A few notes and nuggets to hopefully make you smarter for Week 4 in the Big Ten. Thanks to ESPN's Stats & Information group for several of these.
For the first time since 2004, six Big Ten teams are ranked in both the Associated Press and Coaches' polls. The last time six Big Ten programs were rated among the top 25 in either the AP or Coaches' polls was on Oct. 24, 2005. The last time six Big Ten programs were ranked among the top 25 in both polls was on Sept. 13, 2004.
Ohio State has won 56 consecutive nonconference home games against unranked teams. The last unranked non-conference team to beat the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium was Florida State (34-17) on Oct. 2, 1982.
Wisconsin is 14-0 in home nonconference games under Bret Bielema and outscored its opponents 492-232 in those games.
A Michigan win would make the Wolverines 4-0 for the 2nd consecutive season. The last time Michigan started back-to-back seasons 4-0 was from 1995-97, when the Wolverines did it three years in a row, a run that ended with a national title in 1997.
Penn State has won 26 straight games against Temple. That is tied with USC-Oregon State for the second-most wins against a FBS opponent in a nonconsecutive series (not played every season). The record is 29 by Clemson against Virginia from 1955-90. Of the 26 straight wins by Joe Paterno against Temple, only five of them have been decided by single digits, and none since 1985 (16 straight wins by double digits).
Michigan State is one of only two FBS teams (Nevada being the other) to have two players average at least 100 rushing per game. Edwin Baker ranks ninth nationally (130 ypg) and Le'Veon Bell ranks 26th (101.3 ypg). Michigan State has run for at least 200 yards in each of its first three games. That hasn’t happened since 1993. The Spartans only had one 200-yard rushing game last season.
Iowa is 14-2 at home since the start of the 2008 season. The Hawkeyes have also won 20 of their past 21 nonconference home games. But their only loss in that span came to a MAC team, Western Michigan, in 2007.
Six more Big Ten players cracked the 100-yard rushing mark last Saturday, giving the conference 23 100-yard efforts by 13 different players through 32 games so far this season. In comparison, Big Ten players produced only 11 contests of 100 or more rushing yards by 10 players through the first 32 games last season.
Northwestern and Central Michigan both tout top-10 scoring defenses this season. The Chippewas are allowing nine points per game, which ranks fourth nationally, while the Wildcats are giving up 12.3 ppg, which ranks eighth nationally. On the flip side, both offenses are averaging 30 or more points: Northwestern averages 30 points through the first three games, while Central Michigan averages 31.7 per game.
After racking up 227 rushing yards against Western Illinois and 203 more against Ball State, Purdue posted back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances for the first time since opening the 2005 season with 211 yards against Akron and 239 yards at Arizona. Dating back to last year, Purdue has rushed for 100 or more yards as a team in six straight contests, the longest streak since 10 straight between 2005-06.
With five interceptions in the first three games, Minnesota is tied for No. 9 nationally in picks. The Gophers had only 12 interceptions in 13 games last season, ranking 50th nationally.
Bill Lynch is the only Indiana head coach to open his career with four consecutive 2-0 starts. The program jumped out of the gates 2-0 for the seventh straight year. Indiana is now one of four FBS teams to open 2-0 each year from 2004, joining USC, Alabama and Wisconsin.
Bill Lynch is the only Indiana head coach to
open his career with four consecutive 2-0 starts
after the Hoosiers’ 38-21 at Western Kentucky. The
program jumped out of the gates 2-0 for the seventh
straight year. Indiana is now one of four Football Bowl
Subdivision teams to open 2-0 each year from 2004,
joining USC (2-0), Alabama (2-0), Wisconsin (2-0).