Big Ten: Corey Clement

Early 2015 Big Ten Heisman hopefuls

December, 15, 2014
Dec 15
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Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon came up one spot short of snapping the Big Ten’s eight-year streak without a Heisman Trophy winner this weekend. The last Big Ten player to win the award was Ohio State’s Troy Smith in 2006. With all three of this year’s finalists likely shipping off to the NFL, let’s take a look at who could end the Big Ten drought next fall.

[+] EnlargeTevin Coleman
AP Photo/John Sommers IIHeisman pose for 2015? Indiana's Tevin Coleman topped the 2,000-yard mark this season but could leave early for the NFL.
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman: Coleman is expected to make a decision about turning pro this week. If he makes the unlikely choice to return, he will be the Big Ten’s best returning back. The junior ran for 2,036 yards this year while being largely overshadowed by Gordon, who had a better supporting cast.

Ohio State’s starting quarterback: The name might not be filled in until August, but reserve one spot on this list for whoever is leading the Buckeyes’ offense next year. Will it be J.T. Barrett, who might have earned a trip to New York this year if not for a season-ending injury in Ohio State’s final regular-season game? Will it be two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Braxton Miller? Or perhaps current starter Cardale Jones? The winner of that job will get a cache of playmakers and a team that will be favored to repeat as conference champs.

Wisconsin RB Corey Clement: Gordon’s understudy this season ran for 844 yards and nine touchdowns. He has averaged nearly 7 yards per carry in his two seasons with the Badgers. The offensive line that paved the way for Clement and Gordon is losing three starters, which could hurt his chances. Wisconsin, though, has historically had no problem replacing talent in the trenches.

Michigan State QB Connor Cook: He has one more season to lead the Spartans’ evolving offense. Cook loses his top target (Tony Lippett) and top runner (Jeremy Langford) to graduation, but Michigan State is a consistent winner. Leading a team to the playoff with an offense that averages 40-plus points would put Cook in contention for the school’s first Heisman Trophy.

State of the team: Wisconsin

December, 11, 2014
Dec 11
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The Badgers are still beside themselves after their head coach bolted for the second time in 24 months. But it’s time to move on.

Wisconsin wasn’t a destination job for Gary Andersen, but it’s still a good job. This Badgers made a bowl for 13 straight seasons, won the Big Ten championship in three of the last five years, and had at least nine wins in five of the last six seasons.

Expectations are high at Wisconsin, but deservedly so. This is one of the B1G’s top programs. So, can this team continue to experience a high level of success? And what kind of situation will the next head coach inherit?

Here’s where the rest of Wisconsin stands during the search for another new head coach:

[+] EnlargeWisconsin's Melvin Gordon
Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY SportsMelvin Gordon is leaving, but Wisconsin has done a great job replacing past standout running backs, and Corey Clement is waiting in the wings.
Offense: It came as no surprise that the nation’s top running back, Melvin Gordon, declared early for the NFL draft. He’s irreplaceable, as he’s put together the best rushing season in 25 years. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Corey Clement is a solid backup who has rushed for 844 yards this season. Against Rutgers, Clement even outshined Gordon by rushing for 131 yards (compared to Gordon’s 128) and averaging 9.4 yards a carry (to Gordon’s 6.7). No, Clement is not Gordon – but he still has the ability to be one of the B1G’s top running backs next season.

Elsewhere, the passing game’s key players return –starting QBs, leading wide receiver -- but this unit still has a long way to go. On the offensive line, Wisconsin will also have to deal with a drop-off. First-team All-Big Ten talents Rob Havenstein and Kyle Costigan will be gone, as will honorable mention Dallas Lewallen. But the cupboard here isn’t exactly bare. Besides the returning starters, Michael Deiter leads a talented freshman class and nearly burned his redshirt last week, and junior Ray Ball has been in the mix for much of the season.

Defense: Wisconsin returned just three starters in 2014 and still had the nation’s No. 4 total defense. This coming offseason? It should lose just four starters, and a lot of talent is coming back.

The entire secondary will basically remain intact, with safety Michael Caputo leading the way. This unit could really be special in 2015, even if it didn’t seem that way against Ohio State. Overall, the Badgers are still ranked fifth nationally in passing yards allowed and No. 23 in passing efficiency defense. Even better news? Safety Lubern Figaro has three more years of eligibility, and cornerback Sojourn Shelton has two.

The departures of inside linebackers Marcus Trotter and Derek Landisch are the most costly as they finished 2-3 in team tackles, but both outside linebackers return. Wisconsin overcame more adversity in 2014 with a strong performance, and it’s positioned for another strong run in 2015. The bigger question is whether defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will return to coach them.

Special teams: Freshman Rafael Gaglianone has been tremendous, by converting his last dozen field goal attempts and going 17-of-20 on the season. He might just have a Lou Groza Award waiting in his future. If only he could punt... Wisconsin has consistently lost the field position battle because only 16 teams have a worse net punting average. And the Badgers must also replace their kick/punt returner in senior wideout Kenzel Doe.

Fan base: The Badgers don’t get enough credit here, so let’s touch upon the different points: They were ranked No. 18 nationally in attendance this season (79,520), while the capacity at Camp Randall is 80,321. Earlier this month, USA Today named Madison, Wis., the “best college football town.” Two years ago, “Jump Around” was voted the best college football tradition. And, according to 2014 data compiled by The New York Times, the “most consistently loyal fans in American live in Wisconsin.” More than 87 percent of fans in Wisconsin support the Badgers.

Leadership: Athletic director Barry Alvarez is widely respected in the world of college football. He’s a member of the College Football Playoff committee and the College Football Hall of Fame and the coach who turned around the Wisconsin Badgers in the 1990s. He might also coach Wisconsin in the upcoming bowl game.

That being said, there’s still a disconnect here. Wisconsin pays its assistant coaches among the lowest salaries in the Big Ten – a big reason for Bret Bielema bolting – and no assistant is ranked higher than No. 77 in the nation in annual salary, according to the most recent USA Today database. Also at issue is the high academic standards for Wisconsin recruits. It seems counter-intuitive to label something like that a negative, but that obviously makes it more difficult to field a competitive team. And that was admittedly a concern for Andersen. Four-star defensive tackle Craig Evans decommitted after he discovered he wouldn’t be admitted to Wisconsin, for example, only to eventually sign with Michigan State. Those issues need to be addressed.

