While the Big Ten took its lumps last week in going 6-6, it has a great chance to get healthy this Saturday with a collection of games against largely inferior foes that all will take place in Big Ten venues. Without a doubt, the marquee matchup is Notre Dame at Michigan State. And Cal at Ohio State could be decent. After that, it’s a mixed lot.
The Heisman race still has a long way to go, but contenders already are jockeying for position. I have had a Heisman vote for over 10 years, and I am keeping my eye on players like USC quarterback Matt Barkley, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas, among others.
What a difference a season makes. This time last year it all seemed so clear – Michigan and Indiana were to battle it out for Big Ten honors. The Wolverines looked fresh from a memorable journey to the College Cup, where they lost out to eventual winners Akron in the final four. The Hoosiers had that calm, composed, yet confident feel to their program preseason.
Let me start this by saying we’re only two weeks into the college football season. Admittedly, that’s a very small sample size. But in the first two weeks – one good, one bad – there have been many surprises in the Big Ten.
The season is still in its infancy, so the bowl picture remains lucid. Very lucid. The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—and it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012.
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