October was a crazy and unpredictable month. The proof: Under-the-radar Penn State went 5-0 and sits comfortably atop the Leaders Division, Big Ten favorite Wisconsin lost back-to-back games on last-minute Hail Marys, Michigan State got through a stretch of Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin unscathed, and Iowa lost to struggling Minnesota despite getting 252 rushing yards from Marcus Coker. The list could continue, but you get the point.
No, there wasn’t a Heisman Trophy winner among Big Ten defensive backs during the 2000s, a la Michigan’s Charles Woodson the decade before. But the position was hardly light on talent. In fact, the 2000s saw a pair of conference stars win the Jim Thorpe award, handed out to the nation’s top defensive back, in Wisconsin’s Jamar Fletcher (2000) and Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins (2008). Watch a clip from Tuesday night’s show now and see the complete top 10 list in this post.
The Big Ten is loaded with many good running backs (see the stats). In fact, it may be the deepest position in the conference. So, it should be no surprise that Penn State’s Silas Redd has taken over the No. 1 spot in my weekly ranking of the Top 25 players in the Big Ten.
There’s a lot of talk going on about the Penn State football team. It seems, most of the nation thinks the Nittany Lions are overrated and that their 8-1 record, including a perfect 5-0 clip in the Big Ten, is the product of a soft schedule. At the same time, many Penn State backers think their team is being disrespected and is underrated. To settle the issue, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina and BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart attacked the topic on e-mail. See the entire thread in this post.
Find out more about: Back And Forth
In Week 10 of the Big Ten football season we’re adding the audio for all 12 Big Ten coaches on the Big Ten Conference Tuesday teleconference with reporters as we do each and every week. Also, @B1Gfootball spotlights a tweet or three from each coach live on Twitter so follow them for updates from the conference.
Find out more about: Teleconferences
Week 8 of the NFL season is in the books, and Big Ten products compiled some impressive performances. All season long, use our Big Ten NFL Stat Tracker to see how ex-Big Ten stars performed each week. Simply click on a player’s name, and the link will lead you to his NFL.com game log. Every Tuesday, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances, plus links to their NFL.com highlights. Watch now as Russ Lande breaks down his latest draft board and see Brent’s Week 8 winners in this post.
Find out more about: Big Ten Pros
Another day, another Indiana receiver out of the picture. One day after Kevin Wilson dismissed Damarlo Belcher, the Hoosiers announced that Duwyce Wilson will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury (read the full AP story). It’s been a tough season for Indiana (1-8, 0-5) in its first year under its new coach, and it’s only going to get tougher the final three games. Wilson led the Hoosiers in touchdown grabs (3) and was third in receiving yards (217) despite playing in only six games.