Big Ten Big Revenue

Posted on May 31, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten revenue jumps…

May 20, 2016

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Business is booming for the Big Ten or should we say CHA-CHING$$$

statefarm1According to tax records obtained by USA Today, the Big Ten had a significant revenue increase – nearly $110 million – during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 – WHEW! Overall, the conference brought in $448.8 million in total revenue, which divvies up to “roughly $32.4 million to each of its longest-standing 11 members.”

Not too shabby. By comparison, during the same time frame, the SEC brought in $527.4 million to distribute to its 14 members.

The introduction of the College Football Playoff also undoubtedly played a role in the increased revenue.

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From USA Today:

The Big Ten annually provides a figure for what it terms “Sports Revenue.” Based on the way the conference categorizes other revenue streams, “Sports Revenue” includes — but is not exclusively comprised of — TV revenue and revenue from football bowl games.

The conference reported about $317 million in “Sports Revenue” in fiscal 2014 and almost $397 million in 2015 — an $80 million difference. Based on reports from other conferences that approximate their bowl revenue increases from the CFP, it is likely that $50 million to $60 million of the Big Ten’s “Sports Revenue” increase is attributable to the TV rights fee increases that resulted from adding Maryland and Rutgers.

In addition,  the Big Ten is working toward a new TV deal. SportsBusiness Journal reported last month that the conference is nearing a $250 million per year agreement with Fox (which owns 51% of Big Ten Network) that would span six years.

The reported deal with Fox, which is said to have outbid ESPN by a significant margin, would cover just half of the league’s overall package. Whether ESPN gets back in the mix for the Big Ten’s remaining media rights (as John Skipper says it wants to) remains to be seen.

For more visit SportsBusiness Journal.

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BIG Ten Week 12

Posted on November 22, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 12… in a word W-O-W!

November 22, 2015

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Michigan State 17, Ohio State 14

THIS IS SPARTA!!!!

Going into this game, it wasn’t a secret: Ohio State had this one circled on its calendars as the one that truly mattered.

But so did Michigan State, as they knocked off top ranked conference foe, 17-14, Saturday afternoon.

As expected, things came down to one play a the end of the game… kicker Michael Geiger with 3 seconds remaining, the score tied and the early winter wind whipping and from 41-yards out… it’s G-O-O-D!!!

This win was even more unlikely than the stirring finish at Michigan last month, considering the Spartans survived without their best player — quarterback Connor Cook, who sat out the game with a shoulder injury.

Dantonio rotated backups Tyler O’Connor and Damion Terry with an offensive play-calling strategy borrowed from 1973. No mystery. No deception. Just simple, physical football with the tougher team at the point of attack persevering.

Ohio State’s offense only managed a meager 132 yards and five first downs Saturday. A refusal to open the playbook and take some shots down the field prevented Ezekiel Elliott, a Heisman contender, and quarterback J.T. Barrett much room to run all afternoon.

A driving rainstorm coupled with dropping temperatures didn’t help either, but once the heavens closed and the precipitation halted, nothing changed.

“I think people are still unsure of what we got and this is a statement game,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said Wednesday after practice. “It’s a game we’ve been waiting for all season and it’s a game against what other people will recognize as good competition.”

Michigan State is now one victory next Saturday against Penn State away from winning its third Big Ten divisional title in the last five seasons.

But the probable elimination of Ohio State from defending its championship might also put the Big Ten at risk of not getting its champion in the playoff — if the choice is between the Spartans or Iowa, and a potential one-loss Notre Dame or one-loss Oklahoma.

“I’ve been down this road before, where you do good,” Urban Meyer said. “I just love the group of guys down there. And we have to do better.”

Big props to Michigan State. The Spartans deserved this win. No flukes. No controversies. Just an old-fashioned physical whipping that went against common sense.
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Iowa 40, Purdue 20

The Hawkeyes topped the Boilermakers on Saturday and, more importantly, locked up the Big Ten West and a spot in the conference title game.

C.J. Beathard had an efficient outing, going 12 of 20 for 213 yards and three scores. Senior tight end Henry Krieger Coble was his favorite target, hauling in four passes for 76 yards and a score. Jordan Canzeri rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown while LeShun Daniels added two scores of his own.

Boilermaker quarterback Austin Appleby threw for 259 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Markell Jones added 87 yards and a score. DeAngelo Yancey led all receivers with nine receptions for 117 yards.

The Hawkeyes will travel to Lincoln and square off against the Huskers on Black Friday. On Saturday they’ll get to see how things transpire in the East as they wait to find out who their opponent will be in Indy.

 

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Michigan 28, Penn State 16

The Wolverines were able to find the endzone in each of the game’s four quarters as Jim Harbaugh handed James Franklin his fourth loss of the season. Penn State’s offense barely surpassed the 200 total-yard mark and they could only manage six second-half points as they fell short in Happy Valley.

