November is here, and the Big Ten races are officially the most convoluted mess I’ve ever seen. Actually, I’m not sure there are official stats for that kind of thing – but, suffice to say, I didn’t see this coming. No fewer than eight teams head into the final month of the regular season with a shot at playing in Indy on Dec. 3. Crazy.
It hasn’t taken Greg Mattison long to revive the Michigan defense. And that’s a major reason why the Wolverines are in the thick of the Legends Division race as they travel to Iowa for a big game Saturday (noon ET, BTN). Defense had been a dirty word in Ann Arbor under the Rich Rodriguez regime the past three seasons. In 2010, Michigan hit a nadir, ranking last in the Big Ten in total defense (450.8 ypg), scoring defense (35.2 ppg) and pass defense (261.9 ypg). One year later, those numbers are now: 340.6, 15.3 and 196.3.
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Tonight on Tailgate 48, we show you what our crew did last Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, other than attend Ohio State’s thrilling last-minute victory over Wisconsin. Tune in at 7 p.m. ET to see us interview Craig Krenzel, the quarterback of the 2002 Ohio State national championship team, and Archie Griffin, the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner. We also catch up with Ohio State hoops star William Buford to check in on the third-ranked Buckeyes before the season tips off. See everything we’ll feature on the show in this post.
Our live Thursday show kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and it’s full of opinions from our experts and our TV Views. For instance, we’re asking you to vote for your play of the week, breakthrough player of the week, the most intriguing match-up, and much more. Plus, if you’re on Twitter, we use your tweets on the air. Tweet to @BTNLive any day or night or use hashtag #BTNLive to get you tweet considered. And dive down into this post or our weekly poll questions!
Have a Big Ten football question you want answered? I’m Tom Dienhart and I want you to fire off an email to me. This is a great place for us to interact, sharing our passion for all things Big Ten as the season prepares to hit the home stretch. This week, there were many good questions—as usual—but there was a theme in many emails that I received, asking: What are the tiebreakers to determine division champs? I address that, as well as—get this—a BASKETBALL question. Really.
On Wednesday’s Big Ten Football & Beyond, at 7 p.m. ET, Dave Revsine and the usual cast of characters will discuss how divisions have changed the Big Ten, offer the latest news on realignment, evaluate how the conference’s four new head coaches have done and give nonconference scouting reports on Boise State and South Carolina. Following Beyond, at 8, don’t miss Purdue hosting Illinois in live volleyball action.
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.