Jim Rossow's Big Ten report: Will Illini snap skid?

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

THE STANDINGS
LEADERS DIVISION
TEAM                LEAGUE   PF    PA    OVERALL   PF    PA
Ohio State    6    0    248    170    10    0    399    239
Penn State    4    1    169    93    6    3    257    154
Wisconsin    3    2    147    87    6    3    233    158
Indiana    2    3    160    165    4    5    298    260
Purdue    0    5    86    189    3    6    256    272
Illinois    0    5    60    194    2    7    166    298

LEGENDS DIVISION
Nebraska    4    1    148    151    7    2    342    227
Michigan    4    1    145    59    6    3    259    151
Northwestern    3    2    149    127    7    2    274    201
Iowa    2    3    102    119    4    5    184    193
Michigan State    2    4    113    116    5    5    197    163
Minnesota    1    4    96    153    5    4    215    220

THE SCHEDULE

Want to know which of Saturday’s games are worth your time? Here’s the dirt from sports editor Jim Rossow, who got four more years after a 5-0 week:

Northwestern at Michigan
11 a.m., ESPN

We’re guessing it comes down to two of the Big Ten’s three Lou Groza semifinalists. Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien is 11 for 12 on field goals (his only miss was from 53 yards), and Michigan’s Brandon Gibbons has made 10 in a row, including the game-winner against Michigan State. Iowa’s Mike Meyer also is in the 20-kicker mix (finalists will be named Nov. 19, winner on Dec. 6).
Rossow’s pick: Michigan, 24-21

Wisconsin at Indiana
11 a.m., ESPN2

Badgers have motivation (win sends them to another Big Ten title game), history (they’re 4-0 after regular season weeks off since 2009, winning by an average of 45.3-7.5) and Montee Ball (in three games against Hoosiers, he’s averaging 141.3 yards rushing to go with eight rushing touchdowns.)
Rossow’s pick: Indiana, 28-24

Purdue at Iowa
11 a.m., BTN

Fans are supposed to dress like Johnny Cash for Iowa’s “Blackout Game” — not to mourn another disappointing season but to create an intimidating atmosphere inside Kinnick Stadium. It helps that the soon-to-be-firing-their-coach Boilermakers are in town. They’ve lost six straight in Iowa City, allowing stodgy Iowa to average 30.7 points in that span.
Rossow’s pick: Iowa, 30-10

Penn State at No. 18 Nebraska
2:30 p.m., WICD (ABC)

In fourth quarters this season, Cornhuskers have A) outscored opponents 37-14, B) outgained opponents by an average of 147-39 yards, C) averaged 6.1 yards per play and D) dominated time of possession (9:41 to 5:19). As a result, Herbie is the only team in Division I to overcome three double-digit second-half deficits this fall.
Rossow’s pick: Nebraska, 28-17

Minnesota at Illinois
2:30 p.m., BTN

Bill Self was in his second year, Nancy Cantor was in her first year and Chief Illiniwek still had many more years. That was the scene at Illinois in 2001, which was the last time the Illini beat the Gophers in football at Memorial Stadium. The three-game streak is Minnesota’s longest road run against a Big Ten opponent since winning four in a row at Northwestern from 1985 to ‘93.
Rossow’s pick: Illinois, 28-21

Bye: Michigan State, Ohio State

LOOKING AHEAD

Coaches like to take it one game at a time. Not us:
NOV. 17
Iowa at Michigan    11 a.m.
Northwestern at Michigan State    11 a.m.
Indiana at Penn State    11 a.m.
Minnesota at Nebraska    2:30 p.m.
Purdue at Illinois    2:30 p.m.
Ohio State at Wisconsin    2:30 p.m.

THE LISTS

ILLINOIS MVP
ILLINI    PREVIOUS
Terry Hawthorne   —
Ashante Williams    —
Glenn Foster    —
Tim Russell    —
Corey Lewis    —
Rossow’s take: In the last five years, no Big Ten team can match the Illini’s total of five first-round NFL draft picks. If Hawthorne stays healthy and motivated, the East St. Louis star could make it six in six.

IN THE PENTHOUSE
(Big Ten MVP)

PLAYER, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
Braxton Miller, Ohio State    1
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska    2
Kain Colter, Northwestern    3
Matt McGloin, Penn State    4
Adam Replogle, Indiana    5
Rossow’s take: No wonder Martinez picked up his sixth career conference Player of the Week award (five Big Ten, one Big 12): With 365 yards of total offense against Michigan State, quarterback had more total yards than nine of the Spartans’ 10 opponents this season.

IN THE DOGHOUSE: (BIG TEN GOAT)                
FAN NON-FAVORITE    SCHOOL
Refs    Michigan State
Danny Hope    Purdue
Greg Davis    Iowa
Trick plays    Minnesota
Offense    Illinois
Rossow’s take: Offensive coordinator Davis is getting the Paul Schudel treatment for the Hawkeyes’ inability to keep fans awake. Iowa has one play from scrimmage that went for at least 50 yards and only four touchdown passes in 174 completions.

COACH OF THE YEAR
COACH, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
Urban Meyer, Ohio State    1
Kevin Wilson, Indiana    5
Bo Pelini, Nebraska    2
Bill O’Brien, Penn State    3
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern    4
Rossow’s take: Credit Wilson for drawing attention to football even though basketball games have started. Indiana hasn’t won two in a row this late in any season since 2001 and is on the brink of its first three-game Big Ten win streak since Bill Mallory’s 1993 bunch wound up in the Independence Bowl.

BOWL LINEUP
TEAM    BOWL
Nebraska    BCS
Michigan    Capital One
Wisconsin    Outback
Northwestern    Gator
Indiana    TicketCity
Rossow’s take: Week off did Wildcats good. They went from receiving votes to No. 21 in the coaches’ Top 25 and made the BCS rankings (No. 24) for the first time since Dec. 7, 2008.
 

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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Bwp 5P wrote on November 09, 2012 at 7:11 am

"In the last five years, no Big Ten team can match the Illini’s total of five first-round NFL draft picks. If Hawthorne stays healthy and motivated, the East St. Louis star could make it six in six."

 

In my opinion that's one of the sources of frustration for many fans........why can't we be better?

I realize it takes more than one player.......but.......