Week 8 in the Big Ten is chock full of intriguing games. Michigan-Michigan State has arguably been the most talked-about rivalry in the conference over the last five years – from Mike Hart’s “little brother” quip in 2007 all the way through the early-season derogatory comments about Denard Robinson on Twitter by some Michigan State players this season. I can’t wait to get it going Saturday at 3:30 ET on BTN/BTN2Go.
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Make your plans now, Michigan State and Michigan fans. Big Ten Field Pass on BTN2Go goes live from the Big House on Saturday one hour before Michigan takes on Michigan State at 3:30 p.m. ET. If you haven’t been following this season, Field Pass is when BTN turns on a BTN TV camera one hour before kickoff at a selected Big Ten football game. This live video will only be available online at BTN2Go at 2:30 p.m. ET, so be sure you have access ahead of time (more details on BTN2Go here).
A week or so ago, it would have been crazy to entertain such a topic. But with a 4-3 record and a grueling slate of games remaining, will Michigan State get bowl eligible? It’s a fair question, especially when one takes a look at the team’s final six games: at Michigan, at Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern and at Minnesota.
In today’s batch of Big Ten Links, I open with a good look at Ohio State’s struggling defense, which allowed a combined 87 points the last two weeks. That’s no secret, and as Bill Rabinowitz writes today in the Columbus Dispatch, a big reason for the struggles is the lack of strong linebacker play. Attrition through transfers, injuries, and position switches has chipped away at the unit’s depth.
On Wednesday’s “The Journey: Big Ten Football,” we profiled quarterbacks Tre Roberson (Indiana) and Kain Colter (Northwestern). The former suffered a season-ending broken leg in September, but he still prepares every day as though he’s the starter. Meanwhile, the latter has several interesting ties to Northwestern. Watch a clip from the show that spotlights the dual-threat quarterbacks now and see our bonus content in this post.
Northwestern has been a surprise team this season, jetting to a 6-1 mark to become the first bowl-eligible Big Ten squad. Now, with a big home game vs. Nebraska looming, Northwestern can dare to dream big. How big? Why not contemplate winning the Legends Division and the Big Ten for the first time since 2000? It’s possible, thanks to a large degree to the defense.