Every week during the football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 13 saw Wisconsin clinch the Leaders Division and a spot in the Big Ten title game. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
P4RB. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? It doesn’t mean anything to you. But it means everything to Michigan State. Its meaning: Prepare For the Rose Bowl. And it has become a motivating acronym for the Spartans in their improbable quest for the Big Ten championship and trip to Pasadena.
In the end, Ron Zook couldn’t make Illinois a consistent winner. So, the school announced today that it’s turning the page by firing him after seven seasons. The Zook era will be remembered for tremendous highs and lows, finishing with a 34-51 mark and two bowls. The zenith of his tenure was a trip to the Rose Bowl following the 2007 season, the program’s first junket to Pasadena since the 1983 season. That year, Illinois finished as Big Ten runners-up and knocked off an unbeaten Ohio State team on the road.
So, the stage is set. It will be Michigan State, representing the Legends Division, and Wisconsin, representing the Leaders Division, in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday in Indianapolis. The two teams met earlier this season, with the Spartans winning a last-second thriller on Oct. 22. To help preview the rematch, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart considers most important numbers for each team in this post.
Legends Division champ Michigan State comes in at No. 13 in the latest BCS Standings, released Sunday night. The Spartans pace five Big Ten teams in the poll, as No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 16 Michigan, No. 19 Nebraska and No. 21 Penn State represent the conference’s other ranked teams. As for the Big Ten getting two teams in the BCS, remember that a team must finish in the top 14 to earn an at-large bid. That could spell trouble for Michigan, which many thought would earn a bid following its win over Ohio State.
The votes are in, and our viewers selected Michigan’s 40-34 victory over rival Ohio State as the Big Ten Football Game of the Week. Catch a replay of the game at 9:30 p.m. ET Sunday. If you missed it Saturday, you want to catch the game this time around. The Wolverines had to hold on late to snap a record seven-game losing streak against their archrival, and it wasn’t easy. In the end, it was a case of too much Denard Robinson, who accounted for 337 yards and five touchdowns. Read BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s column from the game and watch it again tonight.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – None of the Michigan players were allowed to forget how many days had passes since the Wolverines last beat Ohio State. A countdown clock in the Michigan locker room screamed out the embarrassing fact: 2,926 days.