Big Ten lunch links
September, 20, 2012
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Looks like Michigan has fired the first shot in Saturday's rivalry game with Notre Dame.
- Another game could be added to the semifinal rotation for college football's upcoming playoff. The TicketCity Bowl is getting a new title sponsor.
- Michigan's Denard Robinson has been at his very best against Notre Dame. Roy Roundtree's knee injury created a bigger opportunity for Devin Gardner at receiver. Same bad news for Wolverines quarterback recruit Shane Morris. Former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez admits taking the U-M job "probably wasn't the best move."
- Minnesota's Derrick Wells is proving everyone wrong. With MarQueis Gray still healing, Minnesota weighs whether to play talented true freshman quarterback Philip Nelson.
- Illinois is getting healthy, but its defense needs to play fast and effectively against high-powered Louisiana Tech. Illini coach Tim Beckman wants recruits to know they can see the field early on in Champaign.
- Ohio State's starting defensive linemen, including Nathan Williams, are iron men. Reinstated Buckeyes linebacker Storm Klein could have a bigger role in the Buckeyes' defense. Recruit Tyquan Lewis, who many project to Ohio State, announces his college choice later today.
- Wisconsin's tight ends and fullbacks aren't immune from the blame for the sputtering offense. Here's another sign the Badgers will turn to Joel Stave at quarterback Saturday.
- Linebacker Mike Hull is a big piece of Penn State's future, and so is defensive end Deion Barnes. The Lions add a defensive back recruit for 2012.
- Pat Fitzgerald has Northwestern focused on itself, not its opponent. An excellent breakdown of the Wildcats' red-zone issues against Boston College.
- Eastern Michigan coach Ron English thinks Michigan State will return to the Top 10 by season's end. Graham Couch wonders if Mark Dantonio and Mike Hart should just hug it out Saturday. Spartans star Le'Veon Bell refuses to take another step back this week.
- Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg is still looking for his first touchdown pass of 2012. Hoping plenty of Iowa fans go green for Brett Greenwood on Saturday.
- Some big questions and key story lines around the Big Ten entering Week 4.
- Facing FCS teams like Idaho State is a "necessary evil" for Nebraska.
- The speedy Akeem Hunt gives Purdue a big-play threat on offense.
- David Cooper has emerged as Indiana's man in the middle at linebacker (subscription required).