BIG TEN Football Week Recap

Posted on October 27, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG TEN Football Recap…

November 30, 2013

2013 Conference Leaders

PASSING COMP ATT YDS TD
N. Scheelhaase 287 430 3272 21
D. Gardner 208 345 2960 21
RUSHING CAR YDS AVG TD
A. Abdullah 254 1568 6.2 8
M. Gordon 181 1466 8.1 12
RECEIVING REC YDS AVG TD
A. Robinson 97 1432 14.8 6
J. Gallon 80 1284 16.1 9

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The 110th game between Ohio State and Michigan might have been the most thrilling, a back-and-forth affair that came down to one final play.  The Wolverines went for the win… and well, they came up short.

Tyvis Powell intercepted Devin Gardner’s 2-point conversion pass with 32 seconds left and No. 3 Ohio State held on for a 42-41 victory against Michigan on Saturday as one of the greatest rivalries in sports added another memorable chapter to its storied history.

“That’s an instant classic,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.

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Top Performers
Passing: D. Gardner (MICH) – 451 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: C. Hyde (OSU) – 27 CAR, 226 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: J. Gallon (MICH) – 9 REC, 175 YDS, 1 TD

With this win and an Alabama lost, the Buckeyes’ may be playing in this years BCS. Here is our 2013-14 Bowl Predictions, CLICK HERE.

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Top Performers
Passing: D. Etling (PUR) – 485 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: S. Houston (IND) – 17 CAR, 120 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: D. Yancey (PUR) – 11 REC, 125 YDS, 1 TD

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Top Performers
Passing: C. Hackenberg (PSU) – 339 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: Z. Zwinak (PSU) – 22 CAR, 115 YDS
Receiving: J. Abbrederis (WIS) – 12 REC, 135 YDS

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns (31-44, 0 INT) and Christian Jones caught 13 balls for 182 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past Illinois 37-34 Saturday in the finale for both teams.

The Wildcats gashed an Illinois defense that has given up big yards and points all season. Northwestern’s 560 total yards made it the fifth team to top 500 yards against Illinois (4-8, 1-7).

Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 31-45 for 307 yards and two touchdowns in his last game at Illinois. Scheelhaase threw one interception in the game, but it was a game-changer.

Down 30-27 with just over eight minutes to play in the game, Illinois was driving. On a first-and-10 at his own 45, Scheelhaase rolled right under pressure and, just before he stepped out of bounds, forced a ball down the sideline. The only player close to it was Northwestern defensive end Tyler Scott, who juggled the ball but held it with both hands as he went out of bounds.

The play was upheld on review, a decision the sparse crowd howled loudly about and coach Tim Beckman argued over with the officials.

The Wildcats made quick work of Illinois’ defense, driving to the 7-yard line where Siemian found Jones in the end zone for the touchdown that put the Wildcats up by 10, 37-27, with 8:07 left to play.

Illinois pulled back to within three when Scheelhaase hit Miles Osei for an 11-yard touchdown with 2:23 left in the game.

But Northwestern’s Cameron Dickerson came up with the onside kick and the Wildcats ran out the clock.

The win, the Wildcats ended a seven-game losing streak for Northwestern (5-7, 1-7 Big Ten).

Top Performers
Passing: T. Siemian (NW) – 414 YDS, 4 TD
Rushing: J. Ferguson (ILL) – 14 CAR, 110 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: C. Jones (NW) – 13 REC, 182 YDS, 2 TD

NOTE: Scheelhaase, a four-year starter, finished his career at Illinois with 10,634 total yards, No. 1 on the team’s all-time list. His 362 yards Saturday broke Juice Williams’ old record.

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Top Performers
Passing: J. Rudock (IOWA) – 126 YDS, 2 TD
Rushing: M. Weisman (IOWA) – 25 CAR, 73 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: K. Martin-Manley (IOWA) – 2 REC, 60 YDS, 1 TD

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Top Performers
Passing: C. Cook (MSU) – 143 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: J. Langford (MSU) – 21 CAR, 134 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: T. Lippett (MSU) – 4 REC, 71 YDS

 

November 16, 2013

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Buckeyes came, they saw, and they conquered the Fighting Illini Saturday afternoon 60-35, and continue their undefeated season (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten).

Between Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller were just too much. Hyde finished the day with 248 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground and another through the air. Quarterback Braxton Miller wasn’t far behind with 184 yards rushing and two more touchdowns.