Recruiting: The Badgers are usually a team that outplays their recruiting rankings. Wisconsin hasn’t had a top-25 recruiting class in the last five years, but the team has been ranked within the Associated Press Top 25 in all but one of those years. From 2008 to 2013, across all sports, the Badgers were also one of just four Big Ten teams to never spend more than $1 million on recruiting. (Northwestern, Maryland and Rutgers were the others.)

For the most part, Andersen picked off where Bielema left off; the class rankings usually hovered in the 30s. The Badgers have obviously done a lot of recruiting in-state (17 commits in three years), but they’ve also reached into the South in states such as Florida (six commits in the last class). Since 2010, however, Wisconsin has gained only a pair of ESPN 300 commits.

To open up recruiting a bit, Andersen had previously said he planned to follow James Franklin’s lead and hold satellite camps in Minnesota (and possibly Illinois) in 2015. That wouldn’t be a bad idea for his successor.
Melvin GordonJeff Hanisch/USA TODAY SportsBy winning the Paul Bunyan Axe for the 11th straight time, Wisconsin reaches the Big Ten title game for the third time the event's four-year history.

MADISON, Wis. -- The celebrations might have felt a little familiar for Wisconsin, but that didn't take away any of the enthusiasm.

The Badgers beat Minnesota 34-24 on Saturday to win the Paul Bunyan Axe trophy for the 11th straight year. They also clinched the West Division title and a spot in next week's Big Ten championship, which is also a recurring theme. Wisconsin will be playing in that game for the third time in the event's four-year history.

Still, players and coaches giddily ran around Camp Randall Stadium with the axe after grinding out a physical, hard-fought win over the No. 18 Gophers. And they put on hats and T-shirts declaring themselves the West Division champs following an on-field, postgame presentation that seemed more fitting for a postseason game.

"That was a cool feeling for us, a cool experience," quarterback Joel Stave said. "Being under the lights, on the stage, the crowd sticking around -- it was just very cool."

The No. 14 Badgers might not be done hoisting trophies or standing on triumphant platforms, either. Not long ago, they would have been considered significant underdogs against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. But with Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett out for the season after he suffered a broken ankle against Michigan, Wisconsin just might be the favorite in Indianapolis.

[+] EnlargeWisconsin's Melvin Gordon
Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY SportsMelvin Gordon earned every bit of his 151 yards rushing against Minnesota.
At the very least, Buckeyes backup quarterback Cardale Jones will have his hands full trying to deal with what has statistically been the best defense in the Big Ten, one that offers confusing looks with its aggressive 3-4 scheme.

"If he hasn't played that much, maybe we can get him flustered and get him off balance," Wisconsin linebacker Joe Schobert said. "But we've got to prepare like we're playing J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller. You can't take a guy lightly, because they have a lot of good athletes over there."

Badgers players expressed empathy about Barrett's injury -- "He's such a valuable asset, and you always want to play against the best players," linebacker Marcus Trotter said -- and they can relate to the need to overcome adversity.

This is a team that had to replace eight defensive starters in the offseason and whose starting quarterback battled a case of the yips in August and September. They blew a big lead in a loss to LSU in the opener and dropped a head-scratcher against Northwestern early in conference play.

Yet they won their final seven games of the regular season and might be peaking here at the end.

"It's been a heck of a journey," Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. "I feel great about taking this team to Indy. They're resilient and tough-minded."

Wisconsin needed that resiliency to clear its final hurdle toward a division title.

For the second time in three weeks, it let a road opponent go ahead 17-3 in the first half. Unlike Nebraska, however, Minnesota was not going to let Melvin Gordon simply run wild all over the place. The Gophers kept their safeties in the box and hit Gordon early and often with sure tackling. The Badgers' Heisman Trophy candidate finished with 151 yards but had to earn every bit of it. He had only two 20-plus-yard runs (none longer than 24) and did his most impressive work turning nothing into 4- or 5-yard gains.

"I knew I was going to have to grind it out today," said Gordon, who pronounced himself healthy despite limping off the field late. "The games that you have to push out and grind out, those are the games you love the best. You get hit, you get knocked down to the ground and you get back up and you keep fighting.

Andersen said offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig knew he'd have to dial up some downfield throws to loosen up the Gophers' defense. That's been a shaky proposition for Wisconsin's offense for a couple of years. But Stave, getting better every week after overcoming those mental issues at the beginning of the season, turned in an efficient performance in going 11-for-18 for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns, with no interceptions.

The Badgers also got a career day from receiver Alex Erickson (5 catches for 160 yards) and clinched the victory on Stave's 17-yard touchdown strike to Robert Wheelwright, who had only two career catches and none this season before Saturday. It was those kinds of unlikely contributions -- plus an 89-yard effort from backup tailback Corey Clement, who was playing with one healthy shoulder -- that Andersen said made him the proudest.

Wisconsin wasn't perfect against Minnesota and committed a lot of mistakes in the first half, allowing the Gophers some short fields and quick scoring drives. Despite dealing with a hamstring injury that made him doubtful for the game, Minnesota's David Cobb ripped off some big runs in the first half. Many more offensive playmakers will confront the defense next week, even with Barrett out.

"To beat Ohio State, we can't miss as many tackles as we did today," Trotter said.

But much the way their season has gone, the Badgers finished out strong, scoring 31 of the game's final 38 points. Now they have a solid chance to derail Ohio State's playoff chase and claim the Big Ten title for themselves.

"We don't want to just go there," Gordon said, "we want to win it."

Don't be surprised if they're celebrating on an even bigger stage next Saturday night.
Let's get this Queen song queued up -- and, for Adam Rittenberg's team, we'll have another ready -- because it's down to just Austin Ward and me in the final week.

Ward needs to beat me by 57 points to win our championship, so the odds are against him. But it's not over just yet; I've been outscored by that much twice this season.

It's been a see-saw year but, ultimately, it's no coincidence the top two teams just happen to have the top two fantasy players. Melvin Gordon has earned me an average of 34.8 fantasy points per week, while J.T. Barrett has gotten Ward 33.4 points a game. Rittenberg was in the driver's seat early on with Ameer Abdullah (24.9 ppg), but the MCL injury hurt The Trombone Shorties as much as it did the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

We'll know our champion for sure by Saturday night. In the meantime, here's a look at the scoring, waiver-wire moves and final rosters.

