Michigan State Wins Against Top 10, rival Michigan

Before we dive into this game, let’s explain how Big Ten basketball is going to work on this site for the rest of the season. Longer write-ups of the best games will be posted, not short blurbs for each game. Come the conference tournament, we will break down each game, as well as every NCAA Tournament game with a Big Ten team. Empire Sports Media is lacking a lot of Big Ten coverage, and especially on the basketball side. If you are interested in writing for the site, click here.

On Sunday, Michigan State went on the road to face cross-state rival Michigan and got it done in hostile territory, 77-70. Michigan State moved up to 23-5 (14-3 B1G), and Michigan dropped down to 24-4 (13-4 B1G).

The game may of proved to be a big swing in the projected NCAA Tournament bracket, Michigan possibly dropping to a three seed while Michigan State may of moved up to a two seed.

Cassius Winston had a monster night for the Spartans, scoring 27 points and dropping eight dimes. Big fella Kenny Goins had a nice 16 point, 11 rebound double-double and Xavier Tillman added 14 points and five rebounds. Senior captain Matt McQuaid added 13 points and five rebounds.

Michigan State had a seven point lead at one point in the first half that quickly diminished from three-pointers from Zavier Simpson and Ignas Brazdeikis, as well as a Jordan Poole layup.

Simpson played all 40 minutes and led Michigan with 19 points. Brazdeikis had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Poole added 15 points. Jon teske also had a 10 point, 11 rebound double-double, along with a block.

Overall, the first half stayed pretty close, and Michigan State went into the intermission with a 39-37 lead.

it remained close in the first 10 minutes of the second half, too. But then Michigan seemed to run out of steam. Cassius Winston and Kenny Goins each hit jumpers, Tillman hit a layup, Aaron Henry had two free-throws, Cassius Winston had another two, and Tillman threw one down. In that five or so minute span, Michigan only had four points and Michigan State had a seven point lead.

Michigan couldn’t really recover, and had trouble denting into the lead late, but Jordan Poole did hit a three with 33 second left to make it a four point game. But that didn’t matter, Cassius Winston was in the midst of seven straight free-throws, and hit four of them in the last 33 seconds. Kenny Goins also went 1-of-2 from the line, and Zavier Simpson hit a meaningless layup for Michigan with eight seconds left.

Michigan State shot 50 percent on the night, compared to just 40 percent for Michigan. But, Michigan had four more offensive rebounds than Michigan State, leading to second chance points.

Michigan had more fouls and turnovers than Michigan State, as well as outrebounded by two.

Penn State Gets New ST Coordinator and QB, Planned Facility Upgrade

It’s a decent week to be a fan of the Penn State Nittany Lions. There’s been a flurry of news this week around the team, even though it’s still the offseason and no actual team activities have started just yet, and that news ranges from recruiting updates to news about one of the team’s main facilities. Perhaps the most notable recent news, though, is that the team has filled one of the main vacancies on their staff going into next season.

Special Teams Coordinator Phil Galiano made the move to the NFL and joined the New Orleans Saints staff as an assistant, leaving Penn State with an opening at the position. That opening has been filled by Joe Lorig, who previously coached at Memphis and had the same position before moving to Texas Tech and then moving up to Penn State before settling into the new job.

With Memphis not giving up a special teams touchdown under Lorig during his few years with the program, it seems like Penn State is getting a good addition to fill out their staff.

Another noteworthy piece of news is that the team has a new quarterback joining their 2020 class. Micah Bowens, who plays for well-known high school program Bishop Gorman, committed on Tuesday. Bowens is ranked as the 4th best recruit in Nevada and the 23rd best dual threat quarterback in the class overall, and also has offers from Arizona and BYU.

