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.
The BCS race is getting a bit interesting, as Baylor has narrowed the gap—and I mean REALLY narrowed the gap as in .001 narrow—behind Ohio State.
Happy Football Friday! The analysis of the Michigan State at Nebraska game continues. Why not? It’s gonna be a great battle that essentially will determine the Legends Division race. But the latest injury news from Lincoln isn’t great, as the offensive line is banged up. Not good news for a Huskers team facing a terrific Spartans front.
It’s Thursday, and that means we are one day closer to Saturday, which means we are one day closer to the Michigan State at Nebraska game. Thank goodness! Let’s start links right there, shall we? Nebraska has a big task on Saturday trying to beat Michigan State. No doubt, big plays will be needed for the Cornhuskers to emerge victorious. But, big plays have been rare with Taylor Martinez out of the lineup.
The college hoop season opened last Friday, but it REALLY opened last night with that big double-header that featured No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan State. Let’s start daily links there. The Spartans delivered a nice salvo to the rest of the nation with their victory over the mighty Wildcats. What did the win mean? Well, it’s November, so not much. But MSU will become the No. 1 team in the nation. And, the victory showed the preseason hype is justified.
Well, this makes it official: The career of Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez apparently is over—according to his father. What a way to start Tuesday links. Martinez’s father, Casey Martinez, wrote in an email to the Associated Press on Monday night that said Taylor has a “debilitating injury” near the ball of his left foot that could take until February or March to heal fully. This is too bad. This was supposed to be Martinez’s senior season of glory, when it all came together as he led the Cornhuskers to the program’s first league title since 1999 and was a Heisman contender.
Another week is in the books. And, Ohio State’s prospects for reaching the BCS title game look better. Let’s begin daily links right there. It wasn’t a shock to see Ohio State ranked No. 3 in the BCS standings after Oregon lost to Stanford. But the biggest question: Can the Buckeyes get to Nos. 1 or 2?
It’s Football Friday. And, that’s always a good thing–except if you’re Oregon. Let’s start today’s links with opining about what the Ducks’ loss and Baylor’s win last night mean for Ohio State’s BCS title game hopes. Some interesting thoughts here.
It’s Tuesday. Not sure about the significance of Tuesday. There never really has been significance to Tuesday. So, let’s just jump right into daily links. The lack of quarterbacking heft in the Big Ten has been fairly well documented the last few years. But, in case you have forgotten, here is this little reminder: Davey O’Brien award announced its 16 semifinalists. And only one Big Ten quarterback made the cut: Ohio State’s Braxton Miller.
Happy Monday, Big Ten Nation! Time to start prepping for the big game this week: Nebraska at Michigan. Neither team can afford another loss in its pursuit of Michigan State in the Legends Division. What’s ironic is that a win by the Wolverines over the Huskers would be a big help to the Spartans. That would give Nebraska two league losses, the same as Michigan. MSU has none. So, will Mark Dantonio be cheering for the Wolverines on Saturday, when the Spartans are off?
November has arrived! And, that’s a beautiful thing. Because, well, you know the saying: The games to remember are played in November. Where to start today’s daily links? How about with this on Carlos Hyde? He has been a revelation since returning from a three-game suspension at the start of the season. Turns out, he wants to carve a spot for himself among the great Ohio State running backs.
I can’t wait to get to East Lansing for the Michigan-Michigan State game. I have been to the rivalry game before. But this year’s meeting appears to be a bit juicer than normal. Maybe it’s just me. Still, it sounds like the Michigan State game is personal for Michigan running back Fitz Toussaint.
Happy Tuesday! No doubt, the coaching offices at Minnesota still have to be filled with giddy Gophers assistants after that big win vs. Nebraska. Minnesota could get a lift in recruiting from the headline-making triumph on Saturday. Sure! It was a national story, and just the pick-me-up this program needed.