Your results this week:

Coal Crackers (Josh Moyer): 137
Massive Attack (Austin Ward): 124
The Trombone Shorties (Adam Rittenberg): 89
Legendary Leaders (Brian Bennett): 75
Sherman Tanks (Mitch Sherman): 57

And the overall standings:

Coal Crackers: 1,597
Massive Attack: 1,541
The Trombone Shorties: 1,416
Legendary Leaders: 1,239
Sherman Tanks: 1,105

Waiver wire: Only seven moves were made in our final week, and none were all that significant. Rittenberg was forced to find a replacement for Trevor Siemian, but most of us just picked up players based on their matchups this weekend. Sherman didn't even make a move.

Bennett adds Northwestern WR Kyle Prater and drops Michigan WR Devin Funchess

Rittenberg adds Indiana WR Shane Wynn and drops Nebraska WR Kenny Bell

Ward adds Michigan kickers and drops Penn State kickers

Moyer adds Maryland defense and drops Penn State defense

Rittenberg adds Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole and drops Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian

Moyer adds Maryland WR Deon Long and drops Maryland QB C.J. Brown

Rittenberg adds Northwestern defense and drops Michigan defense

Coal Crackers (Moyer)

Purdue QB Austin Appleby
Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo
Maryland WR Deon Long
Wisconsin kickers
Maryland defense
Bench: Michigan WR Amara Darboh (at Ohio State)

Massive Attack (Ward)

Iowa QB Jake Rudock
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Illinois RB Josh Ferguson
Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton
Michigan kickers
Michigan State defense
Bench: Minnesota RB David Cobb (at Wisconsin)

The Trombone Shorties (Rittenberg)

Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole
Michigan State QB Connor Cook
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah
Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Ohio State WR Devin Smith
Indiana WR Shane Wynn
Maryland kickers
Northwestern defense
Bench: Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson (vs. Michigan)

Legendary Leaders (Bennett)

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong
Wisconsin QB Joel Stave
Iowa RB Mark Weisman
Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
Northwestern WR Kyle Prater
Illinois WR Mike Dudek
Ohio State kickers
Wisconsin defense
Bench: Illinois QB Wes Lunt (at Northwestern)

Sherman Tanks (Sherman)

Rutgers QB Gary Nova
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Michigan RB De'Veon Smith
Purdue RB Akeem Hunt
Michigan State WR Tony Lippett
Iowa WR Kevonte Martin-Manley
Michigan State kickers
Ohio State defense
Bench: Wisconsin RB Corey Clement (vs. Minnesota)
Just like the West Division, our league's race is starting to clear up.

Thanks to huge days by Melvin Gordon (64 fantasy points) and J.T. Barrett (44 fantasy points), it now appears as if it's just a two-team race between the Coal Crackers and Massive Attack. Who will come out on top these last two weeks?

Stay tuned ...

Your results this week:

Coal Crackers (Josh Moyer): 186
Massive Attack (Austin Ward): 156
Legendary Leaders (Brian Bennett): 107
The Trombone Shorties (Adam Rittenberg): 76
Sherman Tanks (Mitch Sherman): 63

And the overall standings:

Coal Crackers: 1,460
Massive Attack: 1,417
The Trombone Shorties: 1,327
Legendary Leaders: 1,164
Sherman Tanks: 1,048

Waiver wire: Rittenberg trails by 133 points after a down week and, as a result, he is trying to make up for some lost ground. He accounted for exactly half of our league's six moves this week. But, overall, last week's starting rosters are mostly intact.

Sherman adds Michigan RB De'Veon Smith and drops Nebraska RB Imani Cross

Bennett adds Michigan WR Devin Funchess and drops Penn State TE Jesse James

Rittenberg adds Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian and drops Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy

Moyer adds Michigan WR Amara Darboh and drops Illinois WR Geronimo Allison

Rittenberg adds the Michigan defense and drops the Rutgers defense

Rittenberg adds the Maryland kickers and drops the Minnesota kickers

Coal Crackers (Moyer)

Purdue QB Austin Appleby
Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo
Michigan WR Amara Darboh
Wisconsin kickers
Penn State defense
Bench: Maryland QB C.J. Brown (at Michigan)

Massive Attack (Ward)

Iowa QB Jake Rudock
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Minnesota RB David Cobb
Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton
Penn State kickers
Michigan State defense
Bench: Illinois RB Josh Ferguson (vs. Penn State)

The Trombone Shorties (Rittenberg)

Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian
Michigan State QB Connor Cook
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah
Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Ohio State WR Devin Smith
Nebraska WR Kenny Bell
Maryland kickers
Michigan defense
Bench: Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson (vs. Indiana)

Legendary Leaders (Bennett)

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong
Illinois QB Wes Lunt
Iowa RB Mark Weisman
Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
Michigan WR Devin Funchess
Illinois WR Mike Dudek
Ohio State kickers
Wisconsin defense
Bench: Wisconsin QB Joel Stave (at Iowa)

Sherman Tanks (Sherman)

Rutgers QB Gary Nova
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Michigan RB De'Veon Smith
Purdue RB Akeem Hunt
Michigan State WR Tony Lippett
Iowa Kevonte Martin-Manley
Michigan State kickers
Ohio State defense
Bench: Wisconsin RB Corey Clement (at Iowa)
video
MADISON, Wis. -- Melvin Gordon didn't see Ron Dayne as he entered Wisconsin's interview room early Saturday evening.

Gordon sidestepped Dayne, just as he did numerous Nebraska defenders during an afternoon that won't soon be forgotten in a place used to seeing extraordinary running backs do extraordinary things.

"I should be kicking you in the legs or something," Dayne joked, which caused Gordon to turn back and grin.

Dayne had just watched those legs break his Wisconsin single-game rushing record (339). Dayne's milestone was just the first Gordon took down in Wisconsin's 59-24 mashing of Nebraska at Camp Randall Stadium. Anthony Thompson's Big Ten single-game record of 377 yards -- set on the same field in 1989 -- fell during the third quarter. Moments later, on a 26-yard touchdown run, Gordon shattered LaDainian Tomlinson's FBS single-game record of 406 yards.

Afterward, Gordon took a small, appropriate bow.

