Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 11, 2015

It was nice to see Iowa ascend to No. 5 in the recent CFP poll. The committee finally realized that the Hawkeyes have a pretty good resume that has included a good home win vs. Pitt and road victories vs. ranked Wisconsin and Northwestern teams. Honestly, I think Iowa?s resume is better than Ohio State?s, which his No. 3 in the poll.


Yes, Michigan State fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week after losing at Nebraska. But the Spartans still control their own destiny in the Big Ten East. So, don?t be sad, Sparty. You goals are still attainable.

MSU wants to put the 39-38 defeat to the Cornhuskers in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible with Maryland headed to Spartan Stadium for a noon game this Saturday.

"We're going to bounce back, I can assure you of that," said Riley Bullough. "We're going to have a great week of practice, we're going to play our tails off, and we're going to control our own destiny if we win the East (Division) and the (Big Ten) championship."

To reach those goals, the defense needs to improve-a lot.


You may not have noticed, but Wisconsin wideout Alex Erickson is having one heck of a season.

He has 58 catches for 748 yards and three TDs, giving the Badgers a down-field threat that is much-needed. Where would this offense be without Erickson?


Yes, Indiana got beat by Iowa on Saturday. But RB Jordan Howard did his part. The guy is good.

And despite racking up 961 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games, Howard tells that he isn't satisfied.

"I want to prove I can play in this conference," he said. "I still have to prove myself because I missed a couple of games."

Howard's ability to bounce back has been crucial for IU, even though the Hoosiers are 0-2 since his return from an injury. Howard has been a key component of the team's ability to play some of the nation's top programs close.


Quarterback isn?t the only position at Ohio State with drama. So is wide receiver, where depth is so thin that defensive back Vonn Bell has volunteered to help.

How bad is it? Five of the team?s top nine wideouts are out.

Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall, Braxton Miller and Curtis Samuel are healthy.

Noah Brown, Corey Smith, Dontre Wilson, Johnnie Dixon and Parris Campbell are not.

"It's been devastating," receivers coach Zach Smith said earlier this week. "But at the same time, we're in a position that we lost five of our top nine wideouts and at most schools, probably every school in the country, that would be disabling. For us, we have such depth and so much confidence in the guys that are healthy right now that we haven't missed a beat."


Penn State has a well-deserved bye this week. With a chance to reflect, Bob Flounders of takes a look at five plays that have shaped the Nittany Lions? season.

No. 1 on the list: Christian Hackenberg?s third-quarter interception at Temple that seemed to doom the Nittany Lions in a season-opening loss. Hack has played much better since.


The great Tom Shatel of thinks Nebraska should take a bowl bid if offered one as a 5-7 team. It could happen. With 80 bowl teams needed for 40 bowls, it?s doubtful there will be enough 6-6 or better teams available to fill all the slots. I wonder when a 4-8 record will become acceptable to go to a bowl. At what point do they stop being ?bowls? and become just a 13th game?

Did I just type that?


Get caught up on Iowa grid with the always good and always informative ?On Iowa? podcast from Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.


I included this because, well, it?s just cool: A view of Michigan Stadium from the gun turret of a World War II bomber.

Yankee Air Museum pilots flew a B-25 and B-17 over Michigan Stadium following the National Anthem as part of the University of Michigan's Military Appreciation Game against Rutgers on Saturday.

*** has a nice two-part Q&A with Chris Collins.

In the Q&A, Collins discussed Northwestern's revamped roster, how the college game might be different this year due to rule changes, and the non-conference schedule. In part two, Collins speaks on the contract extension he signed in the offseason, what he's learned through three years of being a head coach and the impact of new facilities on Northwestern's brand. You have to like the direction of this program.


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