“That last run, in my head I was like, we could (have done) this the whole time,” Hyde said. “That last run, I had energy and I just feel like we could have had that momentum the whole game.”

Illinois didn’t give up – after trailing 28-0 in the second quarter, they closed to 35-21 in the third on two Nathan Scheelhaase touchdown passes. Scheelhaase led the Illini with 288 yards passing and two touchdowns. But the Buckeyes defense kept him under pressure all day, sacking him five times and hitting him more than that.

Meyer praised Scheelhaase. “I love guys like that,” he said. “I told him after the game he was a great player. I thought he was hard to defend today.”

The loss extends the Big Ten losing streak for Illinois (3-7, 0-6) to 20 games.

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GAME NOTES
Braxton Miller became the fourth FBS quarterback this season to run for a touchdown of 70 yards or more, joining Kentucky’s Jalen Whitlow, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

Most 70-Yard Rushes by QB Since 2011
Braxton Miller, OSU 3
Marcus Mariota, ORE 3
Taylor Martinez, NEB 3
Jordan Lynch, NIU 3

NOTE: 2011 was Braxton Miller’s first season

“We weren’t really playing a good game, but we still put up 60 points,” said Miller, who added that he was fine after the hit. “Just gotta put a hard effort in and, toward the end of the game, you gotta give it your all.”

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EVANSTON, Ill. — Talk about precision at the end of the regulation. Visiting Wolverines’ special teams sprinted onto the field as the final seconds ticked away, and with one swift kick from 44-yards, Brendan Gibbons, nailed a kick that sent the game into overtime. This kick also saved Michigan from another loss and helped send the Wolverines to one thrilling victory.

“The last play of regulation is a play that a lot of team may not follow through and be successful,” coach Brady Hoke said. “That tells you about the discipline of these guys playing together. How they got on the field. How the guys that weren’t on that team got off the field. It might be the best single play I’ve ever seen.”

In overtime, on their first possession, it was Devin Gardner scored on a 5-yard run to lift Michigan to a 27-19 triple-overtime win over Northwestern on Saturday.

Gardner scored on an option and ran it in on the two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game.

Northwestern had one more chance, but Trevor Siemian got sacked for a 14-yard loss by Jibreel Black on second down. Then, his desperation pass on fourth down got intercepted by Thomas Gordan in the end zone, giving the Wolverines (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten) their second win in five games and sending the Wildcats (4-6, 0-6) to their sixth straight loss.

None of that would have happened had Gibbons not converted in a chaotic finish at the end of regulation.

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November 9, 2013

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An offensive game at its best but in the end it was the Hooisers on top of the Illini 52-35.

Indiana’s Tevin Coleman rushed 15 times for a career-high 215 yards, the most by a Hoosier in the last 10 seasons. The teams engaged in a back-and-forth shootout until Coleman’s 75-yard touchdown run edged Indiana ahead 42-35 with 12:41 remaining. Indiana burned the Illini’s run defense for 371 yards and gained a season-high 650 yards overall.

Illini’s Nathan Scheelhaase completed 38 of 57 passes for 450 yards and two touchdowns to lead Illinois. He added 45 yards and a score on the ground. Receiver Steve Hull exploded for 224 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions.

With this win, the Hoosiers (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten) snapped a three-game skid, while Illinois (3-6, 0-5) extended its school-record conference losing streak to 19 games.

Indiana suffered some tough injuries including Coleman, who was helped off the field midway through the fourth quarter. Up next for them is a trip to tough Wisconsin. Illini host top-ranked Ohio State next Saturday.

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Jordan Canzeri ran for a career-high 165 yards on 20 carries to help the Iowa Hawkeyes defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 38-14 on Saturday afternoon.

Canzeri, a sophomore who entered the game with 173 yards rushing all season, also scored a touchdown to help the Hawkeyes become bowl eligible. Jake Rudock passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten), which set season highs for total yards (509) and yards rushing (318).

Danny Etling completed 15 of 28 passes for 145 yards for Purdue (1-8, 0-5), which has lost seven straight and has not beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision team this year. The Boilermakers have scored 31 points in five Big Ten games, with two of the touchdowns coming in the final minute of play.

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Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a left-handed, 5-yard shovel pass to Ameer Abdullah for a go-ahead touchdown with 2:03 left and Nebraska’s defense made enough stops to seal a 17-13 win over Michigan on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) kept their chances alive of returning to the conference championship game. Nebraska can move a big step closer to its goal by beating Legends Division-leading Michigan State next Saturday at home.

