Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 3, 2014

It?s Michigan State-Ohio State week! Finally. This is a game people have been talking about for months! Now, these 7-1 teams will lock horns for supremacy in the East-as well as the winner positioning itself for a playoff spot. It doesn?t get any bigger.

Urban Meyer says the best prepared team will win.

Wrong. The team with the best players who make the biggest plays will win. This isn?t about coaching, as both head coaches and staffs are tremendous. It?s about players making plays.

ESPN?s College Game Day will be in East Lansing, giving the game an official seal of ?big game? approval.


Michigan made waves when it planted a stake into Michigan State?s field last month. But Wolverines LB Joe Bolden says the incident was misunderstood and was only a ploy to motivate teammates. Well, the ploy failed ? miserably.

"I think it was a misunderstanding," Bolden said Saturday. "I love my team, I love my guys and I wanted to motivate them.

"That's what it was for."


The losses keep mounting for Penn State. That?s four in a row after a 4-0 start. But here comes Indiana, which may be just what cures an ailing, victory-starved Nittany Lions squad.

Indiana was dusted 34-10 by Michigan Saturday at Michigan Stadium as the Wolverines held the Hoosiers to 10 first downs and only 24 passing yards. The Indiana defense gave up 184 rushing yards to Michigan. Add it all up, and this information has to make PSU smile.

*** columnist Steve Politi had no problem with no-show fans at the Wisconsin at Rutgers game. The weather was terrible. And the Scarlet Knights weren?t much better, dampening hopes vs. the Badgers with blowout losses in the two games leading up to the Badgers? visit. Give it time, RU. Building fan loyalty regardless of circumstances will come with consistency on the field.


Nebraska is off this week, but it has work to do coming off a less-than-scintillating effort vs. Purdue.

The great Tom Shatel of notes that Nebraska is 8-1 for only the second time since 2001 and the first time since the 2010 season. But after nine games - especially the ninth game - Shatel is back to where we started with the analysis of this bunch.

The Huskers have championship talent. But not nearly enough championship execution. The question is, can the playmaking outweigh the sloppy play? Can the Huskers ?talent? their way to a Big Ten title? Not without Ameer Abdullah, who strained a knee vs. Purdue, they can?t. NU is off this week, giving the star extra time to get better for that big game at Wisconsin on Nov. 15.


Northwestern?s loss at Iowa? It was rock-bottom for the Wildcats. At least that?s what the gang at thinks. And, they may be correct.

The guys believe in Fitz's ability as a recruiter. does believe that the level of talent on this roster has increased and will continue to increase. But why is there no optimism? ?Because right now, it's impossible to trust these coaches to adapt, grow with, and take advantage of that increase. In the current system, under the current coaching staff, those marginal increases won't pay significant enough dividends.?

An interesting take, for sure.


Exhibition hoop games are underway! And Purdue looked good in its opener in what is a big season for Matt Painter?s program. But with so many new faces and a new style, big success may be elusive. Still, this should be a fun season in West Lafayette.


Iowa also took the lid off of its exhibition season.


Good column from Gregg Doyel of the on Indiana hoops. Do the Hoosiers dig Tom Crean enough to stop screwing up?

What's happening on the Indiana basketball team, on Crean's basketball team, has to stop, says Doyel. Or this can't be Crean's team anymore. After what happened this weekend when one IU player, freshman forward Emmitt Holt, seriously injured another — Davis, a sophomore forward from Warren Central — after drinking underage and driving, Doyel says IU basketball needs to enter the realm of Zero Tolerance 2.0.