Lots went on in Week 11. Wisconsin clinched the Leaders Division spot in the Big Ten championship game. Also, Nebraska stayed in control in the Legends, Minnesota became bowl eligible, Purdue’s bowl hopes remained alive, Northwestern’s hopes of getting to the Big Ten title game ended, Indiana’s Rose Bowl dreams got smashed … here’s my Top 10.
This was one of the top Saturday’s of the season, as the division races came into even sharper focus. In fact, Wisconsin sewed up the Leaders Division bid to the Big Ten title game, while Nebraska remained in control of the Legends with a fourth victory in succession and is a step closer to Indianapolis. Here’s what I learned.
Every Sunday during the college football season, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo hits Twitter to share his thoughts from the previous day’s slate of games. What did DiNardo have to say about Week 11 Big Ten action? Read all of his Sunday Ruminations in this post.
Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten Game Balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 11? Find out in this post.
Taylor Martinez threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner for Nebraska’s first lead, and the No. 18 Cornhuskers overcame a double-digit, second-half deficit for the fourth time this season in a 32-23 victory over Penn State on Saturday.
That “pop” you just heard was Indiana’s Rose Bowl dreams. Oh, it was a LONG shot. We all knew it. But it was fun while it lasted, as the Hoosiers came into today controlling their own destiny in a Leaders Division title chase that would land them in the Big Ten title game with a chance to advance to Pasadena. That caused America—or at least the Midwest—to rub its eyes in disbelief.
It wasn’t pretty, but Minnesota was good enough in a 17-3 win over Illinois on Saturday. In a battle of sluggish offenses, Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood did most of the work, rushing for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Kirkwood’s 3-yard run in the third quarter broke a 3-3 tie. He scored on a 12-yard run late in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory, giving his team its fourth straight win at Illinois.