Bowens has showed off his skills on the ground plenty so far in high school, and this looks like a continuation of the trend of Penn State recruiting mobile quarterbacks.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the team’s main training facility, the Lasch Building, is scheduled for renovations worth $1.5M after a large donation from alum John Leone, who recently gave $6.5M to the school in total. Of course, the building has been renovated before in the past, but in a conference like the Big Ten, it never hurts to do more and keep up with high quality competition such as Ohio State and Michigan.

John Beilein Reacts To Being Ejected In Upset Loss To Penn State

Can you imagine Michigan basketball head coach John Beilein getting ejected due to technical fouls? It’s not something that generally happens, so it’s understandable to be surprised or even shocked that it happened in Michigan’s upset loss to Penn State, which has been at the bottom of the conference all season and could be called the Big Ten’s most disappointing team.

Despite their disappointing season, however, Penn State was up 40-27 at halftime on the #6 team in the nation, Michigan. Beilein, however, disagreed with the buzzer beater that put the Nittany Lions up by that margin going into the break, and after voicing his opinions to the referee, picked up not one but two technical fouls in quick secession. The fouls resulted in Beilein being thrown out of the game, and Michigan would fail to bounce back without their head coach.

Beilein reacted after the game to the ejection, and said that he’ll be dealing with the league office soon about it. “I haven’t been thrown out of a game since… I think it was 78-79? So about 20 years before most of you were born. And you know me, I very rarely get a technical, so I’ll deal with the league office going forward and see what I can do differently.”

Beilein went on to take a cautious approach and avoid talking about the call that led to the technicals in the first place. “I’m not going to comment on that, that would not be good... There will be some pretty interesting discussion with the Big Ten office, I will say that.”

Bad call or not, Penn State ended up winning by a margin where it doesn’t matter. The result has some very interesting implications for the Big Ten because it puts the Wolverines under their in-state rival, Michigan State, in the standings. With both teams holding an 11-3 conference record, the final stretch of the season will be much more important.

Ohio State Quarterback Situation Clear Cut For 2019 Season

With the 2018 college football season over, it’s time for some quick recaps of where various teams are in 2019, starting with the quarterback situation of conference champions Ohio State.

Unlike Ohio State’s quarterback situation last year, there won’t be too many question marks before the season begins. Last season, there was a nominal race between Tate Martell and Dwayne Haskins Jr., but the race could be described as nominal for a reason. Haskins was the favorite coming into the season after serving as J.T. Barrett’s backup, and took the starting job easily once spring football proved who was the better player.

Martell is now with the Miami Hurricanes, jumping from the Big Ten to the ACC despite the player that had started in front of him being gone going into the 2019 season. That doesn’t mean that the Buckeyes are without a quarterback for 2019 and it does make things a lot more interesting when you consider the fact that Georgia transfer Justin Fields has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA.

Fields lost out in the starting quarterback battle long ago to Jake Fromm, but that doesn’t say as much about Fields being bad as it does about Fromm being one of the top NFL draft prospects in next year’s class of quarterbacks. In fact, there’s some oddmakers who think that Fields can even compete for the Heisman Trophy.

Fields was listed by BetOnline as having 12/1 odds to win the trophy. Fields was the top ranked recruit in his class according to ESPN and 247Sports, but only had 39 passing attempts during his 2018 season, when he was a freshman. Despite the small amount of throws, Fields still made appearances in 12 games and looked good, throwing four touchdowns during that time and completing 69.2% of his passes.

Is Fields going to be as good as Dwayne Haskins was? That’s a very tall task, as Haskins is currently the top quarterback prospect in the NFL Draft, and Fields is only a sophomore. But Ohio State is perhaps getting more of a sure thing than they were with Haskins, who entered the season as one of the team’s question marks. Things turned out well for Haskins and Ohio State, but the narrative at the end of the season was very different from the one at the start of it.

Fields has a bit more hype entering the season but it remains to be seen whether or not that hype means that Fields is more of a sure thing than the player that came before him. It is sure, though, that things are a lot more clear cut for Ohio State going into this season than they were before.