Jake Rudock completed 25 of 38 passes and connected with Jake Butt and Amara Darboh for touchdowns through the air. Jehu Chesson led the Wolverines pass-catchers with 69 receiving yards on the day. Tight end Jake Butt added 66 yards and a score. De’Veon Smith led the Michigan ground attack, though he could only manage 39 yards on 13 carries. Smith also added a fourth-quarter touchdown that would end up being the nail in the coffin for the Nits.

Jim Harbaugh wasn’t happy with the officiating; ripping his jacket off as if he were preparing for a Monday Night Raw appearance.

It was another typical performance for Christian Hackenberg. The junior continues to hold onto the football too long and and constantly misses wide open receivers. The Nittany Lion offensive line was awful yet again, so that certainly didn’t help things. Hackenberg ended the day 13 of 31 for 137 yards and a score. Freshman tailback Saquon Barkley got off to a good start with a 56-yard scamper on the second play of the game. Things didn’t go so well from there, as he could only manage 68 yards in the game.

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Northwestern 13, Wisconsin 7

The Badgers thought they had scored the game-winning touchdown with just seconds left on the clock, but the officials reviewed the play and ruled that Wisconsin wideout Jazz Peavy didn’t have possession; a call that many are questioning. The Badgers were then unable to find the endzone thanks in part to a Wildcat sack.

There wasn’t a lot of offense in this one. Wildcat quarterback Clayton Thorson threw for just 60 yards on 9 of 20 passing. Tailback Justin Jackson was the lone bright spot for the Northwestern offense, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown. For the Badgers, Joel Stave threw for 229 yards but also tossed a couple of costly interceptions. Wisconsin turned the ball over five times on the day and the Badgers’ running game had one of their worst outings ever.

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Minnesota 32, Illinois 23

The Minnesota ground game was too much for Illinois on Saturday. Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner only threw for 88 yards, but the rushing attack accounted for 255 yards and three scores. Freshman Shannon Brooks continued his solid season as he ran for 174 yards and all three of those scores, all the while averaging over 10 yards per carry. Leidner added another 64 on the ground.

Wes Lunt tossed two touchdown passes for the Illini and Josh Ferguson led the way with 105 yards rushing. Malik Turner led all pass-catchers with eleven receptions for 126 yards and a score.

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Indiana 47, Maryland 28

The Hoosiers got off to a sluggish start in College Park as they went down 21-3 in the first quarter. Kevin Wilson’s offense then went on to score three touchdowns in less than five minutes as the Hoosiers went into the half with a 30-21 lead. The IU defense buckled down in the second half, allowing a single touchdown to the Terps’ offense.

Nate Sudfeld and Simmie Cobbs Jr. were electric in the passing game. Sudfeld threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns while Cobbs caught nine passes for 192 yards. Sophomore tailback Devine Redding added 130 yards on the ground.

Maryland running back Brandon Ross entered the game with less than 300 yards rushing on the season, but the senior made the most of his last game in front of the Terps’ crowd. Ross rushed for 250 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries.

Rutgers 31, Army 21

 

And finally…

Welp, there’s certainly a very large elephant in the room as things did not go as planned this weekend. The East will be decided next Saturday as the Buckeyes, Spartans, and Wolverines all remain in the hunt with Michigan State controlling its own destiny. Iowa now sits atop the conference power rankings as they’ve already punched their ticket for the December 5th championship game in Indy.

Next week we will all be watching The Game as it goes down in Ann Arbor, the Spartans host Penn State, and the Hawkeyes travel to Lincoln to face the Huskers.

Let’s dust ourselves off. It’s rivalry week.

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Big Ten Week 5 Recap

Posted on October 2, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Conference play time… time to make a move!

October 3, 2015

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With non-conference play done for the season, it’s finally time to test each other and figure out who is the best in the Big Ten this season. These are the real games where every win and loss will determine who will be making that trip to Indianapolis in December, and that first step begins this weekend.

Conference upsets? Mmmmmmm… Let’s take a look at how things transpired.

There are three pivotal games in the Big Ten this weekend.

28 michigan2014  maryland2014 0

Coach Harbough has these guys believing in each other as well as the system as them steamrolled Maryland and shut them out at home.

The Wolverines were solid on both sides of the ball and senior QB Jake Rudock controlled the tempo and finished the contest going 16 of 32 for 180 yards with one touchdown.

The Michigan defense forced three turnovers as the Terps’ quarterback situation continues to look disastrous. Junior Caleb Rowe was picked off three times before being benched for the second straight week. Rowe has now thrown 12 interceptions on the season.

