around the Big Ten that particular week. Have a worthy stat, quote or tweet that you think should make the recap? Tweet it to @BTNBrentYarina. Watch now as Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and star quarterback Denard Robinson talk about their thrilling win over Notre Dame.
(AP) Justin Allen blocked Carson Wiggs‘ 31-yard field-goal attempt as time expired and Rice snapped its 10-year losing streak against Bowl Championship Series teams with a 24-22 victory over Purdue on Saturday. The Owls (1-1) had lost 22 consecutive games to BCS opponents since a 15-13 win over Duke on Sept. 8, 2001. Rice had not beaten a Big Ten team since a 40-34 win at Northwestern in 1997. The Boilermakers got the ball near midfield with 1:52 remaining, and three long runs by Ralph Bolden moved them inside the 20. Purdue was content to let the clock run down so that Wiggs’ kick would be the final play. But Allen surged through the middle of the line and blocked it, and the Owls’ sideline emptied onto the field in celebration. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score and see our Big Ten scoreboard.
The Big Ten opened the 2011 season with a 10-2 clip in Week 1. It was a solid opening act, considering the two losses — both away from home — came by a combined nine points. This week, the competition gets tougher with five BCS opponents on the slate, including No. 2 Alabama and Notre Dame. Unlike last week, all 12 games are on Saturday this time around. Six of the games will air live on BTN. Use our GameFinder to find your BTN game. Listen to BTN.com’s Week 2 Preview Podcast and read my Week 2 Preview inside.
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. One week in the books, the conference is 10-2, with the two defeats coming by a combined nine points. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.