Michigan Football Will Have A Subtly Different Staff In 2019

If you were asked about the Michigan football coaching staff, the names that would come to mind would of course be Jim Harbaugh, or perhaps defensive coordinator Don Brown. Maybe even new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, who only recently took the job in what looks from the outside to be a somewhat strange lateral move from another blue blood program, Alabama.

However, those aren’t the only faces on the coaching staff and if you aren’t paying close attention, you might even miss the fact that the team has recently made multiple changes lower down the ranks. All of these stories broke within the last couple of days, and are for relatively minor positions.

However, it shows the stature of the Michigan program when coaches who are currently working positions such as offensive coordinator for smaller schools will take a minor position just to make the move to Michigan. According to Bruce Feldman, the Wolverines are bringing in Ferris State offensive coordinator Steve Casula as an offensive analyst, with Casula having previous experience with offensive coordinator Josh Gattis at Western Michigan.

Feldman has also reported that Bethune-Cookman special teams and recruiting coordinator Aashon Larkins is set to join the Wolverines staff as an analyst, but whether Larkins will be an analyst for special teams or for recruiting is unknown at this point. It seems that Michigan looked far and wide to find the candidates for their recent hires. Bethune-Cookman is an FCS school, while Ferris State isn’t a D1 school at all but rather a D2 one.

The last of these minor hires is Pat Perles, the son of former Michigan State head coach George Perles, according to Field Yates. Perles will act as both an analyst and an assistant offensive line coach. Perles previously coached at Syracuse as an offensive line coach but also has NFL experience with the Kansas City Chiefs, which may help somewhat in running a professional style program in Michigan.

This news comes after Michigan hired Josh Gattis as offensive coordinator last month, ensuring that things definitely won’t be the same when it comes to 2019’s coaching staff.

Iowa and Indiana pull major upsets: Big Ten basketball week in review (1/29-2/3)

Another fun week of Big Ten hoops is led by Iowa dominating Michigan, Indiana upsetting Michigan St., and Wisconsin with two big wins. Six teams hit the Top 25 this week! There were 12 games, so let’s dive into it!

Results & Mini-Recaps

Ohio St. vs. 5 Michigan: Michigan 65, Ohio State 49

Zavier Simpson’s triple-double with 11 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds helped Michigan cruise past Ohio State. Four different Michigan players got into double-figures, including 12 points off the bench for sophomore Isaiah Livers. Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.

Northwestern vs. 21 Maryland: Maryland 70, Northwestern 52

Bruno Fernando’s 22 points and 10 rebounds helped lead Maryland to a convincing win over Northwestern. Maryland held Northwestern to just 31 percent from the field. Jalen Smith had 14 points and nine rebounds to support Fernando. Anthony Gaines had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead Northwestern.

24 Wisconsin vs. Nebraska: Wisconsin 62, Nebraska 51

Wisconsin held Nebraska to just 28 percent from the field to beat Nebraska, despite being out-rebounded. Three Wisconsin Badgers were in double figures, including Ethan Happ who also had nine rebounds. Isaiah Roby had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Nebraska.

Indiana vs. Rutgers: Rutgers 66, Indiana 58

Rutgers strong effort on the boards helped them beat the struggling Indiana Hoosiers. Three Scarlet Knights were in double-figures, and they held Indiana to just 35 percent shooting. Romeo Langford led Indiana with 20 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Illinois vs. Minnesota: Minnesota 86, Illinois 75

Five Minnesota players were in double-figures as they beat Illinois by 11. Minnesota shot a strong 50 percent in the win, compared to 45 percent from Illinois. Trent Frazier had a huge 30 point performance for Illinois in the loss, and two Fighting Illini were in double-figures off of the bench.

