Welcome to the calm before the storm of football Saturday. First up on my Friday links is a look at Michigan. I’m gonna go ahead and call the Wolverines’ game at Minnesota a must-win if they want to stay in the Legends Division race – just look at the standings. So, what is it that the Wolverines must do to defeat the Golden Gophers? Kyle Meinke of MLive.com tells us here.
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Among my other daily links from around the Big Ten, Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer got an exclusive interview with New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. You may have heard of him. In addition to being known for an iconic pose, Tebow once was a Heisman winning quarterback for Urban Meyer at Florida. Lesmerises talked to Tebow about a variety of subjects, including Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller. What advice would Tebow give Miller?
When it comes to biggest surprises of the 2012 season, the emergence of Philip Nelson as quarterback at Minnesota ranks right up there. Only one quarterback in the history of Golden Gopher football that has won the job as a true freshman and kept it for four seasons. That was Rickey Foggie. See what Foggie has to say about Nelson and check out other Big Ten news in my daily links.
Wisconsin is off this week. And that’s undoubtedly a good thing when you consider it needs to replace quarterback Joel Stave, who is out for eight weeks with a broken left collar bone suffered in the loss to Michigan State on Saturday. Read about what the Badgers are thinking and other hot topics in my daily links.
It’s Monday in late October, and I find myself typing about Indiana’s possibilities to win the Leaders Division and go to the Big Ten title game. Really. It’s all true and very possible for Kevin Wilson in his second season in Bloomington. Is this a great country or what?! Read all about that and other pertinent items in my daily links.
As we sit on the edge of Football Saturday, there’s lots of news to catch up on. I will be at the Michigan at Nebraska game, and the more I think about it, the more I realize the magnitude of this game for the Cornhuskers. A win over the Big Ten unbeaten Wolverines would push Nebraska into the driver’s seat in the Legends—and give the program a much-needed marquee win. In fact, it would be the biggest Big Ten victory for the Huskers.
Took a quick spin around the headlines this morning and here’s what I found. How can Michigan’s offense keep it going? What’s fueling Penn State’s attack? How worried are the Hawkeyes? And here comes that rematch. Let’s dive in.
In today’s batch of Big Ten Links, I open with a good look at Ohio State’s struggling defense, which allowed a combined 87 points the last two weeks. That’s no secret, and as Bill Rabinowitz writes today in the Columbus Dispatch, a big reason for the struggles is the lack of strong linebacker play. Attrition through transfers, injuries, and position switches has chipped away at the unit’s depth.
Nebraska plays at Northwestern this Saturday in Evanston, but that venue could change in the future. Why? Money. A lot of people could make a lot of it if Nebraska played Northwestern in venerable Wrigley Field. And, it could happen, according to Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald.
My first Big Ten Links of the weeks takes a look at how Wisconsin reloads on the offensive line. Losing star left tackle Ricky Wagner with a knee injury at Purdue hurts, but the Badgers front didn’t skip a beat with left guard Ryan Groy slipping into the spot. The result: Wisconsin ran for almost 500 yards on the Boilermakers.
Is there a conspiracy theory as to why Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti was snubbed by the Lombardi Award in the quarterfinal round of balloting? Or maybe it wasn’t a snub. Maybe it was just plain, good old incompetence. David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News explores as only David Jones can. That’s one of the many Big Ten Links I present to you on this wonderful Friday.
The Wisconsin offense appears to perhaps be turning a corner after some early season tumult that saw the offensive line coach fired and the staff make a quarterback change. There have been many keys to the slow ascent. One key: quarterback Joel Stave is given the option to “tweak” plays—not necessarily totally change them—at the line based on the defense he sees.
We take a look at stories on one offensive line and one defensive line in today’s installment of Big Ten Links. Also, Urban Meyer is keeping an eye on the AP poll while Illinois fans are taking a long, hard look at Tim Beckman. One longtime Big Ten writer breaks out some wild stats from the season so far while another continues to grade the units at Penn State. Let’s get to the roundup of stories in this post.
Some strong opinions are emanating from Nebraska after that 63-38 loss at Ohio State. Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald thinks Bo Pelini needs to shake up things. Big Ten writers are covering a number of other stories today, including a disappointing showing by Illinios, an Ohio State team apparently ahead of schedule, and a Penn State team that has shown real resilience. Read it all in Monday edition of Big Ten Links.
Let’s just say it isn’t a great year for Big Ten quarterbacks. In fact, according to David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the conference’s signal-callers are at the bottom of the barrel. In other headlines in my daily links, we look at stories on Ohio State’s improved linebacker play, Iowa’s defensive uptick, and a fascinating comparison of the Buckeye and Husker programs through the years. Let’s dive in.
Bo Pelini vs. Urban Meyer. The matchup has juicy possibilities this Saturday night when they square off at Ohio State. And the two have some history. Meyer was a Buckeye graduate assistant coach in 1986-87, which were Pelini’s first two years as an Ohio State defensive back. The two also have met three times as coaches, from 2005-07, when Pelini was LSU defensive coordinator and Meyer was Florida head coach. And Pelini’s teams went 3-1 against Meyer’s teams.
The great Pat Harty of the Iowa City Press-Citizen takes the temperature of the Big Ten race. Did you see that video of Iowa players celebrating Saturday? Urban Meyer says Ohio State did nothing wrong with that game film. And at 0-1 in the Big Ten, Wisconsin seems to be in familiar territory. We take a look at those stories and more in today’s Big Ten Links.
Nebraska’s 30-27 win over Wisconsin offers much to build on, but there also remains a lot to fix following the 17-point comeback, according to the great Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald. The Cornhuskers may not have fallen behind and struggled early against the Badgers if they cut down turnovers and limit penalties. There will be little room for error in the game at Ohio State this Saturday in what shapes up as the latest “Game of the Year” in the Big Ten. Read more Big Ten links in the rest of my post.
The Gophers can thank one specific unit for their early rise this season. Wisconsin has a new face in the backfield and he looks electric. Penn State does something interesting with their offensive lineman each week, and the Wisconsin-Nebraska game is becoming a new rivalry. And where is Nebraska looking when it comes to finding a new athletic director? Read about all of this and more in today’s Big Ten links.
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Are the scheduling gods against Penn State? Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror thinks that may be the case. The Nittany Lions are starting Big Ten play on the road for the third consecutive years and seventh time in nine years. Conversely, Ohio State has started Big Ten play with a home game 14 times in the last 20 years.