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The Wildcats pitched a shutout while only allowing just 173 yards to the Gophs’ offense. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner was held to just 72 yards passing and one interception on the day. Can you say defense?

The Wildcat offense was led by quarterback Clayton Thorson and tailback Justin Jackson. Thorson threw for 128 yards and added another 24 yards and two scores on the ground. Jackson rushed for 120 yards on twenty carries.

13 nebraska2014  illinois2014 14

Nebraska has had some major issues in the waning minutes of its games thus far, and that continued Saturday in Champaign. The Illini scored the game-winning touchdown with just seconds left on the clock; something that is becoming all too familiar to Husker fans. Talk about disappointment.

The Illini (4-1, 1-0 in Big Ten) defense stopped the Cornhuskers (2-3, 0-1) on a fourth-and-7 at their own 27-yard line with only 51 seconds to play to give Wes Lunt one last shot at winning the drive. At that point, on three straight plays, Lunt went to his favorite target, Geronimo Allison. Twice Allison caught the ball, only it was out of bounds. But the Nebraska secondary also interfered with Allison to move the ball to the 1.

Lunt finally hit Allison in bounds, low and just inside the end zone for the game winner with 10 seconds to play.

Lunt led the way for the Illini as the junior threw for 251 yards and a pair of scores, while Allison finished with eight passes for 91 yards and a score.

Tommy Armstrong struggled just about all day for Nebraska, completing just 10 of 31 passes for 105 yards and an interception. True freshman tailback Devine Ozigbo ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak in Big Ten openers, and was Illinois’ first victory against Nebraska since 1924.

Attendance: 40,138

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Upset? Naw… just slow, sloppy game. The Badgers held Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard to just 77 yards passing but the Hawkeye defense forced four turnovers in leading the way to the victory.

Jordan Canzeri led the way again for the Iowa offense, rushing for 125 yards on 26 carries. The lone touchdown of the contest came just before halftime as Beathard connected with tight end George Kittle for a one-yard score. The Hawkeye offense managed just 221 yards on the day and failed to put up any points in the second half.

For the Badgers, senior quarterback Joel Stave did not have his finest day. He threw for 234 yards with two interceptions while also losing a pair of fumbles.

This lose snapped Wisconsin’s ten-game home winning streak.

21purdue2014  michiganstate201424

Moral victory or did the Spartans play down to the Boilermakers and took their feet off of the gas pedal?  State was up 21-0 halftime and Purdue’s running back Markell Jones caused all kinds of fits for the Spartans. The true freshman rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Quarterback David Blough added 136 yards and a score through the air. Late in the fourth quarter with a chance to pull off one of the season’s biggest upsets, but they failed to convert on fourth down, allowing the Spartans to remain among the unbeatens.

Connor Cook threw for a meager 138 yards and a touchdown, but the Michigan State running game continues to lead the way on offense. True freshman L.J. Scott had the best game of his young career, rushing for 146 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries. Madre London added 97 yards on the ground while Cook chipped in another 48 yards.

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Army 14,  Penn State 20

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It was a bit of an ugly week for the conference as Ohio State and Michigan State both struggled but they snagged the ‘W’ – no one will care how they won in November. Northwestern and Iowa continue put together some impressive performances and the Hawkeyes should find themselves ranked this week. And Michigan’s defense continues to look like one of the top units in the country as Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines on the up and up.

Next week we’ll all be watching as the Buckeyes host Maryland amidst all the homecoming festivities. Indiana travels to Happy Valley for what could be an intriguing matchup. The game of the week will take place in Ann Arbor where Michigan will take on Northwestern.

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BIG Ten Week 1 Recap

Posted on September 8, 2015. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten week 1… improvements!

September 6, 2015

The Big Ten football season kicked off this weekend, and there were a lot of improvements, but it’s difficult to ignore the conference’s struggles from the 2014 campaign. While a 7-5 record may not sound especially awful, you have to consider the quality of the opponents. Let’s take a look at how things transpired…

UTAH 24, MICHIGAN 17

Things got started Thursday in Salt Lake City as head coach Jim Harbaugh made his highly-anticipated Michigan coaching debut on FoxSports1. As expected this was going to be a tough test for the Wolverines but despite the final score, they were able to keep it reasonable. Now on the other side of the ball, UM’s D was pretty tough as they held running back Devontae Booker to just 69 yards on 22 carries.

ALABAMA 35, WISCONSIN 17

The Badgers were able to hang around early against the Crimson Tide, but the Bama was just too much especially on the ground. Derrick Henry ran for 147 yards and three scores while averaging over eleven yards per carry. Kenyan Drake added another 77 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own. Robert Foster led the way for the Bama receivers, hauling in four passes for 50 yards and a score.

Joel Stave was a bright spot for Wisconsin as he threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and a late-game interception. The biggest issue for the Badgers was their lack of a running game.