[+] EnlargeMelvin Gordon
AP Photo/Morry GashWisconsin's Melvin Gordon was in rarefied air with his record-breaking effort on Saturday.
He finished with 408 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries for an average of 16.3 yards per carry that is ridiculous for any college running back not named Melvin Gordon. He also didn't play in the fourth quarter.

"You never know when a special day comes," Gordon said. "When it does, it's a special feeling."

Wisconsin running backs now hold the FBS single-season rushing record (Dayne), single-season touchdowns record (Montee Ball) and single-game rushing record (Gordon). But only Dayne has the most coveted individual award in college football, the Heisman Trophy, which he captured in 1999.

When Dayne won, it was common for running backs to hoist the Heisman. Texas' Ricky Williams had won in 1998, and running backs went back-to-back in 1994 (Colorado's Rashaan Salaam) and 1995 (Ohio State's Eddie George). But since Dayne, only two non-quarterbacks have won the Heisman -- USC running back Reggie Bush in 2005 and Alabama running back Mark Ingram in 2009. As Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, a good friend of Gordon's, told ESPN.com in September, "the Heisman's really become a quarterback's award."

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota entered Saturday as the clear Heisman front-runner. Another quarterback, one-time favorite Mississippi State's Dak Prescott, had an opportunity to gain on Mariota -- or perhaps eclipse him -- with a signature performance at Alabama. Gordon was in the mix, but after putting up big numbers against inferior teams and with an incomplete performance against LSU, he needed to make a convincing case on this day, against the nation's 20th-best rush defense.

Mission accomplished.

"I think he's the best of the best," Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. "And he proved it on the national stage when he was given the opportunity. There's some great players out there ... and the decision is going to be made by other people. But if I made that decision, it's going to this guy right here.

"A lot of people have God-given ability, and a lot of people don't do anything with that ability. He's taken it to the highest level."

Gordon still has to catch Mariota, a tough task because the Oregon quarterback does so much good and so little bad and leads a team gunning for a College Football Playoff spot. But the gap is narrowing.

On Saturday, Gordon earned more than a courtesy trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony on Dec. 13. He earned the right to be seriously evaluated as a Heisman contender.

"Just show the man respect," Wisconsin second-string running back Corey Clement said. "That's all I ask."

Gordon will forever be respected here. Students chanted his name and "Heisman!" as the snow turned Camp Randall Stadium into a Wisconsin wonderland (at just 26 degrees at kickoff, it was the coldest game at Camp Randall in 50 years).

The tributes flooded in during and after the game, from Tomlinson, Ball and others.

"The best of the best," Andersen said. "Unbelievable."

A fourth-year junior, Gordon could have skipped this season and likely been the first running back selected in the NFL draft. He returned to guide Wisconsin to a national championship, a dream that died in early October with a stunning loss to Northwestern. But a Big Ten title remains possible, individual awards are coming, and Gordon, a Kenosha, Wisconsin, native, will leave as one of Wisconsin's favorite sons.

"There's risks that come with coming back when you have the chance to leave," Clement said. "God willing, he doesn't get injured, so he can do what he needs to do."

What he does is record big runs. Gordon had four runs of 40 yards or more Saturday, which brought his season total to 14, including a 62-yard scoring burst in the second quarter, when he hurdled Nebraska's Corey Cooper.

"It's something special," Badgers guard Dallas Lewallen said. "Once he gets to the open field, you never know if he's going to take it [to the end zone]."

Added quarterback Joel Stave: "He wowed us all again today."

Gordon's first half included 238 rush yards, a touchdown and two lost fumbles, the first time he has lost multiple fumbles in a game. It will be a forgotten footnote to everyone but Gordon, who thanked the coaches "for just sticking with me."

Smart choice.

The snow continued to fall Saturday night and blanketed the field where Gordon made his Heisman move.

"His legacy is going to be left here for a long time," Andersen said. "His footprints are going to be left all over these hallways."

Whether those same footprints are behind a podium in New York in four weeks remains to be seen.

Gordon gained the nation's attention Saturday. Now he needs to keep it.
It's been a crazy season so far.

As the weeks have progressed, our championship picture has only become more muddled. Just 23 points now separate the top three teams, and only three weekends remain. Can The Trombone Shorties bounce back? Will J.T. Barrett lead Massive Attack to victory? Can the Coal Crackers hang on?

Stay tuned ...

Your results this week:

Massive Attack (Austin Ward): 130
Coal Crackers (Josh Moyer): 114
The Trombone Shorties (Adam Rittenberg): 98
Legendary Leaders (Brian Bennett): 78
Sherman Tanks (Mitch Sherman): 27

And the overall standings:

Coal Crackers: 1,274
Massive Attack: 1,261
The Trombone Shorties: 1,251
Legendary Leaders: 1,057
Sherman Tanks: 985

Waiver wire: Thankfully, the bye weeks are just about over -- so there wasn't as much movement. Half of the pickups simply involved Nebraska and Illinois players, who had the last week off. The most interesting addition was probably Sherman's Imani Cross; that could be a boom-or-bust pick.

Sherman adds Rutgers QB Gary Nova and drops Michigan QB Devin Gardner

Bennett adds Illinois WR Mike Dudek and drops Indiana WR Shane Wynn

Rittenberg adds Nebraska WR Kenny Bell and drops Michigan WR Devin Funchess

Ward adds Michigan State defense and drops Minnesota defense

Moyer adds Illinois WR Geronimo Allison and drops Iowa WR Tevaun Smith

Sherman adds Nebraska RB Imani Cross and drops Michigan RB Drake Johnson

Rittenberg adds Rutgers defense and drops Michigan defense

Moyer adds C.J. Brown and drops Michigan WR Amara Darboh

Coal Crackers (Moyer)

Maryland QB C.J. Brown
Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo
Illinois WR Geronimo Allison
Wisconsin kickers
Penn State defense
Bench: Purdue QB Austin Appleby (on bye)

Massive Attack (Ward)

Iowa QB Jake Rudock
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Minnesota RB David Cobb
Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton
Penn State kickers
Michigan State defense
Bench: Illinois RB Josh Ferguson (vs. Iowa)

The Trombone Shorties (Rittenberg)

Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy
Michigan State QB Connor Cook
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah
Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Ohio State WR Devin Smith
Nebraska WR Kenny Bell
Minnesota kickers
Rutgers defense
Bench: Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson (at Minnesota)

Legendary Leaders (Bennett)

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong
Illinois QB Wes Lunt
Iowa RB Mark Weisman
Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
Penn State TE Jesse James
Illinois WR Mike Dudek
Ohio State kickers
Wisconsin defense
Bench: Wisconsin QB Joel Stave (vs. Nebraska)

Sherman Tanks (Sherman)

Rutgers QB Gary Nova
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Wisconsin RB Corey Clement
Nebraska RB Imani Cross
Michigan State WR Tony Lippett
Iowa Kevonte Martin-Manley
Michigan State kickers
Ohio State defense
Bench: Purdue RB Akeem Hunt (on bye)
It has been a seesaw battle for that top spot and, once again, we have a new leader.

