There are plenty of storylines for this weekend’s batch of games, including a very intriguing game for Nebraska in Columbus. Does Ohio State stay perfect? Is this the weekend when Northwestern and Purdue win over a doubting sports press corps? What’s in store for Illinois when they kick off in Madison? I preview all five Big Ten games in this post.
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Michigan State visits Indiana this Saturday for a noon ET kickoff on BTN/BTN2Go, and that reminded us of a 2006 classic game between these two programs. On Oct. 28 of that season Indiana’s James Hardy caught four of Kellen Lewis’ five touchdown passes as Indiana won 41-26 in front of their home fans. In what will be an occasional series of Big Ten Classics on BTN.com & BTN2Go, we’ve gone into the archives to recover the full telecast of the 2006 game. The full game is posted on BTN2Go, but we’ve clipped a portion of it here for you to enjoy.
When talking best running back in the Big Ten, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina agree it’s Le’Veon Bell. Through five games, Bell leads Big Ten backs in yards (655 – yes, he also has most carries) and ranks in the top two in receptions (20) and receiving yards (125). He’s also a terrific blocker.
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This week’s college football slate is nothing short of phenomenal: Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Florida, and West Virginia-Texas are among about a half dozen intriguing games. The Big Ten has its share of good ones, including a match-up of ranked teams in Columbus, as Nebraska visits Ohio State. It seems as good a place as any to jump into this week’s “Numbers.”
Let’s just say it isn’t a great year for Big Ten quarterbacks. In fact, according to David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the conference’s signal-callers are at the bottom of the barrel. In other headlines in my daily links, we look at stories on Ohio State’s improved linebacker play, Iowa’s defensive uptick, and a fascinating comparison of the Buckeye and Husker programs through the years. Let’s dive in.
On Wednesday night’s series premiere of “The Journey: Big Ten Football,” we profiled Michigan’s Denard Robinson, Ohio State’s John Simon and Penn State’s Michael Mauti. On the show, Mauti, Penn State’s standout linebacker, read the poem his mother gave him before he went to college.
You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my answers on when Northwestern and Purdue will start to get respect and how the Big Ten could fare this bowl season. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
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