Happy Football Friday! Let’s not waste any time, OK? Let’s dig right into some of the Big Ten news that’s making ripples from Lincoln to State College—and all points in between. This caught my attention: Urban Meyer offers a midterm report card for his 6-0 team. There obviously are many areas that get good marks. The areas of concern?
It’s Wednesday, Hump Day. And, it seems Michigan Nation is still aflame over the loss at Penn State. The analysis and problem-solving boils. Brady Hoke said it. We all know it: Devin Gardner can’t carry the ball 27 times a game. Gardner actually ran it 24 times at Penn State. And when he ran it, Michigan had some success. When he didn’t run, the offense—well, it stunk. So, that’s the conundrum.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
So much happened on Saturday. Where do we start with daily links? How about here, with a look at a Northwestern season that began with such promise but now is filled with questions after two losses in a row. That’s what happens when you play back-to-back games vs. arguably the Big Ten’s best teams–and not Illinois and Purdue, like Nebraska. Still, the Wildcat defeat at Wisconsin was particularly disturbing.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald has watched a lot of Big Ten football so far this season. He also has watched a lot of football during his illustrious career as a writer. And he has come to this conclusion: The quarterback play in the Big Ten in 2013 has been disappointing so far. I’m certainly not going to argue with him. In fact, the quarterback play in the Big Ten hasn’t been that good for years.
This should get your attention on a Tuesday morning in early October. Interesting meetings going on at Big Ten headquarters, where league officials and conference athletic directors are discussing a possible football federation.
Ohio State sent a big message on Saturday with an impressive comeback win at Northwestern. Well, Michigan State also sent a message with its big victory at Iowa that was sparked by a resurgent offense. Here, I’ll let Spartan receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr., deliver the message for the Legends Division: “We’re coming at you.”
Happy Friday, Big Ten Nation! It’s great to be alive on the eve of game day Saturday. And, isn’t it good not to be one of those officials who worked last nights’ Texas-Iowa State game? Let’s dig right into links. The great Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com has his first BCS rankings out, and Ohio State fans won’t be happy. The Buckeyes are—gulp—No. 6.
It’s Hump Day! If you are into celebrating things like that, enjoy it. Me? I am celebrating the fact that we are one day closer to the Ohio State at Northwestern game. And that’s a good thing. More good news: It came out yesterday that the Wildcats will have the services of running back Venric Mark, who has missed most of this season with an injury.
Another week, another round of quarterback uncertainty for Nebraska. Taylor Martinez missed the Huskers’ last game with a toe injury. They didn’t need him in an easy win over South Dakota State. Coming off a bye week, Martinez’s status is still balky for this Saturday’s visit from Illinois.
Good Monday morning, America! Grab your Big Gulp and something under the heat lamp on a roller. There’s a lot to get through today and this week.
Among the latest Big Ten headlines: This pay-for-play argument in college athletics won’t go away. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany discusses the issue here, and Delany makes many good points. I just don’t know where all of this is going. Part of me wants to see players get compensated—but I think the only players who should are ones in revenue-generating sports: football and men’s basketball.
It wasn’t long ago when many felt Penn State would be an afterthought for a decade after severe NCAA sanctions were handed down. Well, news that the NCAA was going to ease scholarship limitations initially in place as part of penalties for the Jerry Sandusky scandal means that notion already may be antiquated.
Heeeeee’sssss baaaaccckkk! Ohio State superman Braxton Miller has been cleared to play Saturday vs. Wisconsin. If he practices well this week, he’ll start, says Urban Meyer. Miller’s timing is great, as Ohio State has a big game vs. Wisconsin on Saturday in Columbus. Miller has missed the last two-plus games with a MCL injury to his left knee. In fact, he’s played just one series in the last three games.
Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
Let the hype begin on this week’s Wisconsin at Ohio State game! It’s a massive showdown in the Leaders Division. In fact, let’s go ahead and call it what it is, OK? A de facto Leaders Division championship game. That’s correct: The winner of this game almost assuredly will win the division and advance to the Big Ten title game to play who knows who?
Happy Friday, Big Ten Nation! Game day almost is here. Don’t you love those words? Sure you do! Let’s start here with daily links. The last two seasons, Michigan has had issues with turnovers in its first road game. How bad has it been? Michigan has 16 turnovers in five recent road losses. Will those issues persist with this year’s maiden voyage away Ann Arbor, at UConn this Saturday?
Game day is drawing near. Thank goodness, as the Big Ten needs to get back onto the field after last Saturday’s disappointing 7-5 mark. Michigan State has the headliner game, as it travels to Notre Dame with the nation’s No. 1 defense that coordinator Pat Narduzzi calls “average.” If the Spartans defense is average, I’d like to see good. But, Narduzzi may have a point. After all, the combined record of Michigan State’s first three opponents against FBS competition is 0-7.
We all know Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had a bad game vs. Akron. Brady Hoke’s advice: move forward. Well, that’s often easier said than done. I have to think Gardner has some self-doubt in his mind. And, the only way to get over it is to have some turnover-free games—starting with Saturday’s visit to UConn.