Big Ten afternoon news roundup

A few items for you on a murky Monday in Chicago:

  • Wisconsin starting right tackle Josh Oglesby will have an MRI on his left knee today. Despite Oglesby's chronic knee issues, Badgers coach Bret Bielema is optimistic that the senior won't miss much time and possibly not even a single game."All the preliminary indications have been very, very positive," Bielema said. "... Very good chance he will play this week, if not, for sure next week as long as the MRI comes back all clean."

  • More good news on the health front, as Nebraska star cornerback Alfonzo Dennard will participate in practice today. Dennard has missed the first three games and the second half of camp with a pulled muscle in his leg. He warmed up for Saturday's game against Washington, but coach Bo Pelini had no intention of playing the senior. "He is doing a lot better," Pelini said Monday. It's critical Nebraska regains Dennard's services for next week's Big Ten opener against Wisconsin and sizzling quarterback Russell Wilson. "In my opinion, there isn't a better corner in the country," Pelini said. "I think he is that good."

  • Vincent Smith entered the season labeled as Michigan's third-down back, but the 5-foot-6 junior has put himself in position for a bigger role. Although Fitz Toussaint and Michael Shaw remain listed as co-starters at running back on the depth chart, Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Smith "has earned that right" to compete for the top job. Smith has rushed for 132 yards on only 12 carries this season.

  • Indiana's depth chart for this week's road game against North Texas lists three freshmen offensive linemen as starters. Bernard Taylor, Collin Rahrig and Peyton Eckert are listed as the No. 1 left guard, right guard and right tackle, respectively. All three started ahead of veteran players Saturday against South Carolina State. Although Indiana put up 38 points, it also drew 11 (11!) false start penalties. Having such a young line undoubtedly contributed to so many yellow hankies. The Hoosiers will need a more disciplined performance from their young players on the road.