With Week 2 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.
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Tune in for our usual Monday night doubleheader of Big Ten football analysis tonight with “The Big Ten Pulse” at 6:30 p.m. ET and “The Big Ten Football Report” at 7. On The Pulse, Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle wonder if Michigan State is the clear favorite to win the Big Ten. Do they have the league’s best defense? On “Football Report,” our crew looks at how Week 2 injuries will impact the rest of the season.
In the first batch of daily links this week, many Big Ten teams showed areas of concern on what was a—ahem—a “Black Saturday,” as Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald writes. For me, the biggest shock was Wisconsin getting unceremoniously dumped at Oregon State, 10-7. Wisconsin, which averaged 44 points a game last season, came within two minutes of getting blanked in the defeat at Oregon State, which ranked 84th in total defense in 2011.
In 2009, the Big Ten Network brought you the inspiring story of Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. – a blue-chip recruit from Chicago’s legendary Mt. Carmel High School who in 2007 was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his left leg just weeks after signing with MSU.
It was a tough Week 2 for the Big Ten. The conference limped to a 6-6 record, with Northwestern’s home victory over Vanderbilt being the crown jewel. See my 10 observations—some whimsical, some fact based, some opinionated—from Week 2.
Find out more about: Tom's Top 10
It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for my weekly Big Ten Power Rankings. Where does your Big Ten team fall on my list following Week 2 action? See in this post. Disagree with my rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet me @BTNTomDienhart.
Find out more about: Power Rankings, Rankings
Before we turn our complete attention to Week 3, it’s time to look back at how we did with our Week 2 predictions. One week after Tom Dienhart, BTN.com fans and myself all went 11-1, the results weren’t as pretty. Dienhart and BTN.com fans both went 8-4, while I went 6-6, just like the Big Ten teams.
Find out more about: B1G Predictions