LAST WEEK…Just three Big 10 teams lost including Northwestern, #17 Ohio State and Michigan State. Obviously, I can understand an undermanned Buckeye team losing to an up-and-coming Hurricane squad in Miami. I can also wrap my brain around a team like Northwestern losing to a gritty Army team, by just a touchdown. I can not however, understand what or how Michigan State lost to Notre Dame. The Spartans had won seven straight in South Bend, and were looking to amplify their #15 national ranking. The funny thing is, Notre Dame is not a bad team at all this season. In fact, many experts have the Irish in a BCS game (I do not). Yet, this was an Irish team with their backs against the wall, desperately trying to defend their 0-2 season. The Irish defended indeed and Sparty may have lost their shot at a Big 10 Conference Title in 2011.
The #7 ranked Badgers cruised past another lightweight division-1 team, 49-7, while Russell Wilson is starting to become a household name. #11 Nebraska scored 51 points in their win against a tough Washington team. Illinois shot into the AP Top 25 ranks with their rousing 17-14 victory over #22 Arizona State. Michigan remained undefeated with a blowout win, 31-3, over Eastern Michigan and also moved into the Top 25.
THIS WEEK…The #22 Michigan Wolverines (3-0) headline the early games, facing off against San Diego State (3-0) in Ann Arbor. Eastern Michigan will now try its hat against another Big 10 team, this week in the form of Penn State (2-1). The Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1) host Louisiana-Monroe and Michigan State (2-1) will try to rebound against Central Michigan on Saturday morning. #6 Wisconsin (3-0) highlights the afternoon games in the Big 10, as they play host to South Dakota. Western Michigan will visit #24 ranked Illinois (3-0) and Colorado will take on the Buckeyes (2-1) from Columbus. #9 Nebraska (3-0) travels to Wyoming for a what should be a very interesting match-up for the CornHuskers in the nightcap. (1-2) Indiana will visit North Texas and (1-2) Minnesota will host undefeated South Dakota State, both at 6:00 p.m. central time. Purdue and Northwestern are both on bye weeks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND…
1) Denard Robinson, Michigan: The Wolverines leader will be ready to answer the bell in the early game versus 3-0 San Diego State.
2) Taylor Martinez, Nebraska: With the national spotlight on the sophomore, look for him to shine his brightest in Wyoming.
3) Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois: This is the best start to a season for the Illini since 2001. This quarterback must prove their worth each week.
4) Cam Gordon and Brandon Herron, Michigan: With these two healthy and prowling the defensive side of the ball, the Wolverines should be in good shape.
5) Devin Smith, Ohio State: So far, Smith is the best wideout OSU has this season. If they want to win, they need to utilize him and his wide receiver teammates early and often.