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.
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.
Find out more about: Bowl projections
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.
Non-conference play, for all intents and purposes, is in the rearview mirror. Yes, Indiana and Purdue each have one non-Big Ten game remaining, but conference play kicks off Saturday. It was a fast first four weeks, no doubt, and now it’s time to release our All-Big Ten non-conference teams.
Find out more about: B1G Predictions
The Big Ten is home to three 4-0 teams after nonconference play. One of the perfect teams is no big surprise (Ohio State), while the other two are close to shocking (Minnesota and Northwestern). And you’ll find all three on top of my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. See the complete list in this post.
Find out more about: Power Rankings, Rankings
Taylor Wodnick tallied a goal in the eighth minute to lift Minnesota past Michigan State, 1-0. The victory is the Gophers’ first Big Ten win of the season. Read the full recap at GopherSports.com. Watch the Minnesota and Michigan State highlights now and dive inside for more of our Sunday Olympic sports video.
With Michigan‘s loss Saturday night at Notre Dame, the Big Ten now has three teams ranked in the Coaches Poll, released Sunday. The Wolverines, previously No. 18, fell out of the poll, while Michigan State (No. 18), Nebraska (No. 20) and Wisconsin (No. 23) all moved up following victories.