Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 20, 2015

You bet Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has an interest in the Michigan State at Ohio State game. His squad still has a shot to win the East. To do so, the Wolverines need to win at Penn State on Saturday, but they also need the Buckeyes to beat the Spartans tomorrow. That would set up a winner-take-all clash Nov. 28 in Ann Arbor for the East title.

The last time Ohio State and Michigan played in a game where any type of championship was decided was 2006 when both teams were undefeated and ranked No. 1 and No. 2 nationally. If the Spartans are going to leave Columbus with a win, the offense needs to pick it up.

Meanwhile, the great Mike Griffith of notes Michigan State returned seven offensive starters, including NFL prototype QB Connor Cook, from the most prolific unit school history, but the numbers haven't added up this season. The Spartans' scoring has dropped off from a school-record 43 points per game last season to 32.9 this season, while the average yardage per game has fallen from a 500.8-yard clip to 406.3 per outing. At this point of the season, MSU probably is what it is on offense, right? Can?t see much changing.

When it comes to slotting teams in playoff spots, schedule strength is a big factor. This piece does a good job breaking down schedule strength for the top teams. Ohio State?s schedule strength hasn?t been very good to date-but that?s about to change big-time. Look: Michigan State, Michigan, maybe the Big Ten title game vs. Iowa.

Anyone who plays Michigan State has to be wary of trick plays. Urban Meyer knows that.

During the weekly Ohio State coach's radio show on 97.1 The Fan on Thursday morning, Meyer said the Buckeyes have been preparing for Michigan State's trick plays. Meyer said Mark Dantonio has dialed up about 25 of them over the course of the past few seasons, including well-done fake field goals and fake punts. Keep this on your radar on Saturday afternoon.

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It looks like Illinois can scratch its top A.D. candidate from its wish list. Now what?


Upgrades to football facilities are taking place across the Big Ten. And Penn State is part of the action, with the Lasch Building getting an upgrade beginning in January.

The proposed work will see the expansion and reconfiguration of Lasch's locker room and shower areas, including the installation of themed graphics and branding. Renovations are also scheduled to the equipment room, fitting rooms and loading dock. The work follows first phase projects that included the installation of a nutrition bar for student-athletes and renovations to the football team auditorium and lobby. This is gonna be sweet.


Remember when Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis was a lightning rod for critics? Well, he has the Hawkeye attack flying, which is a big reason why Iowa is in the midst of a special season.

This is a balance attack. How balanced? 2,117 yards rushing and 2,097 passing.

"This year he has the tools he needs, and he has people he wants," wide receiver Tevaun Smith said. notes that Iowa presents a more diverse challenge than it did from 2012-14 now that multi-talented C.J. Beathard is the starting quarterback and four uniquely effective players are sharing time at running back. Iowa is averaging a Davis-era high 33.6 points, 421.4 yards and 22.1 first downs per game. Those are substantial upticks from Davis' first year of 2012 (19.3, 310.4, 17.4), when Iowa went 4-8.

Northwestern hasn?t had a lot of success at Wisconsin, where it plays this Saturday and hasn?t won since 2000.


Pretty cool to see Quinn Buckner getting inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. This guy had a career that is one of the all-time greatest.

Buckner was a three-year captain and one of the standouts on Indiana's unbeaten 1976 team that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this season. During Buckner's time at Indiana, the Hoosiers went 108-12, including 59-5 in Big Ten play. Both the 1974-75 and 1975-76 Indiana teams went 18-0 in Big Ten play.


Rutgers RB Paul James won?t apply for a sixth year of eligibility.

If James wanted a sixth year, Rutgers would have needed a documented injury during his redshirt year and then he would have had to apply for a hardship waiver for last season because he would have been on the cusp of the NCAA's cut-off point by playing in four games.




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