17 Purdue vs. Penn St.: Purdue 99, Penn St. 90 (OT)

Purdue shot the lights out at 55 percent, and survived the last-place Penn State in overtime. Conference scoring leader Carsen Edwards exploded for 38 points, and teammate Ryan Cline added 20. Lamar Stevens had 24 points for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions hit 30 free-throws to counter their poor 39 percent shooting.

5 Michigan vs. Iowa: Iowa 74, Michigan 59

Iowa jumped out to a 13 point halftime lead on their home floor and used that to knock off the number five team in the country. Luke Garza and Joe Wieskamp had 19 and 16 points, respectively for the winners. Iowa held Michigan to just 32 percent from the field. Three Wolverines made it into double-figures.

21 Maryland vs. 24 Wisconsin: Wisconsin 69, Maryland 61

Wisconsin used a dominating second half after trailing at halftime to beat Maryland at home. Brad Davidson had 21 points for Wisconsin, and Ethan Happ had an 18 point, 11 rebound double-double as well. Bruno Fernando had a double-double to lead the Terrapins.

Indiana vs. 6 Michigan St.: Indiana 79. Michigan St. 75 (OT)

Despite losing Juwan Morgan in the first half to a shoulder injury, Indiana ended their skid with a huge road upset over Michigan St. Romeo Langford led the winners with 19 points, and Justin Smith had 13 points and 10 rebounds with the game-sealing block. Cassius Winston had a huge night for the Spartans with 26 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

Rutgers vs. Ohio State: Ohio State 76, Rutgers 62

Ohio State shot the ball 53 percent to lead to a victory over Rutgers. Kaleb Wesson had 27 points and five assists, and C.J. Jackson had 20 points and seven rebounds. Despite the win, they trailed -11 in the rebound margin.  Eugene Omoruyi had 19 points, eight rebounds, and six rebounds for Rutgers in the loss.

Nebraska vs. Illinois: Illinois 71, Nebraska 64

Illinois balanced scoring and strong defense led them to a win over Nebraska. Kipper Nichols had 18 points off the bench, while Illinois held Nebraska to just 36 percent from the field. James Palmer Jr. had 22 points and eight rebounds for Nebraska, and Tanner Borchardt had 12 points and 18 rebounds.

Minnesota vs. 17 Purdue: Purdue 73, Minnesota 63

Purdue had five players in double-figures and shot the ball 48 percent in a win over Minnesota. Carsen Edwards led Purdue with 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists, and Nojel Eastern had 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals in an all-around effort. Amir Coffey had 22 points for Minnesota, and Daniel Oturu had 19 points and nine rebounds off of the bench.

Standings & Rankings

7 Michigan, 20-2 (9-2 )

9 Michigan St., 18-4 (9-2)

15 Purdue, 16-6 (9-2)

19 Wisconsin, 16-6 (8-3)

24 Maryland, 17-6 (8-4)

20 Iowa, 17-5 (6-5)

Minnesota, 16-6 (6-5)

Ohio State, 14-7 (4-6)

Rutgers, 11-10 (4-7)

Indiana, 13-9 (4-7)

Northwestern, 12-9 (3-7)

Nebraska, 13-9 (3-8)

Illinois, 7-15 (3-8)

Penn St., 7-14 (0-10)

Big Ten Football: Penn State Has A Transfer Problem

Now that the college football season is over, it’s time for free agency. Even if that would have sounded like a crazy statement years ago, it’s how things are now. It’s easier for players to transfer, and for better or worse, the practice has become common. Transfers can even help to make or break a team. Just look at Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray for examples of how a player can excel after changing teams.

But when you have 12 players either transferring or intending to transfer, something might be wrong with your team. That’s the situation that Penn State is in right now. Eight players have already found new schools to transfer to, this offseason. Four others have declared their intentions to transfer but haven’t found their destinations yet. It’s not like these are all players that would never get a chance to see the field if they remained at Penn State, either.

