Time for today’s top Big Ten stories. Let’s start in cold and snowy Wisconsin, where the end to the Badgers’ football season has sent a chill down the spins of many fans. Wisconsin ended the season with consecutive losses to Penn State and South Carolina, as a season with BCS promise melted into a disappointing finish. Does a 9-4 record and bowl loss equal a successful season for Wisconsin?
Great win for Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, as the Spartans punctuated a 13-1 season with a dominating 24-20 triumph over Stanford in the 100th “Granddaddy of them All.” What’s next for the Spartans? A national championship run, of course. Hey, it could happen.
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News flash: The Ohio State defense has holes, but Urban Meyer thinks coordinator Luke Fickell can fill them. We shall see. A big Orange Bowl clash vs. Clemson and its high-flying offense looms on Friday. I am expecting a shootout. How can the Buckeye defense be fixed in a few weeks? Exactly. It can’t.
December in Pennsylvania has come to mean two things: 1. The holidays; 2. Bill O’Brien speculation. So, let’s start daily link there. David Jones of Pennlive.com takes a look at the annual O’Brien-to-the-NFL chatter.
Iowa’s senior trio of linebackers James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens has a chance to go out with a bang in the Outback Bowl vs. LSU. But let’s take a peak toward 2014 as we kick off daily links: Who will replace the three stalwarts?
Let’s start daily links here with Ohio State’s Braxton Miller winning the Silver Football from the Chicago Tribune as the Big Ten MVP. Not a big surprise but still impressive when you consider he missed almost three games with a knee injury. Had Miller posted big numbers in a win over Michigan State in the Big Ten title game, I think he would have been a Heisman finalist.
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USA Today has its All-American Team out. So, let’s start daily links there. Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard are the lone first-team choices from the Big Ten. Funny, wasn’t Wisconsin linebacker the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year? Borland was on the second team with Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien. Lewan? Really? He was one of the 10 best offensive linemen in America this season? Talk amongst yourself.
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Let’s start daily links with this bit of good news: Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi has won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant. This was a no-brainer, really.
The Big Ten championship game is just two days away. Should be a good one. And the one matchup we all anticipate is the clash between the Ohio State offense and Michigan State defense. How will the Spartans defend the killer 1-2 rushing duo of Braxton Miller-Carlos Hyde?
The Big Ten handed out its top individual awards. Not many shockers, but I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised that Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier lost out on Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors to Wisconsin’s Chris Borland.
The Big Ten came out with its all-league teams. And, as you would suspect, some of the choices raised eyebrows. So, let’s start daily links there. I love Wisconsin’s Chris Borland, who was picked as the league’s top linebacker. But Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier had better numbers. Production should mean something, right?
Big Ten championship game week is here! So, let’s kick off Monday’s link with a quick look back at that wild Ohio State-Michigan game. There was a lot to like for Ohio State in its 42-41 win at Michigan. But, alas, that ugly pass defense reared its head again. OSU allowed 451 yards passing and 603 overall.
We are a day closer to “The Game.” And, there is a lot on the line for each team. So, let’s start these pre-Thanksgiving links here. For Ohio State and its quest to reach the BCS title game, it must beat Michigan and then topple Michigan State in the Big Ten title game while hoping Alabama or Florida State loses down the stretch.
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It’s Tuesday, two days until Thanksgiving. Until then, feast on a Heisman race that got turned sideways last Saturday with losses by Texas A&M (Johnny Manziel), Baylor (Bryce Petty) and Oregon (Marcus Mariota). And Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has a potentially murky future due to legal issues. Could Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller get back into the race?
Where to start Friday’s links? How about with this story on Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory? Sure. The junior-college transfer leads the Big Ten with 8.5 sacks. Has newcomer made a bigger impact in the Big Ten this season? Well, you could make a case for a guy he’ll play this Saturday in Penn State’s true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Still, Gregory has had just as much impact in his own way.
This is a good place to start Thursday links. USAToday has a Playoff Projection it conducts each week, with media panelists from across the nation taking part in selecting a mock playoff field. And, this week, it has Baylor as the No. 3 seed ahead of Ohio State.
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Let’s begin Wednesday’s links with a salute to an awesome triumvirate of Iowa linebackers. This Saturday vs. Michigan will be the final game in Kinnick Stadium for Hawkeye seniors James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens. What a trio it has been, says Rick Brown of HawkCentral.com. I agree. And you should, too.
So many good running backs to choose from, so few spots on the all-conference team to fill. That’s the conundrum that Lee Barfknecht of Omaha.com is dealing with. I feel his pain. So, let’s start daily links there. Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah gets one spot. The other? That’s a toughie. Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde? Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon or James White? Minnesota’s David Cobb? Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford? Indiana’s Tevin Coleman? So difficult.