It's my first time all season at No. 1 -- but that might be short-lived. Only 29 points separate first place from the second runner-up, so today's top team can just as easily be tomorrow's No. 3. It should be an interesting next few weeks.

Also, on a side note, you'll notice a few tweaks to the overall scores this week due to unreflected roster changes. They didn't impact the standings and basically just gave Mitch Sherman a nice boost.

Your results this week:

Coal Crackers (Josh Moyer): 106
Legendary Leaders (Brian Bennett): 93
Sherman Tanks (Mitch Sherman): 84
Massive Attack (Austin Ward): 77
The Trombone Shorties (Adam Rittenberg): 50

And the overall standings:

Coal Crackers: 1,160
The Trombone Shorties: 1,153
Massive Attack: 1,131
Legendary Leaders: 979
Sherman Tanks: 958

Waiver wire: Some of the B1G's top players were reshuffled this week. With a combination of byes and some players -- such as Illinois QB Wes Lunt -- returning from injury, that made for some interesting changes to the league. Ezekiel Elliott, Leonte Carroo and Lunt all found new homes.

Sherman adds Michigan RB Drake Johnson and drops Illinois WR Geronimo Allison

Bennett adds Penn State TE Jesse James and drops Nebraska WR Kenny Bell

Ward adds Minnesota defense and drops Nebraska defense

Rittenberg adds Ohio State WR Devin Smith and drops Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo

Moyer adds Michigan WR Amara Darboh and drops Maryland WR Stefon Diggs

Sherman adds Michigan State kickers and drops Nebraska kickers

Bennett adds Illinois QB Wes Lunt and drops Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott

Ward adds Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott and drops Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson

Rittenberg adds Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson and drops Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole

Moyer adds Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo and drops Michigan QB Devin Gardner

Sherman adds Michigan QB Devin Gardner and drops Maryland QB C.J. Brown

Ward adds Penn State kickers and drops Rutgers kickers

Moyer adds Iowa WR Tevaun Smith and drops Nebraska WR Jordan Westerkamp

Rittenberg adds Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy and drops Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian

Rittenberg adds Minnesota kickers and drops Maryland kickers

Coal Crackers (Moyer)

Purdue QB Austin Appleby
Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman
Michigan WR Amara Darboh
Iowa WR Tevaun Smith
Wisconsin kickers
Penn State defense
Bench: Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo (on bye)

The Trombone Shorties (Rittenberg)

Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy
Michigan State QB Connor Cook
Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson
Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Ohio State WR Devin Smith
Michigan WR Devin Funchess
Minnesota kickers
Michigan defense
Bench: Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah (on bye)

Massive Attack (Ward)

Iowa QB Jake Rudock
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Minnesota RB David Cobb
Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton
Penn State kickers
Minnesota defense
Bench: Illinois RB Josh Ferguson (on bye)

Legendary Leaders (Bennett)

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong
Wisconsin QB Joel Stave
Iowa RB Mark Weisman
Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
Penn State TE Jesse James
Indiana WR Shane Wynn
Ohio State kickers
Wisconsin defense
Bench: Illinois QB Wes Lunt (on bye)

Sherman Tanks (Sherman)

Michigan QB Devin Gardner
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Wisconsin RB Corey Clement
Michigan RB Drake Johnson
Michigan State WR Tony Lippett
Iowa Kevonte Martin-Manley
Michigan State kickers
Ohio State defense
Bench: Purdue RB Akeem Hunt (vs. Wisconsin)

B1G roundtable: Week 11 bold predictions

November, 6, 2014
Nov 6
4:00
PM ET
You've probably noticed that we're taking our weekly predictions to the next level. With Ohio State-Michigan State and Iowa-Minnesota set to help shape the division races as the second weekend of November arrives, plenty of good material exists Saturday on which to chew in the Big Ten.

And now, it's time to get bold.

Mitch Sherman: Iowa announces its presence as a contender, even a favorite, in the West.

The Hawkeyes, left for dead in the Big Ten race by many three weeks after blowing a two-touchdown lead at Maryland, answered with a resounding win over Northwestern that followed a bye week. Read all you want into that performance by Iowa, featuring unknown running back Akrum Wadley and a revamped group of linebackers minus suspended starter Reggie Spearman. Iowa will build on the momentum against Minnesota, which is trending in the opposite direction, to earn a statement victory in Minneapolis. Then, after a trip to Illinois, Iowa can focus on the West crown with home games to finish against Wisconsin and Nebraska.

Adam Rittenberg: Michigan State wins a shootout.

As I learned from Dan Murphy's item on Michigan State's offense, Saturday's Spartans-Buckeyes game is the second-highest-scoring matchup in the FBS this season, trailing only TCU-Baylor, which featured 119 points in Waco. I expect a shootout at Spartan Stadium. MSU's defense isn't quite as salty as usual and Ohio State will hit on some big plays. While the Buckeyes' defense is better, they haven't seen an offense as complete as MSU's. Connor Cook and J.T. Barrett both have big nights but the Spartans prevail 41-38.

Dan Murphy: Penn State holds Indiana under 100 yards of offense.

What happens when a team without a passing game faces the best rushing defense in the country? It won't be pretty. In the past two games, 91.5 percent of Indiana's offense has come on the ground (380 of 415 total yards). The Hoosiers are doing their best to protect true freshman Zander Diamont, who started the season third on the team's quarterback depth chart. Against the Nittany Lions, who allow an average of 77 rushing yards per game, Indiana could set new marks for offensive inefficiency. Tevin Coleman has reached 100 yards in every game so far this season for Indiana, but I'm not so sure his whole team will get there Saturday.

