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.
Pelini-gate is sweeping the nation, as a secret recording of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini surfaced yesterday. And, it wasn’t flattering to the Cornhusker boss. In addition to crude language, Pelini is heard disparaging Nebraska fans. The reactions have been interesting.
Got a case of Mondays? Well, a quick spin through my daily links may cure what ails you. Then again, maybe not. But, heck, why not give it a try? If it doesn’t work, you can always get back to doing your TPS reports.
This week’s schedule features four games vs. Pac-12 teams: UCLA at Nebraska; Ohio State at Cal; Wisconsin at Arizona State; Illinois vs. Washington at Chicago. But recent history tells us the Pac-12 should win these games.
Another day, another reason for Buckeyes fans to fret about possible potholes on the way to an unbeaten season. Should Ohio State fans be worried about Braxton Miller’s seeming inability to stay healthy? Miller has left six games with injuries since taking over in 2011. This is worrisome. Heck, he’s left both games early this season. Check out every instance by clicking here.
What a Monday to wake up and be Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner! They guy is the BMOC in Ann Arbor after that sensational performance vs. Notre Dame on Saturday night. Heck, he’ll be a BMOC for a while with his skills and this offense. Nick Baumgardner of Mlive.com says if Devin Gardner is on the money, the Wolverines’ offense knows no limits.
Happy Friday! Let’s all meet at Cha Chi’s after work for some potato zingers! OK, let’s not. But let’s at least take this time to discuss some Big Ten headlines, OK? If Michigan is going to beat Notre Dame, QB Devin Gardner has to have a good game. That mean he has to avoid the picks, of which he had two last week … vs. a directional school.
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
It’s good to be Pat Fitzgerald. He’s a hot, young coach whose program is on the rise as it’s ranked in 2013 coming off a 10-win season and the school’s first bowl victory since the 1948 season. If he was a stock, he’d have a “buy” rating. Now, he’s a whole lot richer, too.
Happy Wednesday! What’s that mean? Not Hump Day. Hope. It means we are one day closer to Saturday. And that’s a beautiful thing. And, looky here: It seems Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly is in full spin mode about this ND-Michigan rivalry stuff. Now, Kelly is open to renewing the school’s rivalry with Michigan, but commitments to play five ACC teams a year is an obstacle.
Be sure to tune in tonight for the next installment of “How The Quarterback Turns” at Michigan State, which opens vs. Western Michigan. Andrew Maxwell will start, but Connor Cook will play. And Cook wants to show he’s the guy. Heck—who knows?–all four Spartans quarterbacks may see action, along with a few guys from the stands.