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Week 8 preview: Will one of these matchups surprise?

Phillip Nelson

Nelson to Crawford-Tufts for TD

Next up in my super-early week-by-week preview of the 2013 Big Ten football schedule: Week 8. This is a week light on marquee matchups, with predicted Big Ten title contenders Michigan and Ohio State taking on Indiana and Iowa, respectively, and Nebraska and Penn State on byes. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 8 in this post.

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Ohio State's Tom Herman: 'We just keep plugging away'

Carlos Hyde

Tom Herman Film Session

Now comes the tough part for Ohio State: The encore to a 12-0 debut under Urban Meyer. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman knows his attack must continue to evolve if the Buckeyes are going to follow up last year’s wild success and fulfill grand expectations for 2013 that have some predicting OSU to go to the BCS title game.

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Debate It: 2013 Big Ten Quarterback of the Year?

Nov 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs for a first down in the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Braxton Miller 1 Yard Touchdown

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

In its short two-year existence, the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year has been very kind to its recipients. The inaugural winner, Russell Wilson, went on to have an All-Pro NFL rookie season, and last year’s winner, Braxton Miller, is a preseason Heisman Trophy favorite. Not bad, huh?

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Dienhart: Ranking 2013 Big Ten noncon schedules

Damon Bullock

James Morris With a Huge Pick

Schedule strength will become more vital beginning in 2014, when the four-team playoff is started. Why? Because a major component of the playoff team selection process figures to be schedule strength.

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Week 7 preview: It'll be a big one at Camp Randall

Chris Borland

Chris Borland leaping tackle

The 2013 football season may still be two-plus months away, but that won’t keep me from taking an (early) in-depth look at each and every week’s top matchups and storylines. Oh, and I’m also offering my rankings of every week’s slate of games. Up now: Week 7, highlighted by Northwestern’s trip to Wisconsin.

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Debate It: 2013 Defensive Player of the Year?

Penn State's Stephfon Green

Ryan Shazier Interception Touchdown

Here’s what we know: There will be no repeat winner for the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year. Last year’s winner, John Simon, is in the NFL, leaving a pool of worthy candidates to fight for the award now in its third year. Who’s the top candidate entering the season? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina discuss it in this post.

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