Redshirt senior Juwan Johnson, the team’s second leading receiver last season, is on the list of players that intends to transfer. Typically, a player like Johnson would be counted on as a leader going into the 2019 season. It’s rare for a player, after all, to want to leave after playing for three years at a school and having a large role lined up for next season. Others, such as 2018 freshman defensive back Isaiah Humphries, didn’t see playing time with Penn State so far but will be lost as future assets because of transferring.

“It’s difficult to see guys leave. It’s kind of the nature of college football at this point, just the landscape of it. I think we have a really good leadership group on our team right now. Maybe guys who weren’t leaders on the team last year but have stepped up into that spotlight. I think guys are responding to it really well,” Penn State punter Blake Gillikin told the Centre Daily Times.

Head coach James Franklin has been silent on the matter for now. Should Franklin speak up about it soon? Probably. National Signing Day is on February 6, and a large exodus of players isn’t a good look in recruiting at all. It’s too soon to say whether or not this is on Franklin and the rest of the staff, but it’s also something that fans should pay attention to. These kinds of things don’t just happen for no reason, after all. And going into National Signing Day, the trend is worrying for a Penn State team that’s already coming off of a bowl loss.

Big Ten Basketball: 1/21/19-1/27/19 – Illinois Upsets Maryland

Big Ten week in review: 1/21/19-1/27/19
 
This past week in Big Ten hoops was another wild one. The three big storylines of the week: Maryland goes 0-2, Purdue upsets Michigan St., Penn State can’t buy a win. Let’s dive into the games!
13 Maryland @ 6 Michigan St.: Michigan St. 69, Maryland 55
 
In one of the marquee match-ups of the week, Michigan St. was able to hold Maryland to 55 points off 34 percent shooting in a win over Maryland. Michigan St. never trailed after going up 5-4 early on.
-Michigan St. senior Kenny Goins went for 14 points, 10 rebounds
-5 Spartans reached double figures
-Maryland’s Bruno Fernando was limited to 12 points but had 13 rebounds
 
Nebraska @ Rutgers: Rutgers 76, Nebraska 69
 
Rutgers, who is predominately always at the bottom of the conference, pulled off a surprising win at home over Nebraska, thanks to a +10 rebounding margin.
-Montez Mathis led Rutgers with 20 points, nine rebounds
-Myles Johnson came off the bench for 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights.
-Three Nebraska starters contributed 14 points or more in the effort
 
Minnesota @ 5 Michigan: Michigan 59, Minnesota 57
 
Michigan again played with fire, but this time escaped thanks to a buzzer-beating baseline floater by Charles Matthews. Michigan was extremely lucky to escape, only shooting 34 percent on the night.
-Only shooting 22 percent, Ignas Brazdeikis led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds
-Jon Teske shot an efficient seven-of-eight from the floor with 15 points
-Jordan Murphy led the Golden Gophers with 15 points and 11 rebounds
 
Indiana @ Northwestern: Northwestern 73, Indiana 66
 
Northwestern was able to escape for their third non-conference victory, fighting off a balanced attack from the Hoosiers.
-Junior Aaron Falzon came off the bench and scored a career-high 21 points, hitting six threes
-Vic Law, A.J. Turner, and Anthony Gaines were all in double-figures and provided a strong all-around contribution
-Indiana freshman standout Romeo Langford had a quieter night, scoring just 12 points
 
Purdue @ Ohio State: Purdue 79, Ohio State 67
 
Purdue’s 50 percent shooting from downtown was enough to counter Ohio State shooting 52 percent in their sixth conference win.
-Big Ten leading scorer Carsen Edwards went for 27 points, also adding five steals
-Matt Haarms came off the bench and added nine points, seven rebounds, and two blocks
-Andre Wesson led Ohio State with 22 points
 
Wisconsin @ Illinois: Wisconsin 72, Illinois 60
 
Despite a quiet night from star Senior Ethan Happ, Wisconsin was able to pull out a win at Illinois.
-Nate Reuvers had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead Wisconsin
-Happ was held to just nine points, the only Wisconsin starter with single-digit points. All but three points came from Wisconsin’s starters
-Giorgi Bezhanishvili led Illinois with 20 points and eight rebounds
 