The Wolverines (6-3, 2-3) dashed hopes of earning a Big Ten title for the first time since 2004 with their first loss in 20 home games under coach Brady Hoke, turning the ball over on downs during their last possession.

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BYU 17, wiscbadgers1 27

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November 1, 2013

illini helmet17, pennstate-helmetPenn 24 (OT)

The Fighting Illini fought back against Penn State and forced overtime, but came up short, when  Christian Hackenberg hit Kyle Carter with a 15-yard touchdown pass in overtime and Ryan Keiser sealed the win with an end zone interception, lifting Penn State over Illinois 24-17 on Saturday.

wiscbadgers128, iowa-helmet9

The Badgers scored on both sides of the ball including a pair of second-half interceptions into touchdowns that turned a close game into an easy win over the Hawkeyes.

James White ran for 132 yards and a pair of late TDs as 24th-ranked Wisconsin beat Iowa 28-9 on Saturday for its third straight win.

Joel Stave added two touchdown passes for the Badgers (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten), who are bowl eligible for the 12th year in a row.

“The turnovers were huge for us. I’m proud of the young men of this program for how they played,” Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. “They kept on fighting and battling and we were fortunate to get some points out of it.”

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The Battle of Michigan….

Spartans battered their biggest rivals for the full 60 minutes Saturday, and No. 22 Michigan State remained unbeaten in the Big Ten with a 29-6 victory over the No. 21 Wolverines. Michigan was sacked seven times and finished with minus-48 yards rushing, the worst output in the Ann Arbor program’s lengthy history.

This after the Wolverines had vowed Saturday wouldn’t be a repeat of the game in East Lansing in 2011, when Michigan State’s physicality was too much for Michigan.

“Two years ago was nothing,” Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen said. “It was a lot worse today, and I think they felt it.”

Michigan State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) has won five of the last six meetings with the Wolverines (6-2, 2-2), and this was the Spartans’ most lopsided win in the series since 1967.

northwestern-helmet24,  nebraska1 27

Cornhuskers hailmary answered to seal the narrow victory…

The Cornhuskers looked like they were finished after Northwestern took a three-point lead with 1:20 left. They started their final drive at their 17 with no timeouts.

Ameer Abdullah caught a short pass and stretched to convert a fourth-and-15. Then, with four seconds on the clock, Ron Kellogg III connected with Jordan Westerkamp on a Hail Mary 49-yard touchdown pass as time expired to lead Nebraska past Northwestern 27-24.

Nebraska’s winning play was perhaps its most dramatic since Matt Davison’s “Flea Kicker” catch that kept alive the Huskers’ national-championship season in 1997.

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October 19, 2013

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The Spartans were dominate on both sides of the ball against the Fighting Illini, and easily defeated them 42-3.

QB Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns and finished the game 15-of-16 for 208 yards, setting a Michigan State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) record for passing efficiency just a week after he was grilled for failing to move the ball against Purdue.

Tailback Jeremy Langford had 104 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns for the Spartans.

The Michigan State defense came into the game ranked first in the nation in total defense at 228 yards a game, and looked even better Saturday, holding Illinois to just 128. That included 25 yards on the ground.

Illinois had been scoring 35.3 points a game, but not today. The Illini only scored a field goal, which came on the game’s opening drive, a 12-play, 53-yarder, that pumped a little optimism into a homecoming day crowd.

Illinois’ Big Ten losing streak reached 17 games, with a road trip to Penn State on the schedule next Saturday. The last Illini win the in the conference came more than two years ago, 41-20 over Indiana on Oct. 8, 2011.

10northwestern-helmet  iowa-helmet 17

The Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) almost gave this one away after taking an nearly lead against Northwestern, but they were able to hold on for the 17-10 win. The Hawkeye defense sealed the victory by sacking Kain Colter on the final play of the game.

Jake Rudock completed 19-of-27 passes for 169 yards — none bigger than the third-down pass to Fiedorowicz in overtime. Rudock rolled to his right and lofted a pass to his big tight end in the left corner of the end zone.

This snaps Iowa two-game losing skid. The irony of it all was Hawkeyes led at halftime in each of their three losses.

On the other hand, Northwestern (4-4, 0-4) dropped its fourth straight game.

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B1G Ten Football Predictions

Posted on August 15, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Breaking down

As college football teams get started, we’re taking a quick look into the BIG Ten.