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NORTHWESTERN 16, STANFORD 6

Upset? Sure according to the analysis but the Wildcats are forreal. And their defense came to play on Saturday, holding the Cardinal offense to 240 yards and forcing two turnovers. The Northwestern offense was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson and sophomore tailback Justin Jackson. While Thorson didn’t put up huge numbers – 105 yards passing and 68 rushing – he ran for a 42-yard touchdown in the second quarter and, most importantly, didn’t turn the ball over. Jackson added 134 yards on 28 carries.

TCU 23, MINNESOTA 17

The Gophers were looking to avenge last season’s loss to the Horned Frogs, but two costly first-half fumbles ruined that. Quarterback Mitch Leidner fumbled the ball on the Gophs’ second possession which would ultimately lead to a Trevone Boykin touchdown run. After a promising second-quarter drive, Minnesota running back Rodrick Williams Jr. fumbled at the TCU one-yard line; the Horned Frogs recovered in the endzone for a touchback.

BYU 33, NEBRASKA 28

The most heartbreaking loss of week one undoubtedly took place in Lincoln as Mike Riley’s Nebraska debut was spoiled by a BYU hail mary.

MICHIGAN STATE 37, WESTERN MICHIGAN 24

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IOWA 31, ILLINOIS STATE 14

The Hawkeyes kicked things off against a highly ranked FCS team and defending runner-up Illinois State Redbirds. Iowa’s defense shut down the Redbirds’ rushing attack, allowing a mere 35 yards on the ground. The Hawkeye offense was led by quarterback CJ Beathard and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. Beathard threw for 211 yards and one score while also adding two touchdowns on the ground. Daniels Jr., a Warren, OH native, rushed for 123 yards.

ILLINOIS 52, KENT STATE 3

After Friday night’s scheduled showdown was postponed due to lightning, the Illini faithful had to wait a day to dominated the Golden Flashes. The start of the Bill Cubit era featured a much-improved, opportunistic defense that forced four turnovers while holding the Kent State offense to just 59 yards rushing.

On the other side of the ball, Junior quarterback Wes Lunt tossed four touchdown passes and senior tailback Josh Ferguson rushed for 76 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. When the game got out of hand and some of the younger players began to see the field, true freshman running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn added 43 yards on the ground and a touchdown of his own.

INDIANA 48, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 47

After suspending nine players for the season opener, the Hoosiers were barely able to fend off the Salukis of Southern Illinois – surviving only after a failed two-point conversion attempt. The Indiana defense gave up a whopping 659 yards as the Hoosiers found themselves down 32-21 at the half.

Offensively, the Hoosiers looked to be in mid-season form. Senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 351 yards and a score. Running back Jordan Howard, a transfer from UAB, rushed for 145 yards and three scores in his Hoosier debut. While the suspensions definitely played a part in their performance, head coach Kevin Wilson has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.

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TEMPLE 27, PENN STATE 10

MARYLAND 50, RICHMOND 21

RUTGERS 63, NORFOLK STATE 13

Bottom line? The Big Ten needs to perform better, especially in its more prominent non-conference matchups. There is still a lot of football left – things worked out pretty well after last season’s rough start, wouldn’t you say?

 

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BIG Ten Week 11 Recap

Posted on November 9, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Just another week of football….

November 8, 2014

Wow… what a week for the Big Ten… my staff and I are speechless. And people are questioning why isn’t any Big Ten teams in the top four… whew!!!

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Wisconsin 34, Purdue 16

The Badgers are balanced and have a well-oiled offense.

Melvin Gordon got Wisconsin going with two touchdown runs, and Joel Stave had a great game throwing the ball (17-27, 190 yards, 2 TDs). The only Purdue player to stand out was kicker Paul Griggs, who kicked three field goals. Purdue brought it within 24-16, but Wisconsin pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Michigan 10, Northwestern 9

Another last minute heartbreaking lose for Northwestern…. That’s three years in a row.

Overall, this game had no offense at all. On social media, Michigan-Northwestern was jokingly called the M00N game since the score remained 0-0 for most of the game.

In the third quarter, Michigan turned a botched punt return into a short field touchdown. Northwestern couldn’t respond until the mid-fourth quarter when it marched 95 yards only to kick a field goal (given the game’s context, the dumbest field goal I’ve ever seen).​ After a Michigan field goal, the Wildcats drove for a touchdown with three seconds left to cut it to 10-9. Pat Fitzgerald mercifully called for a two-point conversion to end the game, but Michigan knew what was coming and Trevor Siemian fell down to end the game.

Penn State 13, Indiana 7

This game featured the battle between punters as both teams had a grand total of 20 punts….