6 Michigan State @ 19 Iowa: Michigan State 82, Iowa 67
 
Michigan St.’s 24-4 second-half run was enough to come back and get a quality, ranked win over Iowa.
-Nick Ward and Cassius Winston combined for 44 of Michigan St.’s 82 points
-Ward also had a double-double with 10 rebounds, Winston contributed seven assists
-Luke Garza led Iowa with 20 points, Nicholas Baer and Tyler Cook also in double-figures
 
5 Michigan @ Indiana: Michigan 69, Indiana 46
 
Michigan opened up on a 17-0 run, led wire to wire in a dominating victory at Indiana.
-Four Wolverines were in double figures, Ignas Brazdeikis led with 20 points
-Michigan held Indiana to just 28 percent from the field
-Juwan Morgan led Indiana with 16 points and 12 rebounds
 
Illinois @ 13 Maryland (At Madison Square Garden): Illinois 78, Maryland 67
 
Illinois outscored Maryland 48-33 in the second half in an upset win against Maryland at Madison Square Garden.
-Ayo Dosunmu led the way with 20 points and six assists
-Tevian Jones and Andres Feliz had 18 points and 15 points respectively off the bench
-Bruno Fernando led Maryland with 19 points and 10 rebounds
 
Ohio State @ Nebraska: Ohio State 70, Nebraska 60
 
Ohio State was able to hold Nebraska to 36 percent shooting on their home floor as Ohio State came away with a 10 point quality victory.
-Luther Muhammad led Ohio State with 24 points, six boards, and three steals
-Ohio State controlled the boards at +14 margin and +7 on the offensive glass
-James Palmer Jr. had 19 points and Glynn Watson Jr. had 18 points for Nebraska
Northwestern @ Wisconsin: Wisconsin 62, Northwestern 46
 
Ethan Happ’s triple-double leads Wisconsin past Northwestern.
-Happ had 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists
-Brad Davidson and D’Mitrik Trice each had 18 points for the winners
-Nobody had more than eight points for Northwestern
 
Rutgers @ Penn State: Rutgers 64, Penn State 60
 
In a battle of the Big Ten bottom feeders, Penn State remains winless in conference play.
-Geo Baker led Rutgers with 20 points
-Both teams shot 35 percent from the field
-Lamar Stevens had 21 points and eight rebounds for Penn State
 
6 Michigan State @ Purdue: Purdue 73, Michigan State 63
 
Purdue upsets Michigan St. at home despite 38 percent shooting
-Five Boilermakers were in double figures, two came off the bench
-Out-rebounded Michigan St. by a +9 margin
-Cassius Winston led Michigan St. with 23 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds
19 Iowa @ Minnesota: Minnesota 92, Iowa 87
 
Minnesota upsets Iowa at home, drops Iowa from polls.
-Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey combined for 46 points, Murphy also with 11 rebounds in the win
-Minnesota shot a phenomenal 57 percent from the field
-Luke Garza, Isaiah Moss, and Tyler Cook combined for 66 of Iowa’s 87 points
 
 
Standings and Rankings (As of 1/28)
 
6 Michigan State, 18-3, 9-1
5 Michigan, 19-1, 8-1,
17 Purdue, 14-6, 7-2,
21 Maryland, 16-5, 7-3
24 Wisconsin, 14-6, 6-3
Minnesota, 15-5, 5-4
Iowa, 16-5, 5-5
Ohio State, 13-6, 3-5
Nebraska, 13-7, 3-6
Indiana, 12-8, 3-6
Northwestern, 12-8, 3-6
Rutgers, 10-9, 3-6
Illinois, 6-14, 2-7
Penn State, 7-13, 0-9

Big Ten: The Conference’s Hopes Rest On Ohio State

Want to see a Big Ten team in the College Football Playoff? You’ll have to hope that Ohio State can beat the odds and make it in over Oklahoma or Georgia, because once again, there’s a number of teams that possibly deserve to get in, and only four spots. The worst case scenario for Ohio State would be a Georgia victory against Alabama, which would have caused Alabama to fall in the standings and likely would have seen them take the final playoff spot based on being the most dominant team of the year.

