Jim Rossow's Big Ten report: Good bye for Illini

Jim Rossow's Big Ten report: Good bye for Illini

Sports editor Jim Rossow's weekly look around the league:

THE STANDINGS
LEADERS DIVISION
TEAM               LEAGUE   PF    PA   OVERALL   PF    PG
Ohio State    3    0    132    103    7    0    283    172
Penn State    2    0    74    35    4    2    162    96
Wisconsin    2    1    96    58    5    2    182    129
Purdue    0    2    27    82    3    3    197    165
Indiana    0    3    105    127    2    4    213    191
Illinois    0    3    21    111    2    5    127    215
LEGENDS DIVISION
Iowa    2    0    50    29    4    2    132    103
Michigan    2    0    89    13    4    2    203    105
Northwestern    2    1    93    81    6    1    218    155
Nebraska    1    1    68    90    4    2    262    166
Michigan State    1    2    63    63    4    3    147    110
Minnesota    0    2    26    52    4    2    145    119

THE SCHEDULE
Want to know which of Saturday’s games are worth your time? Here’s the scoop from sports editor Jim Rossow, who went 4-1 last week:

Minnesota at Wisconsin
11 a.m., ESPNU

Gophers haven’t left Camp Randall with Paul Bunyan’s Axe since 1994, when Jerry Kill was in his first season as a head coach (Saginaw Valley State). Overall, they’ve lost eight straight to Bucky and can tie the longest slump by either school (Minnesota lost nine straight from 1933 to ‘41) in the 121-game rivalry.
Rossow’s pick: Wisconsin, 21-3

Purdue at No. 7 Ohio State
11 a.m., WICD (ABC)

Quarterback Braxton Miller, who is averaging 311.8 yards per game and 213.5 in his career, is on pace to break the school records held by Joe Germaine (270.6 in 1988) and Terrelle Pryor (185.2).   
Rossow’s pick: Ohio State, 56-10

Michigan State at No. 23 Michigan
2:30 p.m., BTN

Big games don’t always bring out the best in Denard Robinson, who has been abysmal in his two starts against Sparty: 26-of-53 passing for 338 yards and four interceptions, and 128 yards rushing.
Rossow’s pick: Michigan, 27-24

Indiana at Navy
2:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Hoosiers know how to protect their quarterback (eight sacks allowed) as well as the football (two turnovers). It’s a big reason why they torched a blue blood like never before, their 49 points against Ohio State the most the Hoosiers have scored against a Top 10 opponent.
Rossow’s pick: Navy, 24-23

Nebraska at Northwestern
2:30 p.m., WICD (ABC)

ESPN’s Michael Wilbon — a Chicago native and 1980 grad of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism — will lead the Wildcats on the field as honorary captain. Someone better lead the Cornhuskers to Ryan Field, too, as they haven’t visited Evanston since Oct. 3, 1931 (our Loren Tate was born Nov. 3, 1931).
Rossow’s pick: Northwestern, 38-35

Penn State at Iowa
7 p.m., BTN

Hawkeyes won’t panic if they’re behind late. Last week’s overtime thriller at Michigan State marked the ninth time since 2009 they’ve won after trailing in the fourth quarter. Only Minnesota, Ohio and Wyoming have as many rallies in that span.
Rossow’s pick: Iowa, 17-12

Bye: Illinois

LOOKING AHEAD

Coaches like to take it one game at a time. Not us:
OCT. 27
Indiana at Illinois    11 a.m.
Iowa at Northwestern    11 a.m.
Michigan State at Wisconsin    2:30 p.m.
Purdue at Minnesota    2:30 p.m.
Ohio State at Penn State    5 p.m.
Michigan at Nebraska    7 p.m.

THE LISTS

ILLINOIS MVP
ILLINI    PREVIOUS
Justin DuVernois  —
Nathan Scheelhaase    2
Mason Monheim    —
Ashante Williams    —
Bye week    5
Rossow’s take: Probably not a list you want to make, but DuVernois is on pace to crack the school’s top 10 for most punts in a season. He probably won’t catch No. 1 (Terry Masar booted it 85 times in 1971), but the way Illinois is struggling on offense getting to 70 won’t be a problem.

IN THE PENTHOUSE
(Big Ten MVP)

PLAYER, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
Braxton Miller, Ohio State    1
Montee Ball, Wisconsin    —
Matt McGloin, Penn State    3
Denard Robinson, Michigan    —
Venric Mark, Northwestern    5
Rossow’s take: Ball (4,126) and Robinson (4,033) rank 1-2 in career rushing among active players, just ahead of Fresno State’s Robbie Rouse (3,945), UCLA’s James Franklin (3,547) and SMU’s Zach Line (3,427).

IN THE DOGHOUSE (FAN NON-FAVORITE)
GOAT    AFFILIATION
Everything    Illinois
Luke Fickell    Ohio State
Rush defense    Purdue
MarQueis Gray’s ankle    Minnesota
Media policy    Michigan State
Rossow’s take: Afraid his players will incite rival Michigan with bulletin-board material, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio imposed a no-interview policy this week. Critics of the coach will tell you he imposed a no-touchdown policy the first seven weeks of the season.

COACH OF THE YEAR
COACH, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
Bill O’Brien, Penn State    1
Urban Meyer, Ohio State    2
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern    3
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa    —
Kevin Wilson, Indiana    —
Rossow’s take: Why is last-place Wilson on this list? Hoosiers have eight seniors, tied for the fewest in the country, and 22 of 29 starters this season are underclassmen.

BOWL LINEUP
TEAM    BOWL
Wisconsin    BCS
Michigan    Capital One
Nebraska    Outback
Northwestern    Gator
Iowa    TicketCity
Rossow’s take: Bret Bielema was right to shake up his offensive coaching staff. After averaging 16.3 points the first three games, Badgers have scored at a 33.2-point pace the last four.
 

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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