The Hoosiers’ struck first on a pick-six by Mark Murphy. A few seconds later, the Nittany Lions countered on Bill Belton’s 92-yard touchdown run, the longest by any player in Penn State history. It was the only offensive highlight on the day. Other than two second half field goals by Penn State’s Sam Ficken… that’s it folks….

Tevin Coleman finished the game with 71 yards on 20 carries.

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Minnesota 51, Iowa 14

Every year, Minnesota and Iowa play for Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze trophy shaped like a pig. The Big Ten’s most idiosyncratic trophy went to the Golden Gophers, as Minnesota handed Iowa its worst loss in 15 years.

Iowa opened with a touchdown, and that was it for a while for them… The Gophers rattled off 51 consecutive points, demolishing Iowa on the ground and through the air. Maxx Williams had three touchdown catches, including a fantastic spear in the second quarter, and the defense shut down Iowa until the waning seconds of the game.

After this dominant performance, it’s time for the nation to reconsider the Gophers as a force to be reckoned with. They are one of only four Big Ten teams to control their destiny in the conference championship race, and they have an outside chance of breaking into the top 25 rankings by year’s end. With games remaining against Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin, Minnesota needs all the gravitas it can muster.

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Next week (week 12) brings some good action, namely a matchup between ranked Nebraska and Wisconsin teams and a consolation game between Michigan State and Maryland. Whatever happens, it ought to be better than this week. See you all then.

 

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 8 Recap

Posted on October 19, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 8…

October 18, 2014

Week 8… not sure how to describe it – you are either a fan of the B1G Ten or not. For me, this weekend was like going out on a second date, to a mediocre restaurant, and the check comes, and it’s a little more than you thought it would be – expectations were not met.

On the flip side, two B1G TEN teams did stamp their eligibility on for a bowl game. I guess this is when games start to really matter.

 

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Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17

Each team made a fashion statement: Northwestern with its alternate Gothic jerseys, Nebraska fans by taking over Ryan Field. Northwestern’s Justin Jackson made his own statement with two touchdown runs, and the Wildcats defense contained Nebraska en route to a 17-14 halftime lead.

Nebraska’s Blackshirts adjusted in the second half, shutting out Northwestern and limiting them to 30 yards of offense. Ameer Abdullah broke free for 146 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and Tommy Armstrong made you believe a large man could fly.

It’s a tough loss for Northwestern, which had shown some fight after a rough start to the season. Beyond the emergence of freshman running back Justin Jackson (who would be performing like Abdullah or Melvin Gordon if he had a better offensive line), not much is going well. To make a bowl, the Wildcats have to sweep Michigan, Purdue and Illinois or else pull an upset. As for the Cornhuskers, this finally looks like the year Bo Pelini loses fewer than four games.

 

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Minnesota 39, Purdue 38

Is Minnesota for real? Well Saturday they proved they deserve a seat at the table like everyone else.

It was sloppy but it’s a ‘W’ period.

The Gophers took the lead on Ryan Santoso’s 52-yard field goal. On Purdue’s final drive, Cedric Thompson intercepted Austin Appleby to preserve the win.

Purdue played a solid game in the first-half behind the play of running back, Raheem Mostert, who had 100 rushing yards after two carries, and Appleby’s second touchdown pass put the Boilermakers up 31-20 at the half.

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Maryland 38, Iowa 31

Hawkeyes got things started frist and jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the home team, fought back behind the fine play of Stefon Diggs, who finished the day with 9 catches, 130 yards. And in the fourth, bam… a pick-six which sealed the victory.

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Michigan State 56, Indiana 17

The Spartans continue to dominate including three straight touchdown drives let the Spartans put the game out of reach by halftime, and then Mark Dantonio added three more in the fourth quarter for good measure.

Week 9 in the Big Ten, which has Rutgers-Nebraska, Maryland-Wisconsin, Minnesota-Illinois and Michigan-Michigan State going for it.

 

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Nebraska, RB Ameer Abdullah, 146 yards and a career-high four touchdowns

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 7 Recap

Posted on October 15, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 7…

October 11, 2014

No ranked games for any BIG TEN teams… Really? Wow… Well, at least every game was competitive. As a sidebar, I’m still a little confused on Big Ten football…

 

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Wisconsin 38, Illinois 28
Although the Illini took an early lead against the Badgers, 14-7, but it wouldn’t be for the entire game, of course. The Badgers dominated much of the second and third quarters behind Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement’s 339 rushing yards, but the Illini scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the final line more respectable.

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Michigan State 45, Purdue 31
The Spartans were just too much for the Boilermakers. There one-two punch of Connor Cook and Tony Lippett resembled an NFL-caliber quarterback-receiver duo.

