The Leaders representative in Indy has been decided. Now, over the next two weeks, Nebraska and Michigan will battle it out to see who represents the Legends.
It’s November, and, just as we all predicted at the outset of the season, the most intriguing game in the conference in Week 11 pits Indiana against Wisconsin. Ok, no one actually predicted that. In fact, even though it’s now a reality, not everyone is actually admitting it. Said Indiana coach Kevin Wilson, “This isn’t a big game. If it was, we wouldn’t be 4-5 and we wouldn’t be playing at 12 o’clock.”
November is upon us. It used to be the month when championships were decided. How very 2010. Now, it’s the month when spots in the Championship Game are decided. All in the name of progress…
Last week generated some seriously thrilling endings in the Big Ten: Nebraska’s program record-tying fourth-quarter comeback against Northwestern; Michigan’s game-winning field goal in the waning seconds to end a four game skid against Michigan State; and Navy’s come-from-behind win over Indiana.
Week 8 in the Big Ten is chock full of intriguing games. Michigan-Michigan State has arguably been the most talked-about rivalry in the conference over the last five years – from Mike Hart’s “little brother” quip in 2007 all the way through the early-season derogatory comments about Denard Robinson on Twitter by some Michigan State players this season. I can’t wait to get it going Saturday at 3:30 ET on BTN/BTN2Go.
Is it me, or has this Urban Meyer fellow had a bit of an impact at Ohio State? I know there are still some issues with this team – a bit too reliant on Braxton Miller, a tad shaky at times on defense – but that was still a pretty impressive performance on Saturday night. I really thought going into the game that you could construct an argument that Nebraska was the best team in the Big Ten. I thought wrong.
This week’s college football slate is nothing short of phenomenal: Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Florida, and West Virginia-Texas are among about a half dozen intriguing games. The Big Ten has its share of good ones, including a match-up of ranked teams in Columbus, as Nebraska visits Ohio State. It seems as good a place as any to jump into this week’s “Numbers.”
Conference play is here – and not a moment too soon. I don’t say that for the reasons you might think (though I’m certainly not complaining about not having to discuss which game this weekend is most important for the Big Ten’s national reputation).
Last week, I opened the column by dwelling on the negative. Not happening this week. We’re starting with the positive – the Big Ten’s three unbeaten teams.
Wow. Last week didn’t go so well. It was a not a pretty scene, as we sat, mouths agape, in the BTN green room and watched the Big Ten Conference suffer through a difficult Saturday. And that wasn’t just because Gerry DiNardo was drooling. Sorry, too easy. Not true. Though he did pull out his ubiquitous hankie a few times.
While there’s always a certain excitement surrounding opening weekend, last week’s slate in the Big Ten left quite a bit to be desired. Outside of Michigan’s match-up with Alabama and Michigan State’s battle with Boise State, very few of the games elicited much in the way of excitement. That is far from the case in Week 2, where I’d venture to say as many as eight or nine games carry a fairly significant level of intrigue.
The biggest number at the BTN offices today is 5 – as in our five-year anniversary. The years have flown by – though some of the days have been a bit arduous. That’s the nature of any kind of new venture. I was reflecting this morning on my first meeting with the BTN people. Frankly, I wasn’t sure how interested I was. I really didn’t understand what it was going to be.