[+] EnlargeChristian Hackenberg
AP Photo/Gene J. PuskarPenn State's Christian Hackenberg is primed for a big performance against Indiana's shaky pass defense.
Josh Moyer: Christian Hackenberg throws for his highest passing total and best QBR of the Big Ten season.

Indiana's pass defense is straight-up lousy, as only 15 teams in the nation are allowing more yards through the air. Statistically, it's the worst pass defense that Hackenberg has seen all season. So the opportunity is certainly there -- but that's not the only reason it should be a big game for him. James Franklin said earlier this week that the red-zone offense "has a few new wrinkles ... that I know you guys will be eager to talk about postgame." Whatever he's changing, it has to be an improvement over what he's tried in the past. Hackenberg hasn't had a conference game yet where he's thrown more touchdowns than interceptions. That changes Saturday.

Austin Ward: Multiple interceptions spark Ohio State win.

Only one quarterback in the Big Ten has been more efficient than Cook, and the Michigan State quarterback has only thrown five interceptions this season. But both numbers are somewhat deceiving, because there have been questionable throws at times from Cook that perhaps should have gone down as turnovers -- and his only game with more than one pick just so happens to have been the loss at Oregon. The junior had something of a coming-out party against the Buckeyes and their shaky secondary last year, but that unit is light years better now and leads the league with 14 interceptions. Ohio State will tack on a couple more Saturday and put the team in position to win the East.

Brian Bennett: Wisconsin eclipses 350 yards rushing.

Maybe this isn't so bold, because the Badgers rushed for 388 yards last year against Purdue and a crazy 467 yards in 2012. This Purdue team is much improved but still has major defensive issues. Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement each go over 150 yards and Wisconsin has a little fun before the big Nebraska showdown next week.

Weekend rewind: Big Ten

November, 3, 2014
Nov 3
10:00
AM ET
The Big Ten slate wasn't filled with all that much excitement this past weekend -- with one notable exception.

Four conference games were decided by three touchdowns or more, but the renewal of the Maryland-Penn State rivalry almost made up for the humdrum afternoon. Heck, memorable moments in that game started even before the opening kickoff, from a brief pregame scuffle to the no-handshake coin toss seen around the country.

The other four B1G games were all basically over by halftime, and the average margin of victory was 32.8 points. That made for plenty of individual standout performances, and it also made Maryland’s 20-19 win stick out a bit more.

On to the Week 10 rewind:

[+] EnlargeBrad Craddock
Rich Barnes/USA TODAY SportsThe clutch kicking of Brad Craddock, No. 15, helped give Maryland its first win over Penn State in 53 years.
Team of the week: Maryland. Apologies to Iowa, but the Terps made history Saturday -- so that takes precedence over a dominating win against an inconsistent team. Maryland had never won in Beaver Stadium and hadn’t beaten Penn State since 1961. Before this past Saturday’s contest, PSU even held the 35-1-1 series advantage. Maryland’s defense ended up finishing with nine stops in the backfield, and kicker Brad Craddock nailed a game-winning 43-yard field goal with under a minute left. Said head coach Randy Edsall: “You don’t know what this means to our program.”

Biggest play: The team of the week might not have earned that honor if it wasn’t for a key fumble recovery Saturday afternoon. In the fourth quarter, immediately following a Terps field goal, Penn State freshman Grant Haley fumbled on the ensuing kick return after a nice hit by linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. Alex Twine recovered the ball, and Maryland scored a touchdown four plays later to take a 17-16 lead. That play set the stage for the game-winning kick later in the final quarter.

Big Man on Campus (offense): Wisconsin RB Corey Clement. Step aside, Melvin Gordon, it’s time for another Wisconsin back to bask in the spotlight. Gordon did just fine against Rutgers, to the tune of 128 yards and two TDs -- but Clement did even better. The No. 2 running back finished with 131 rushing yards and two scores, and his rushing average was markedly higher than his Heisman hopeful teammate. Clement averaged 9.4 yards a carry; Gordon averaged 6.7 yards a carry. The pair once again carried their team to a win, but Clement’s production inched out Gordon’s this time around.

Big Man on Campus (defense): Iowa S John Lowdermilk. He was all over the field Saturday and finished with a dozen tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble. Iowa allowed just 74 passing yards -- the eighth-lowest total during the Kirk Ferentz era -- and he was terrific in run support, too, as the Wildcats wound up with 2.4 yards per carry. There were plenty of good defensive performances for Iowa, but Lowdermilk set the tone.

Big Man on Campus (special teams): Maryland kicker Brad Craddock. He hasn’t missed a kick all season, and he nailed a game-winning, 43-yard field goal with 51 seconds left against Penn State. Does anything else really need to be said? Craddock was clutch at the most important time, so it's difficult to argue anyone else is more deserving. He was 2-of-2 on field goals. Penn State's Sam Ficken likely would've taken Craddock's spot here had the game ended differently.

Biggest face plant: Northwestern. If there was a “Most inconsistent team” trophy, the Wildcats would win that season award, too. Trevor Siemian finished with his worst game yet -- posting a QBR of 3.3 (on a scale of 100) -- as the Wildcats faced a 31-point halftime deficit, their biggest halftime deficit in four years. After surprising wins against Penn State and Wisconsin earlier in the season, it looked as if Northwestern would rebound its way to a bowl game. But after dropping its third straight, the Cats are down for the count.

Facts and numbers to know: Iowa RB Akrum Wadley recorded his first carry Saturday and also finished with 100-plus rushing yards, the first time that’s happened to a Hawkeye since Brandon Wegher in 2009. … Ohio State tied its own Big Ten record with 20 straight Big Ten regular-season wins; previous record was Ohio State’s run in 2005-2007. … OSU has outscored opponents 189-39 in the first half this season. … Nebraska blocked two punts against Purdue, the first time it’s done that since Oct. 25, 2003, when it played Iowa State. … Wisconsin is bowl eligible now for the 13th straight season, the longest streak in the conference. … Wisconsin shut out Rutgers, 37-0, its first shutout on the road since a 31-0 win over Iowa on Oct. 24, 1998. … For the first time in 128 seasons, Penn State played in an overtime game and a one-point game in consecutive contests.

Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 10

November, 2, 2014
Nov 2
9:00
AM ET
Recognizing the best and brightest from Week 10 in the Big Ten:
  • Iowa safety John Lowdermilk: The Hawkeyes had so many candidates for helmet stickers after a mighty impressive 48-7 win over Northwestern, including Jake Rudock, Mark Weisman and Louis Trinca-Pasat. But we'll give it to Lowdermilk who was all over the field dishing out big hits on his way to a team-high 12 tackles. He also forced a fumble and broke up a pass.
  • Wisconsin running backs Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement: Heisman Trophy candidate Gordon had his usual brilliant day at Rutgers (19 carries, 128 yards, two scores) and this time he had help from his backfield mate. Clement, who's from New Jersey, enjoyed his homecoming with 131 yards and two scores on 14 carries. Together, they combined for 259 of Wisconsin's 385 yards in a 37-0 victory.
  • Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh: Here's a rare sighting: A Michigan offensive player in the helmet stickers. Playing Indiana's defense always helps, but Darboh had an excellent day in the Wolverines' 34-10 victory. He had nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, giving Michigan the kind of downfield threat it has lacked most of the season.
  • Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins: With Ameer Abdullah sidelined by a knee injury, the Huskers needed their defense to step up against Purdue, and Collins helped make sure that happened. While he was only credited with five tackles, he did have a sack and three quarterback hurries while generally making life miserable for the Boilers' offensive line in a 35-14 Nebraska victory. Bo Pelini compared Collins to Glenn Dorsey last week, and Collins lived up to that by being a disruptive force all game.
  • Ohio State DE Joey Bosa: Another week, another huge game for the Buckeyes' sophomore pass-rushing star. Bosa registered two sacks and added another tackle for loss while tormenting Illinois during a 55-14 Ohio State win. He now has a Big Ten-best 10 sacks on the season.
We're coming off our closest-scoring week.

Only 19 points separated the highest-scoring team from the lowest-scoring team last weekend, so the overall results changed very little. That puts an increased emphasis on this week, since only five games remain.

Your results this week:

Massive Attack (Austin Ward): 104
The Trombone Shorties (Adam Rittenberg): 103
Sherman Tanks (Mitch Sherman): 102
Coal Crackers (Josh Moyer): 95
Legendary Leaders (Brian Bennett): 85

And the overall standings:

The Trombone Shorties: 1,089
Massive Attack: 1,038
Coal Crackers: 1,026
Legendary Leaders: 881
Sherman Tanks: 746

Waiver wire: Luckily, there were few moves again this week. Sherman faced the most difficult decision since we have only one bench spot -- and he had two good Michigan State players on bye, Jeremy Langford and Tony Lippett. Did he make the right decision? We'll have to see ...

Sherman adds Iowa WR Kevonte Martin-Manley and drops Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford

Bennett adds Indiana WR Shane Wynn and drops Rutgers RB Desmon Peoples

Moyer adds Purdue QB Austin Appleby and drops Michigan State RB Nick Hill

Ward adds Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson and drops Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy

Rittenberg adds Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian and drops Maryland RB Wes Brown

Sherman adds Purdue RB Akeem Hunt and drops Rutgers QB Gary Nova

Bennett adds Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford and drops Ohio State WR Devin Smith

Moyer adds Penn State defense and drops Michigan State defense

Rittenberg adds Michigan defense and drops Minnesota defense

Moyer adds Wisconsin kickers and drops Michigan State kickers

The Trombone Shorties (Rittenberg)

Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole
Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah
Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo
Michigan WR Devin Funchess
Maryland kickers
Michigan defense
Bench: Michigan State QB Connor Cook (on bye)

Massive Attack (Ward)

Iowa QB Jake Rudock
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
Illinois RB Josh Ferguson
Ohio State RB Dontre Wilson
Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton
Rutgers kickers
Nebraska defense
Bench: Minnesota RB David Cobb (on bye)

Coal Crackers (Moyer)

Purdue QB Austin Appleby
Michigan QB Devin Gardner
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman
Maryland WR Stefon Diggs
Nebraska WR Jordan Westerkamp
Wisconsin kickers
Penn State defense
Bench: Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner (on bye)

Legendary Leaders (Bennett)

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong
Wisconsin QB Joel Stave
Iowa RB Mark Weisman
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Nebraska WR Kenny Bell
Indiana WR Shane Wynn
Ohio State kickers
Wisconsin defense
Bench: Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford (on bye)

Sherman Tanks (Sherman)

Maryland QB C.J. Brown
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Wisconsin RB Corey Clement
Purdue RB Akeem Hunt
Illinois WR Geronimo Allison
Iowa Kevonte Martin-Manley
Nebraska kickers
Ohio State defense
Bench: Michigan State WR Tony Lippett (on bye)
Another week, another change in our standings.

Austin Ward is in second and I've dropped to third after my trade (Mark Weisman and Tommy Armstrong for Tevin Coleman) didn't go quite as well as I had hoped. It's still a tight race for the top three.

Your results this week:

The Trombone Shorties (Adam Rittenberg): 143
Massive Attack (Austin Ward): 120
Coal Crackers (Josh Moyer): 90
Legendary Leaders (Brian Bennett): 76
Sherman Tanks (Mitch Sherman): 59

And the overall standings:

The Trombone Shorties: 986
Massive Attack: 934
Coal Crackers: 931
Legendary Leaders: 796
Sherman Tanks: 644

Waiver-wire: We've had more than 20 waiver-wire moves in each of the last two weeks, so it was a nice reprieve this week. Four Big Ten teams have byes Saturday, but none is loaded with fantasy players: Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern. So we had half as many moves as a result.