The Boilermakers did make it a game beind for 21 in the fourth. The Boilermakers got the ball back with three minutes and a chance to tie, but pressure from the Spartan defense (which harassed Purdue QB Austin Appleby all game) forced an errant throw Darien Harris picked off and returned for a touchdown to seal the win.

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Michigan 18, Penn State 13
Close but necessary victory for Michigan.

The Nittany Lions led 13-10 at the half thanks to a Devin Gardner pick turned into a touchdown. From this, they were only able to score 3 points, and the Wolverines hit two field goals. Facing fourth and long in its own territory, Penn State took an intentional safety and attempted a last-ditch onside kick. They recovered it, only for a bogus offside penalty to wipe it out. Yawn….

Minnesota 24, Northwestern 17
Gophers keep doing just enough to win games and on this Saturday they improved to 2-0 in conference play. This is the first time in a decade. Way to go!!!

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Iowa 45, Indiana 29
In the first quarter, Iowa exploded for four touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead. The Hoosiers got it close, pulling within seven at 28-21, but returning Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock propelled Iowa to a couple more scores to ensure he could wear his plaid victory cap.

Running-back Tevin Coleman (15 carries, 219 yards) is doing all he can to buoy the Hoosiers, busting out for three 40+ yard touchdown runs, but he can’t save the season all by himself.

NOTE: Iowa is just one win away from bowl eligibility.

Week 8 features four Big Ten games outside of the Ohio State-Rutgers game: Purdue-Minnesota, Iowa-Maryland, Michigan State-Indiana and Nebraska-Northwestern. I recommend Iowa-Maryland for its delicate combination of crab and corn and Purdue-Minnesota for the gleeful uglyball the Gophers will play. See you all then.

 

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Tevin Coleman, Indiana, Jr., RB, Tinley Park, Ill./Oak Forest 15 carries, 219 yards

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 6 Recap

Posted on October 6, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 6…

October 4, 2014

What an EPIC college football weekend as five top-10 teams lost in the same week for the first time ever, and two others barely survived. The Big Ten was just as strange and after six weeks of play, the best conference record belongs to Northwestern. Who knew….

 

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Purdue 38, Illinois 27

Purdue coach Darrell Hazell promoted QB Austin Appleby to starter which lead to an efficient performance. The Boilermakers, led by Appleby and Akeem Hunt, exploited Illinois’ horrid rush defense for 551 yards of offense, 349 of those on the ground.

Illinois was never able to dig out of a 7-11 point hole, and quarterback Wes Lunt left the game late with a leg injury. Only receiver Mike Dudek (eight catches, 200 yards) was a bright spot for the Illini.

The Boilermakers won their first Big Ten game since 2012.

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Northwestern 20, Wisconsin 14

Northwestern pulled off a Big Ten stunner for the second week in a row, taking down a ranked Wisconsin team in Evanston for the fourth time since 1999.

It was Miles Shuler who put the Wildcats up 17-7 in the third quarter, and Godwin Igwebuike had three interceptions to move Northwestern to 2-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2000.

Melvin Gordon had a career high 259 rushing yards, but Wisconsin’s quarterbacks were worse than ever. Tanner McEvoy was so ineffective that he was pulled for Joel Stave, who is battling the yips. The Badgers are afflicted by Le’Veon Bell Syndrome, which occurs when a team relies on a star running back so much that the rest of a team’s offense becomes ineffective (see Michigan State, 2012).

Michigan State 27, Nebraska 22

The Spartans jumped out early with a 27-3 lead until the tables turned… The Spartans had three giveaways in their own territory, two of them in a row, and Nebraska still couldn’t score.

A good punt return gave Nebraska strong field position, which it converted into an Abdullah power-rush touchdown. Nebraska again pounded Abdullah for a rushing touchdown, and a 62-yard return by De’Mornay Pierson-El after a MSU punt made it a one score game. Michigan State’s field goal attempt with a minute left hit the upright; Nebraska advanced to the MSU 37, but an interception by Trae Waynes sealed the game.

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Rutgers 26, Michigan 24

The Scarlet Knights defeated Michigan to move one win away from bowl eligibility and send the Wolverines to 0-2 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1967. Michigan had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Kemoko Turay blocked a 56-yard field goal to preserve the win for Rutgers.

This was a classic good news/bad news game for Michigan. The good news: the rush defense is stout, the Wolverines averaged 4.5 yards a carry, and Devin Gardner was nearly good enough to guide Michigan to an upset of Rutgers. The bad news: Devin Gardner was not quite good enough to guide Michigan to an upset of Rutgers, and 2-10 is a real, horrifying possibility with Northwestern and Indiana looking spry.

Indiana 49, North Texas 24

Indiana has to be the Big Ten’s most hot-and-cold team. They were hot on Saturday, trouncing North Texas.