That didn’t happen. But the other scenario isn’t exactly good for Ohio State, either. Even with Georgia losing, the fact that they played such a close game with Alabama and finished the season with only two losses will cause some to argue that they should be in. Even if this gets dismissed as SEC bias, there’s also Oklahoma to think about. The Sooners and Ohio State are nearly neck and neck this season in terms of accomplishments, and OU didn’t benefit the Buckeyes by losing the Big 12 title game to their rivals from Texas.

Oklahoma came into conference championship week one spot above Ohio State in the standings. Both teams handled what they needed to handle and won their respective conferences, but it’s hard to pick Ohio State over Oklahoma if you consider the rest of their seasons. Both teams are 12-1, but they’ve had very different stories.

Style matters when it comes to making the playoffs and in Oklahoma’s 12 wins, they’ve struggled less than Ohio State has in the games that they shouldn’t have struggled in. While they did win their conference, their games like the narrow victories against poor Nebraska and Maryland teams that will count against them when comparing them to an Oklahoma team that has one of the top offenses in the country.

Ohio State is an underdog to make the playoffs. You could argue that both Georgia and Oklahoma have better cases to get in, but there’s no telling what will happen once the committee sits down to make their decision.

This wasn’t a great season for the Big Ten as a conference, really. Michigan faltered in the end, keeping them from claiming a higher ranked Ohio State as a quality win and potentially beating Northwestern to get into the playoffs. Penn State’s down year ensured that they were out of the race with months left in the season, and a weak Big Ten West left the eastern part of the conference as the sole hope to send a team to the postseason.

But what does Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer have to say about it? “Well, I think all you have to look at is the body of work. We went on the road and had some tough wins, TCU, Penn State, Michigan State. And then to come back and play against our rivals the way we did. And then we went and represented the eastern conference and had a great game here. I think we deserve a shot.”

Does OSU deserve that shot? They might. But we’ll just have to wait until later today to see if they get it. After all, when it comes to this part of the season, you can throw your predictions out the window.

Big Ten: The Freshman And Receiver Of The Year Is Rondale Moore

Purdue isn’t always the school that you would expect award-winning players to come from, but this year, they can lay claim to having both the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Receiver of the Year awards. Both of these titles will go to Rondale Moore, who racked up more than a thousand yards receiving in his first season with the Boilermakers and greatly helped their offense with 12 touchdowns over the air and one on the ground.

With the regular season practically over at this point, Moore’s 103 receptions also lead the nation across all conferences and barely edge out other players such as UMass receiver Andy Isabella, who finished the year with 101. Moore’s 1,164 yards put him at tenth in all conferences, but first in the Big Ten, above Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson and his 1,112 yards.

Moore’s influence has been felt in Purdue’s season. While they did finish their regular season 5-4 in the Big Ten Conference, they’re currently on par with both Iowa and Wisconsin in a three-way tie for second place in the Big Ten West standings. They also defeated Ohio State in a nationally televised home game, back when the Buckeyes were ranked number two in the nation.

During that game, Moore had one of his most productive nights and finished with 12 receptions and 170 yards, tying his highest number of catches and setting a career high in yards. In the season finale win against rivals Indiana, Moore tied that total of 12 catches and finished the game with 141 yards and 2 touchdowns.

It’s certainly a well deserved award, and going into next season, Moore will definitely be one of the national players to watch. Especially when Purdue has a better idea of their starting quarterback situation going into the start of the season, unlike this year.