The Michigan State-Ohio State matchup in the Big Ten championship game already is set, and the Buckeyes are two-touchdown favorites against rival Michigan on Saturday. The real drama in the Big Ten this week might be in the three trophy games — Iowa at Nebraska, Northwestern at Illinois and Purdue at Indiana.
Minnesota is playing meaningful Big Ten games in November. Wisconsin visits Saturday in a rivalry game that might have wider implications than reclaiming Paul Bunyan’s Axe. A visit to Michigan State looms next week, though coach Jerry Kill isn’t looking behind the Badgers.
The easy question is to ask if Ohio State is better than Baylor, but the real question should ask if Michigan State is better than Oklahoma State. That is the most important question over the next few weeks, but it will not matter if Alabama and Florida State run the table to collide in Pasadena.
Behind 26 points from junior guard Andre Hollins, Minnesota defeated Richmond 74-59 on the road in the refurbished Robins Center Saturday night. The Golden Gophers (3-0) avoided being upset in their only nonconference road game of the season. Austin Hollins and Malik Smith scored 11 points apiece on a night where neither team shot very well. Both teams shot under 40% from the field and 70% from the line. Senior Cedrick Lindsay paced the Spiders (2-1) with 15 points on 5 of 16 from the field. Deion Taylor scored 11 points and Terry Allen ripped down 12 rebounds for the home team.
Minnesota’s Andre Hollins is fast becoming one of the best players in the Big Ten.
It feels weird to suggest that an undefeated Ohio State team could have absolutely no shot to play in the national championship game, but that is the reality staring down at the Buckeyes right now following the release of the latest BCS standings Sunday night.
Thanks to a four-game win streak, the Gopher football team cracked the national rankings, as Minnesota is now slated No. 25 in the Coaches Poll. The last time the Gophers rattled off four-straight Big Ten victories was 1973, and after Saturday’s 24-10 victory over Penn State, the program has finally caught the attention of the national landscape.
David Cobb carried 27 times for 139 yards and a touchdown, and Minnesota held Penn State scoreless over the final 33-plus minutes to grind out a 24-10 victory on Saturday, the fourth in a row for the Golden Gophers.
One of Minnesota’s three sterling five-star recruits is leaving his home state to play college basketball at Stanford. DeLaSalle’s Reid Travis’ top two finalists were the Gophers and the Cardinal and he decided at Friday’s press conference at his high school to head west.
How’s this for a paradigm shift in Big Ten football? Minnesota has won straight three conference games and is favored, ever so slightly, to beat Penn State.
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino is on the verge of his first game with the Gophers. They host Lehigh on Friday night in the season opener. Pitino said before the team’s practice on Thursday afternoon that he’s nervous before every game, so this will be no different.
There are smiles on the faces of Gopher football players – that’s what happens when you win. The U of M is on a three-game Big Ten win streak, something the program hasn’t done for years.
Given their bloodlines and new jobs, Minnesota’s Richard Pitino and Northwestern’s Chris Collins have quite a bit in common. Both are in their 30s. They’re the sons of well-known coaches, and they already seem to have a bond heading into their first season in the Big Ten.
The Gopher Coach talks with Dave and Sid…
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is working his way back into the job after taking a leave of absence to better manage his epilepsy. He’s not ready to return to the sideline. But he said confidently that he’ll soon be seizure-free.