Sherman adds Wisconsin RB Corey Clement and drops Purdue RB Akeem Hunt

Bennett adds Rutgers RB Desmon Peoples and drops Maryland QB Caleb Rowe

Moyer adds Michigan QB Devin Gardner and drops Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian

Ward adds Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton and drops Ohio State TE Jeff Heuerman

Rittenberg adds Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole and drops Purdue QB Austin Appleby

Sherman adds Illinois WR Geronimo Allison and drops Iowa WR Kevonte Martin-Manley

Bennett adds Wisconsin defense and drops Minnesota defense

Moyer adds Michigan State RB Nick Hill and drops Maryland RB Brandon Ross

Ward adds Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy, drops Ohio State RB Rod Smith

Rittenberg adds Maryland RB Wes Brown, drops Indiana WR Shane Wynn

Rittenberg adds Minnesota defense and drops Northwestern defense

The Trombone Shorties (Rittenberg)

Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole
Michigan State QB Connor Cook
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah
Maryland RB Wes Brown
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo
Michigan WR Devin Funchess
Maryland kickers
Minnesota defense
Bench: Northwestern RB Justin Jackson (on bye)

Massive Attack (Ward)

Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
Illinois RB Josh Ferguson
Minnesota RB David Cobb
Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton
Rutgers kickers
Nebraska defense
Bench: Iowa QB Jake Rudock (on bye)

Coal Crackers (Moyer)

Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner
Michigan QB Devin Gardner
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Michigan State RB Nick Hill
Maryland WR Stefon Diggs
Nebraska WR Jordan Westerkamp
Michigan State kickers
Michigan State defense
Bench: Indiana RB Tevin Coleman (on bye)

Legendary Leaders (Bennett)

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong
Wisconsin QB Joel Stave
Rutgers RB Desmon Peoples
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Nebraska WR Kenny Bell
Ohio State WR Devin Smith
Ohio State kickers
Wisconsin defense
Bench: Iowa RB Mark Weisman (on bye)

Sherman Tanks (Sherman)

Maryland QB C.J. Brown
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Wisconsin RB Corey Clement
Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
Illinois WR Geronimo Allison
Michigan State WR Tony Lippett
Nebraska kickers
Ohio State defense
Bench: Rutgers QB Gary Nova (at Nebraska)
It's been quite the interesting week in our fantasy league.

Not only did we complete our league's first-ever trade -- listed below -- but Austin Ward's time atop the standings proved to be a short one. After his lowest-scoring week of the season, he dropped from first to third. So it's still anybody's championship ... well, almost anybody's.

Your results this week:

Coal Crackers (Josh Moyer): 132
Legendary Leaders (Brian Bennett): 108
The Trombone Shorties (Adam Rittenberg): 89
Massive Attack (Austin Ward): 58
Sherman Tanks (Mitch Sherman): 57

And the overall standings:

The Trombone Shorties: 843
Coal Crackers: 841
Massive Attack: 813
Legendary Leaders: 720
Sherman Tanks: 585

Trade Alert: Bennett's Legendary Leaders traded Indiana RB Tevin Coleman to Moyer's Coal Crackers in exchange for Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong and Iowa RB Mark Weisman.

Trade analysis: Bennett needed a quarterback badly, and put the word out he was willing to make a deal. The quarterbacks on his roster heading into this week -- Joel Stave and Reilly O'Toole -- are both on bye, and he literally had no starters. So it was either take zeroes, hope to get lucky on the waiver wire, or make a trade. Sherman offered Gary Nova, but I sweetened the deal by adding a running back. My other QBs aren't great, but it was difficult to turn down the prospect of having Melvin Gordon and Coleman on the same team.

Waiver-wire: If your heads are swirling from all the moves, know that you're not alone. This season is getting harder, and it's difficult to find starters at key spots -- so there was once again a lot of shuffling. Ward focused on Ohio State players, while Rittenberg added two solid wideouts.

Sherman adds Maryland QB C.J. Brown and drops Michigan QB Devin Gardner

Bennett adds Ohio State WR Devin Smith and drops Penn State WR Geno Lewis

Ward adds Ohio State RB Rod Smith and drops Indiana QB Nate Sudfeld

Moyer adds Maryland WR Stefon Diggs and drops Illinois WR Mike Dudek

Rittenberg adds Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo and drops Northwestern WR Dan Vitale

Sherman adds Purdue RB Akeem Hunt and drops Michigan RB De'Veon Smith

Bennett adds Nebraska WR Kenny Bell and drops Illinois WR Geronimo Allison

Ward adds Ohio State WR Michael Thomas and drops Illinois WR Martize Barr

Moyer adds Nebraska WR Jordan Westerkamp (drops no one due to 2-for-1 trade)

Rittenberg adds Maryland kickers and drops Wisconsin kickers

Sherman adds Iowa WR Kevonte Martin-Manley and drops Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton

Bennett adds Maryland QB Caleb Rowe and drops Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole and Wisconsin RB Corey Clement (drops two due to 2-for-1 trade)

Ward adds Ohio State TE Jeff Heuerman and drops Michigan State WR Macgarrett Kings

Moyer adds Maryland RB Brandon Ross and drops Indiana WR Shane Wynn

Rittenberg adds Indiana WR Shane Wynn and drops Indiana RB D'Angelo Roberts

Sherman adds Ohio State defense and drops Wisconsin defense

Bennett adds Ohio State kickers, drops Minnesota kickers

Ward adds Nebraska defense, drops Michigan defense

Rittenberg adds Northwestern defense and drops Penn State defense

Sherman adds Nebraska kickers and drops Penn State kickers

Ward adds Rutgers kickers and drops Indiana kickers

And now for a look at our rosters this week:

The Trombone Shorties (Rittenberg)

Purdue QB Austin Appleby
Michigan State QB Connor Cook
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah
Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo
Indiana WR Shane Wynn
Maryland kickers
Northwestern defense
Bench: Michigan WR Devin Funchess (on bye)

Coal Crackers (Moyer)

Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner
Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian
Indiana RB Tevin Coleman
Maryland RB Brandon Ross
Maryland WR Stefon Diggs
Nebraska WR Jordan Westerkamp
Michigan State kickers
Michigan State defense
Bench: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon (on bye)

Massive Attack (Ward)

Iowa QB Jake Rudock
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
Ohio State RB Rod Smith
Minnesota RB David Cobb
Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Ohio State TE Jeff Heuerman
Rutgers kickers
Nebraska defense
Bench: Illinois RB Josh Ferguson (on bye)

Legendary Leaders (Bennett)

Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong
Maryland QB Caleb Rowe
Iowa RB Mark Weisman
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Nebraska WR Kenny Bell
Ohio State WR Devin Smith
Ohio State kickers
Minnesota defense
Bench: Wisconsin QB Joel Stave (on bye)

Sherman Tanks (Sherman)

Maryland QB C.J. Brown
Rutgers QB Gary Nova
Purdue RB Akeem Hunt
Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
Iowa WR Kevonte Martin-Manley
Michigan State WR Tony Lippett
Nebraska kickers
Ohio State defense
Bench: Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg (on bye)

Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 7

October, 12, 2014
Oct 12
2:00
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