This week’s college football slate is nothing short of phenomenal: Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Florida, and West Virginia-Texas are among about a half dozen intriguing games. The Big Ten has its share of good ones, including a match-up of ranked teams in Columbus, as Nebraska visits Ohio State. It seems as good a place as any to jump into this week’s “Numbers.”
Let’s just say it isn’t a great year for Big Ten quarterbacks. In fact, according to David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the conference’s signal-callers are at the bottom of the barrel. In other headlines in my daily links, we look at stories on Ohio State’s improved linebacker play, Iowa’s defensive uptick, and a fascinating comparison of the Buckeye and Husker programs through the years. Let’s dive in.
On Wednesday night’s series premiere of “The Journey: Big Ten Football,” we profiled Michigan’s Denard Robinson, Ohio State’s John Simon and Penn State’s Michael Mauti. On the show, Mauti, Penn State’s standout linebacker, read the poem his mother gave him before he went to college.
You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my answers on when Northwestern and Purdue will start to get respect and how the Big Ten could fare this bowl season. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
In many respects, Michigan’s season starts now. The 2-2 non-conference record? The ugly losses to Alabama and Notre Dame? Forget about them.
Bo Pelini vs. Urban Meyer. The matchup has juicy possibilities this Saturday night when they square off at Ohio State. And the two have some history. Meyer was a Buckeye graduate assistant coach in 1986-87, which were Pelini’s first two years as an Ohio State defensive back. The two also have met three times as coaches, from 2005-07, when Pelini was LSU defensive coordinator and Meyer was Florida head coach. And Pelini’s teams went 3-1 against Meyer’s teams.
In the opening episode of “The Journey 2012” on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, learn what’s at stake for Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson during his senior year, and we also go back and find out more about his talents as a sprinter in high school. Also in the debut, meet Ohio State’s John Simon and see how his work ethic and toughness defines the Buckeyes defense and represents the values of his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. We also follow Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti and learn how this leader has kept the Penn State team focused and together.