The Hoosiers used a short field and a timely onside kick to race out to a 21-0 lead, which they maintained for the rest of the game. The maligned defense, led by Donovan Clark, contained the Mean Green to 348 yards. Tevin Coleman, the Big Ten’s leading rusher, added 150 yards and a touchdown to seal the win.

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Week 7 will put some interesting matchups on the same field including Northwestern-Minnesota, Indiana-Iowa, and Penn State-Michigan among others. Hhhhmmmmm see you next week!

 

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Gary Nova, QB, Rutgers – 404 yards, 3 three touchdowns

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 5 Recap

Posted on September 29, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 5…

September 27, 2014

During Week 5 of the Big Ten, some teams established themselves solidly while others need a hug including Brady Hoke’s Wolverines…

Nebraska 45, Illinois 14

Last Big Ten undefeated team remained the last undefeated team as the crush the Illini. The Cornhuskers did it on the ground, as Ameer Abdullah, had 208 of Nebraska’s 458 rushing yards and scored the first three touchdowns.

Illinois made it 28-14 with a long Geronimo Allison touchdown reception, but Nebraska scored the last 17 points of the blowout.

Iowa 24, Purdue 10

Have you ever seen a game where both teams really don’t deserve a victory? Well, this is one of them… but in the end Iowa got it done.

The Boilermakers struck first with a pick-six by Frankie Williams and a field goal to go up 10-0, but nobody on Purdue’s low-powered offense (2.3 yards per pass, 2.8 yards per rush) besides Akeem Hunt could do a single thing to protect the lead.

Maryland 37, Indiana 15

Just when you thought Indiana was on the right track after a big win against SEC foe Missouri last week, the Hoosiers go Hoosier. The Terrapins C.J. Brown and Caleb Rowe combined for 361 passing yards as Maryland brushed the Hoosiers aside to win its first-ever Big Ten game.

Even with injuries to the offense, the Terrapins have been one of the most consistent Big Ten teams so far (one pass defense meltdown against West Virginia aside). Their home game next week against Ohio State will demonstrate where in the conference’s pecking order they fall. And with three road wins to date, Maryland is the senior day opponent nobody wants to play.

For Indiana, it’s back to the drawing board. On the bright side, Tevin Coleman kept his streak of games with 100+ rushing yards alive and the Hoosiers still have several gimme games to get to bowl eligibility.

Minnesota 30, Michigan 14

The Golden Gophers knocked off the Wolverines pretty handily especially in the second half as they took advantage of turnovers and field position, which turned in to a 27-7.

The Gophers reclaimed the Little Brown Jug for the first time since 2005.

They out-gained them 373 to 171. To make matters worst for the home team, when the PA announcer claimed 102,000 fans were in attendance (thus keeping Michigan Stadium’s 100,000+ attendance streak alive), Wolverine fans booed the obviously fraudulent number.

Northwestern 29, Penn State 6

The ‘Cats capitalized on mistake after mistake from the Nittany Lions’ and knock them off big up in Happy Valley.

Although the Wildcats took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, it was assumed that Christian Hackenberg would lead a comeback win. But Penn State could manage only two field goals through three quarters, and consecutive turnovers in the fourth quarter (including a pick-six) drove PSU to its doom.

Rutgers 31, Tulane 6

Nothing any worst than losing a key player for the season, as running back Paul James, suffered a torn ACL. But the Scarlet Knights used the ‘next man up’ regimen and put away the Green Wave with little trouble.

Michigan State 56, Wyoming 14

The Spartans continue winning and blew out Wyoming. Jeremy Langford rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown, while backup QB Tyler O’Connor ran for a touchdown and passed for another.

Wisconsin 27, South Florida 10

Talk about a slow starting game… it was 3-3 at the half. But in the second half the Badgets got things going as Mr. Melvin Gordon flexed his muscles and got his stride going strong as he rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Erickson had six catches for 91 yards.

Week 5 is in the books… next week, Nebraska-Michigan State should be Big Ten Game of the Week!

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Cole Farrand (LB), Maryland – 19 tackles, 1.5 TFLs

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 4 Recap

Posted on September 21, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Week 4…

September 20, 2014

The Big Ten needed Week 4 to help boost moral and confidence as conference play looms. And well, all of the teams responded except on as they went 12-1 – its best record of the season – with blowouts, road wins and an upset of a ranked team. For once, the Big Ten looked like an actual power conference.

Northwestern 24, Western Illinois 7

Lucky win? Who cares… it’s a victory for the Wildcats as they had 283 yards of offense, were out gained by nearly 100 yards at home, and have no passing game to speak of. The only bright spots were Ifeadi Odenigbo (three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery), Justin Jackson (92 rushing yards, one TD) and Solomon Vault (two rushing TDs).

