Around the Big Ten


1) Ohio State (5-0) I’d be more worried about the defense than the offense if I’m Urban Meyer.2) Michigan State (5-0) Almost losing to Purdue is not a good thing. Good thing Sparty gets the three-ring circus (or 1.5-ring) that is Rutgers this week.

3. Northwestern (5-0) A win over Michigan, and Patty Fitz might find himself with a top-10 team. What a time to be alive.

4. Iowa (5-0) Sets the stage for a huge game with the Wildcats next week.

5. Wisconsin (3-2) The Iowa-Wisconsin game could have easily gone the opposite way. A trip to Nebraska awaits the Badgers.

6. Michigan (4-1) The “Can Michigan contend for a Big Ten Championship” talk needs to end right now.

7. Indiana (4-1) The Hoosiers, down to their second-string quarterback, were within a couple plays of beating Ohio State. I’m starting to take Indiana at least a little seriously.

8. Penn State (4-1) Nittany Lions get the aforementioned Hoosiers this week. Should be a good game.

9. Illinois (4-1) Bill Cubit has done well with what he’s got so far this season, but losing Josh Ferguson is going to hurt.

10. Nebraska (2-3) Shouldn’t have fired Bo Pelini. There, I said it.

11. Minnesota (3-2) Gophers are trending downward, but they play Purdue and Nebraska the next two weeks. That should ease the pain just a bit.

12. Purdue (1-4) The Boilermakers took Michigan State to the wire. It’s just a moral victory, but it’s something for Darrell Hazell to build on.

13. Rutgers (2-2) The Scarlet Knights’ next four games: Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Yikes.

14. Maryland (2-3) Randy Edsall might need a new job in the near future.

Offensive impact:
Name: Geronimo Allison
Position: Wide receiver
Year: Senior

Allison caught the game-winning touchdown against Nebraska last week and also leads the Big Ten in receiving yardage. It helps, of course, to have Wes Lunt throwing the ball around.

Defensive impact:
Name: Joe Schobert
Position: Outside linebacker
Year: Senior

Schobert is a one-man wrecking crew who leads the Big Ten in sacks and tackles for loss, and he is tied for the lead in forced fumbles. He almost beat Iowa by himself and is an early candidate for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Game to watch:
No. 13 Northwestern vs. No. 18 Michigan
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor.

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