This is a snapshot of how the BIG Ten looks at this point in time, not knowing all the personnel/coaching changes that will be in place for next season. As a reminder, these can and will change during the next eight months. Ohio State is on top, and quite frankly, the Buckeyes are head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Other teams such as Northwestern, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan certainly belong in the league’s lead pack, while Michigan State and Penn State both have talent as well as question marks. We don’t see a whole lot separating Nos. 2-6.

There aren’t many BCS Championship contenders in the Big Ten, but here’s what stands in the way for the conference’s elite.

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Here we go …

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1. Ohio State: The Buckeyes made the most of their sanctioned season, running the table to post just the sixth unbeaten, untied season in team history. Urban Meyer’s crew now takes aim at a Big Ten title and perhaps even a national title, its first since 2002. Junior quarterback, Braxton Miller, leads a potentially explosive offense, but Ohio State needs its young defenders to grow up in a hurry as there are depth and experience questions on that side of the ball.

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2. Northwestern: The Wildcats won 10 games in 2012 with a young team most projected to win no more than seven. Northwestern returns a very strong nucleus, led by running back Venric Mark and quarterback Kain Colter, and loses only a few key seniors. Most of the Wildcats’ talent can be found in their younger classes. The schedule gets tougher in 2013 — Northwestern opens Big Ten play with Ohio State and Wisconsin — but the Wildcats should be a major factor in the Legends Division if they can shore up their offensive line and continue to make strides on defense.

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3. Nebraska: There’s no doubt Nebraska will have one of the nation’s top offenses in 2013. Fourth-year starter Taylor Martinez returns at quarterback and has the Big Ten’s largest arsenal of weapons at his disposal. The big concerns are on defense after Nebraska hemorrhaged points and yards in its four losses this past season and loses a group of seniors. Bo Pelini needs to get his defense back on track and hope the offense can limit turnovers, a huge problem throughout this season.

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4. Wisconsin: Gary Andersen hardly inherits a bare cupboard in Madison. His predecessor, Bret Bielema, actually pointed to the 2013 team as potentially his best with the Badgers. The coaching transition could create some speed bumps, but Wisconsin returns two dynamic running backs in James White and Melvin Gordon, multiple quarterbacks with experience and a good defensive front seven led by Chris Borland. There are concerns in the secondary (three starters gone) and at wide receiver (not enough playmakers), but Wisconsin should push Ohio State in the Leaders Division.

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5. Michigan: The Denard Robinson era is over and Michigan needs offensive playmakers to replace its record-setting quarterback and surround new signal-caller Devin Gardner. A bigger concern, though, is an offensive line that struggled at times in 2012 and must replace most of its starting lineup. Coach Brady Hoke should see some of his strong early recruiting efforts pay off in Year 3, although Michigan might not have the depth to challenge for a league title until 2014. Linebacker Jake Ryan leads a defense that has improved the past two seasons but must measure up to elite competition.

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6. Michigan State

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7. Penn State

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8. Minnesota

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9. Indiana

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10. Purdue

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11. Iowa

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12. Illinois

Fun Facts about the 2013 BIG Ten season… ~click here!

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BIG Ten insight…

Posted on August 15, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who will win it all? Who’s the contender? Who’s the pretender?

August 15, 2013

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Ohio State:

A road trip to California may trip up the Buckeyes if they sleepwalk their way through the nonconference schedule as badly as they did in 2012, but it’s wholly reasonable to think Ohio State will be 11-0 when it travels to Ann Arbor to face Michigan.

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Michigan:

Notre Dame comes to town in what might be the most highly anticipated nonconference game of the Big Ten season (more on that later), and despite some heavy losses, the Irish will still have a level of talent to give Michigan all it can handle. Also, the Legends Division is basically one roadblock after another.

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Nebraska:

The Huskers should be happy to see UCLA come to town this year after the Bruins shellacked the Nebraska defense early on in 2012, but that’s still going to be the same UCLA offense with the same quarterback—and Brett Hundley’s only going to be more dangerous than last year, his freshman campaign.

TOUGHEST SCHEDULE

Iowa fans hoping for a quick return to the bowl season may be in for a rude surprise in 2013, as the Hawkeyes schedule looks to be a major hurdle on their road back to success. The nonconference schedule is manageable enough, though the trip to Iowa State usually means a loss for Kirk Ferentz. It’s what happens in the Big Ten that should doom Iowa, however.