Northwestern fans are mad at the playcalling and the effort. Give credit to Pat Fitzgerald, who said after the game, “[m]y size 12 is going where the sun don’t shine with this team for the rest of the year.” Should be an interesting week of practice.

Purdue 35, Southern Illinois 13

The Boilermakers jumped out to a 25-0 lead and never looked back. They did this mostly with takeaways and field position; their four touchdown drives on the day went 23, 44, 26 and 43 yards. Danny Anthrop had five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown, and the rushing defense excelled.

Illinois 42, Texas State 35

Illinois outscored Texas State 24-7 in the fourth quarter to survive an upset scare. WHEW!!! This game also had a weather delay, after which the Illini recovered from a 21-6 deficit thanks to Josh Ferguson’s 233 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. V’Angelo Bentley had a pick-six in the waning minutes to give Illinois a two-score lead, which it needed when Texas State scored soon after. Illinois has struggled in every game this year, but find ways to win…

Indiana 31, Missouri 27

Indy put in work and it paid off with a huge win over ranked Missouri.

The Hoosiers led for much of the first half and third quarter, but they traded leads with Mizzou several times in the fourth quarter. Trailing 27-24 with two minutes left, Nate Sudfeld and Tevin Coleman engineered a 75-yard drive to win the game.

Indiana’s defense held up surprisingly well against the Missouri spread. The Hoosiers beat a ranked team despite going 1 of 14 on third down conversions, suggesting that things are looking up for Indiana.

Nebraska 41, Miami (FL) 31

Ameer Abdullah set a Nebraska record for most career all-purpose yards as the Cornhuskers outslugged Miami in front of a record crowd of 91,585 in Lincoln.

Nebraska chose to run on the Hurricanes, to great effect. The Cornhuskers racked up 343 rushing yards, paced by Abdullah’s 229 yards and Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s 96 yards.

Michigan State 73, Eastern Michigan 14

The Spartans had 320 yards of offense in the first half, and they out gained the Eagles by 319. Thorough stand in the State of Michigan!

Wisconsin 68, Bowling Green 17

The Badgers set a modern era Big Ten record for rushing yards (644), and Melvin Gordon is a shoe-in for offensive player of the week with 253 rushing yards and five TDs. Gordon is now averaging 8.26 yards per carry for his career, tied with Glenn Davis for the highest career average in history.

Iowa 24, Pittsburgh 20

The Hawkeyes knocked off Pitt on the road and upgraded their starting quarterback.

Iowa had trouble stopping Pitt running back James Conner, and the Hawkeyes trailed 17-7 at the half. With the offense stalling, it appeared starting QB Jake Rudock was yanked in the third quarter for CJ Beathard, whose magnificent hair sparked the offense. Iowa got into a late groove, Mark Weisman scored two touchdown runs to take the lead, and the stingy Hawkeye defense held on to preserve the win.

Maryland 34, Syracuse 20

Syracuse outgained Maryland by 220 yards and demolished Maryland’s rushing defense, but Maryland had all kinds of luck against Syracuse. Will Likely had an 88-yard pick six, Brandon Ross turned a swing pass into a 90-yard touchdown, and timely turnovers helped the Terrapins beat the Orange in the Carrier Dome. A late touchdown by Syracuse made the score closer to reality, but it was still a comfortable win for the Terrapins.

Rutgers 31, Navy 24

Rutgers overcame Navy’s triple option offense and a knee injury to Paul James to defeat the Midshipmen in Annapolis. They even had success pounding the ball with James, but he left the game after taking a helmet to the knee in the second quarter. Justin Goodwin and Desmon Peoples filled in with a combined 186 rushing yards, while Gary Nova had two short touchdown runs and didn’t screw up. Navy drove as far as the Rutgers 6-yard line in the final minute, but the Scarlet Knights’ defense held strong. While Rutgers won’t win the division, they’re playing like a potential bowl team.

Penn State 48, Massachusetts 7

The Nittany Lions displayed an active running game for the first time, destroying Massachusetts to improve to 4-0. Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak each had a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Akeel Lynch added 81 yards. Even more impressive was the Penn State rushing defense, which held UMass to 28 yards (sack-adjusted) on 28 carries.

Utah 26, Michigan 10

As I stated above, the Big Ten lost only one game on the day. It came in a miserable, rain delay-lengthened slog of a game, Utah defeated Michigan at the Big House. The Wolverines offense just couldn’t – period. They only scored 3 points, a field-goal, a-l-l game… the other score came on a pick six by Willie Henry.

Next week will feature more nonconference sleepers and a couple of conference games where teams better pay attention including Minnesota-Michigan; Maryland-Indiana and Michigan State-Wyoming. See you then…..

Minnesota 24, San Jose State 7

 

“BIG TEN HELMET STICKER 4 the Week”

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Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska 229 yards, two touchdowns

 

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