The stretch drive of the season is entering a higher gear with two big matchups on tap in what looks like the best collection of games yet in 2011. The headliner is Michigan State at Nebraska in a key game that will determine pecking order in the Legends Division. The other tilt to watch is a big Leaders Division battle between Wisconsin at Ohio State. The Buckeyes are coming off an off week rested, ready and perhaps with a few new wrinkles. How will the Badgers respond coming off their first loss of the season? Come tell me in the comments box below, or drop me a note in my BTN.com mailbag.
Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and yet again Big Ten products left their mark. 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. See Brent’s Week 7 winners inside.
Find out more about: Big Ten Pros
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Prior to the 2011 college football season, the Big Ten announced the creation of 18 new trophies, including two for the new Big Ten Championship Game and two for postgraduate awards. Each trophy honors the Big Ten’s rich history, with two Big Ten legends’ last names on it (i.e. Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year).
The Big Ten Conference announced its Week 8 Big Ten Football Players of the Week on Monday. Six players earned honors, including Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw the game-winning Haily Mary touchdown pass to Keith Nichol in Saturday night’s upset of then-No. 6 and perfect Wisconsin. Watch the highlights from the Spartans’ thrilling victory now and see all the conference’s award winners in this post.
The nation still is buzzing about Michigan State’s electric victory over Wisconsin that shook up the national title picture. But Week 8 also saw some saw quarterbacks emerge at Indiana, Penn State and Purdue. It also featured Iowa and Nebraska take care of business and show they still mean business in the Legends Division.
Find out more about: What Tom Learned
Wisconsin’s loss at Michigan State likely cost it a shot at playing in the BCS title game. It also cost the Badgers a spot in the Rose Bowl—for now. And the Big Ten may be in peril of having to settle for just one BCS bowl slot, which hasn’t happened since the 2004 season. Here’s what we know for sure: Indiana already has been eliminated from bowl contention. Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota have work to do to get into postseason position. The others will continue to jockey for position. See how BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart slots the Big Ten teams in bowl games after eight weeks of the season in this post.
Find out more about: Bowl projections
How surprised were you by the outcome of the Wisconsin-Michigan State on Saturday? It was a thriller of an ending that had Spartans fans thrilled and Badgers fans bummed. Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle describe their reactions to the game on tonight’s Big Ten Pulse. Also, let’s make some sense out of the latest BCS standings. And Keith Nichol, the Spartan everyone was talking about Saturday night, joins us for an interview to talk about his big catch. Our “Who Ya Got?” segment includes these vital questions: Who had the better touchdown run? And who has the worst chest bump? Follow The Pulse on Twitter @BTNThePulse and watch the show tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.