The Legends Division should once again be one of the toughest divisions top-to-bottom in all of college football, and Iowa gets no favors from the scheduling gods when it comes to interdivisional play. Here, Iowa is saddled with games against Ohio State, Wisconsin and perennial “rival” Purdue.

All told, Iowa faces all seven Big Ten bowl teams from 2012—and the eighth game is the worst of them all, a trip to Ohio State.

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EASIEST SCHEDULE

Ohio State sort of has a built-in advantage when it comes to scheduling since it’s the only school in its division that never has to play Ohio State. Nonetheless, the Buckeyes’ last schedule before the resume-conscious 2014 slate hits is an exercise in cupcakery (new word alert).

The offseason schedule is a joke, as a trip to slumping California is the only thing that could conceivably challenge the Buckeyes. Divisional rivals Wisconsin and Penn State both come to Columbus, and the only major test on the docket is a trip to Michigan to close out the regular season—at which point Urban Meyer could easily be 23-0 as Ohio State’s head coach.

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B1G AVOIDANCE….

The Big Ten’s six-team divisions mean each team gets five divisional games a year and three interdivisional games, including one annual protected rivalry. Here are the three teams each Big Ten school gets to miss in 2013.

In the Leaders Division, Illinois avoids Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. Indiana also won’t play Iowa; the Hoosiers also miss Nebraska and Northwestern.

Ohio State won’t play Michigan State, Minnesota or Nebraska, while Penn State gets the luxury of avoiding Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern. Purdue won’t see Michigan, Minnesota or Northwestern, and Wisconsin is avoiding Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska.

Over in the Legends Division, Iowa won’t face Illinois, Indiana or Penn State. Michigan also misses Illinois; also missing from the Wolverines’ docket are Purdue and Wisconsin. Michigan State avoids Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

To finish it all off, Nebraska is missing Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin, while Northwestern won’t face Indiana, Penn State or Purdue.

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BEST NON-CONFERENCE Matchups

Missouri at Indiana: Missouri struggled through its first season in the SEC, but the Tigers are dangerous enough to hang points on anyone—especially the porous Hoosier defense. Don’t you dare count Kevin Wilson out of a fireworks show, though.

Notre Dame at Michigan:

The Wolverines want revenge for a 13-6 loss that wasn’t nearly that close, and getting the Irish in Ann Arbor may be the opportunity they need to jump-start a special season in 2013.

Michigan State at Notre Dame:

Notre Dame was miles ahead of the Spartans in 2012, but both programs will be in rebuilding mode, and MSU could steal an enormous road win here.

UCLA at Nebraska:

The Huskers will want to avenge last year’s 36-30 loss at UCLA, and the “Blackshirt” defense will be particularly in pursuit of restoring some pride after the Bruins hung 643 yards of offense on the Huskers last year.

Wisconsin at Arizona State:

Nobody’s going to mistake Todd Graham’s Sun Devils for the elite of the Pac-12, but their demolition of Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl and eight-win season served notice that you go to Tempe at your own peril. Wisconsin should be in for a 60-minute fight here.

BYU at Wisconsin:

The Badgers are the only two-time member of this list, which should give some indication as to how weak the Big Ten’s nonconference slate is in 2013. At any rate, this rare October non-con game should go a long way in determining bowl destinations for both schools.

And by contrary….

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WORST NON-CONFERENCE MATCHUPS

We could go 20-deep on this list. For your sake we won’t.

Wyoming at Nebraska:

We’re perversely hoping the announcers refer to this game as a “border war,” as if there’s anyone living within 100 miles of the Wyoming-Nebraska border.

Indiana State at Indiana:

In-state rivalries like this are why Indiana is a basketball state.

UNLV at Minnesota:

For the second straight year, the Rebels and Gophers kick off the season a couple days early, and for the second straight year, it will be one of the most insanely idiotic games we have ever watched. At no point in the rambling, incoherent contest will they be close to anything considered quality football. Everyone in that stadium and watching on television will be dumber for having watched it.

Illinois vs. Washington at Chicago:

They’re not seriously putting in a game’s worth of foot traffic on the notoriously dodgy Soldier Field grass for an Illinois football game, are they?

Florida A&M at Ohio State:

Braxton Miller might get in a quarter of work before his day is done. Yawn.

Tennessee Tech at Wisconsin:

The Golden Eagles weren’t even good by FCS standards; they went 3-8 in a weak Ohio Valley Conference in 2012.

Be sure to READ our story on Breaking down the BIG 10 Football with our predictions ~click here

 

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