Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
It was all chalk in the opening round of our Big Ten helmet bracket. The biggest winner: Michigan State routed Northwestern, 71 percent to 29 percent. Now, it’s time for Round 2. See all of the matchups and cast your votes in this post.
Remember this terrific Ricky Stanzi America-themed print from last summer? The artist, Sean Thompson, is at it again. This year, Thompson has a piece that will interest a few Big Ten fan bases; it’s called “Evy,” and it’s of former Michigan player, Michigan State assistant and Iowa head coach/athletic director Forest Evashevski.
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Some think Ohio State is the best team not just in the Big Ten but perhaps the best team in the nation as it comes off a 12-0 debut under Urban Meyer. A wealth of talent is one reason for optimism, as the Buckeyes are NCAA probation-free and eligible to win the Big Ten and BCS crowns. A favorable schedule is another reason for optimism. Ohio State should be favored in every game but one in 2013: the season finale at Michigan on Nov. 30.
It’s the time of week when I reach into my mailbag. Another good batch of correspondence from BTN readers and viewers. I appreciate all of the cards and letters. Keep them coming.
Most every key component from last year’s team that went 10-3 and won the school’s first bowl since the Stone Age — OK, the 1948 season — is back. Good, because this schedule is a doozy. In fact, starting 2-0 won’t be a given, with a trip to Cal and visit from Syracuse, which lost a crazy 42-41 game at home to the Wildcats last season, on tap to open the season. Big Ten schools switched cross-division foes this season, and no school had a less advantageous swap then NU.
It’s a slow, steady process, but the Minnesota offense is coming on as Jerry Kill continues to put his mark on the program entering his third year in the Twin Cities. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Matt Limegrover’s attack ranked 10th in the Big Ten in 2012 (321.4 ypg). And the offense was ninth in scoring (22.1 ppg).