INDIANAPOLIS -- Ohio State offensive lineman Marcus Hall won't start Saturday's Big Ten championship game against Michigan State because of his actions last week in the team's win over Michigan, coach Urban Meyer said Friday.
Hall was one of several players ejected after a first-half fight during Ohio State's 42-41 win over the Wolverines. Hall also made obscene gestures to the crowd as he walked off the field at Michigan Stadium.
The Big Ten issued a public reprimand to Hall this week but did not tack on additional punishment.
But Meyer has decided not to start Hall, saying he was "very, very disappointed" in Hall's actions.
Meyer did not say when or how much Hall might play against the Spartans, saying "We'll see what happens."
Pat Elflein, who filled in after Hall's ejection at Michigan, will start Saturday.
The honor predates the Heisman Trophy and is voted on by the league's head coaches.
Miller won the Silver Football last year and is vying to become the first back-to-back winner since Indiana’s Anthony Thompson in 1988-89. Earlier this week, Miller was named the Big Ten's offensive player of the year for a second straight season.
Teammate Hyde was named the Big Ten's running back of the year on Monday. Hyde rushed for 1,290 yards after serving a three game suspension to start the year.
Borland was named the Big Ten's defensive player of the year and linebacker of the year earlier this week. No defensive player has won the Silver Football outright. Michigan’s Brandon Graham was a co-recipient of the trophy with Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark in 2009.
The winner of the 2013 Silver Football will be announced on Dec. 12.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gordon Gee is returning to West Virginia University as interim president, five months after retiring from Ohio State after remarks he made jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools were made public.
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission approved Gee's hiring Friday, a day after WVU's board of governors made its recommendation without announcing a name.
Gee's stay is expected to be temporary and his salary was set at $450,000. Former WVU president Jim Clements accepted the same position at Clemson in November.
It marks the seventh time Gee, 69, has headed a major U.S. university, including two stints apiece at West Virginia and Ohio State.
WVU board chairman James Dailey said in a statement he's thrilled with Gee's appointment.
"He is a seasoned and respected higher education leader who has served five major universities over 33 years, and I am confident he will continue the great work going on here and the momentum this university is enjoying," Dailey said.
Gee is expected to visit the Morgantown campus Tuesday.
"I am delighted now to be able to come back -- and give back -- to the West Virginia University community while also continuing my commitments to Ohio State, as well as higher education in Ohio and nationally," Gee said in a statement issued by WVU.
Gee has stumbled through a series of verbal missteps for which he had to issue apologies. He retired in July after his remarks jabbed at Catholics and criticized Notre Dame and former Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema, who now coaches Arkansas.
In those remarks, made a year ago Thursday to Ohio State's Athletic Council, Gee said Notre Dame was never invited to join the Big Ten because the school's religious leaders are not "good partners."
- Michigan State's heartbreaking loss in the 2011 Big Ten title game is now motivation for this season's Rose Bowl.
- Here's a look at five keys to the Big Ten title game in order for Michigan State to prevail.
- Spartans fans are flocking to Indianapolis to watch their team take on the Buckeyes.
- The only way for Ohio State to win Saturday might be to keep its defense off the field, writes the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Bill Livingston.
- The Buckeyes' confidence faces a test, but they've been here before -- and come out on top.
- For the Buckeyes, the path to the national title game is simple: Beat the Spartans, and they're in.
- Linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden's "resignation" from Penn State has to simply be a matter of style, writes the Harrisburg Patriot-News' Dave Jones.
- Despite an up-and-down season, Michigan remains an attractive choice to many bowls.
- Ohio State's rushing attack is among the best in the nation, as it's ranked second in rushing yards per game (321.3) but first in both yards per rush (7.1) and rushes that have gained 10 yards or more (130). The Buckeyes lead all BCS schools with 1,502 rushing yards after contact. And they're closing in on the 1973 school record of 4,199 rushing yards in one season. (They currently stand at 3,855.)
- On the other end, Michigan State's defense matches up well -- very well. The Buckeyes had four rushing touchdowns last week against Michigan, which is one fewer than Michigan State allowed all season. The Spartans lead the FBS in rushing yards allowed per game (64.8), yards per rush against (2.2) and the fewest carries that have gained 10 or more yards (19).
- Let's compare that matchup a little more. In the last four games, Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde has rushed for 700 yards and seven touchdowns on 77 carries. In the last 12 games, Michigan State has allowed just 777 rushing yards (and five touchdowns). That's a lot of 7s.
- Braxton Miller started off slowly this season when it came to running the ball, but he's certainly made up for lost time. In the first seven games, he rushed for 410 yards (4.7 ypc), two touchdowns and had just two carries that went for at least 20 yards. In the last three games, he rushed for 481 yards (10.7 ypc), six touchdowns and had nine carries that went for at least 20 yards. His 481 yards are the fifth-most in the FBS since Week 12.
- The key to Miller's improvement at running the ball has been his improvement on zone-read plays. In those first seven games, he attempted 24 zone reads and gained just 87 yards and no touchdowns. In the past three games, he recorded 21 such rushes for 276 yards and three TDs.
- But one of the keys for Michigan State? Quarterbacks have not rushed for much against it. The Spartans have allowed an FBS-low minus-19 yards on 92 carries by opposing QBs this season. They're the lone team that hasn't allowed a quarterback to have a single carry longer than 12 yards, and they're one of just four teams that haven't allowed a quarterback to score a rushing touchdown.
- Both Hyde and Miller are closing in on big career milestones. Hyde needs 33 yards to reach 3,000 rushing yards while Miller needs just 133 to reach that same mark. Only six other Buckeyes have reached that career milestone. Miller also needs just 43 passing yards to top 5,000 yards for his career -- and needs just 166 total yards to reach the 8,000 combined yards mark. Only Art Schlichter has ever reached that 8,000-yard passing/rushing plateau.
- Plenty of talented defensive players will be showcased Saturday. Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier leads the Big Ten in tackles-for-loss with 21 and has amassed 50 tackles in his last three games. MSU DB Darqueze Dennard was named the conference defensive back of the year and is third in the conference with four interceptions.
- The Spartans are the first Big Ten team to win all eight of their conference games by double-digits since the league went to the eight-game schedule in 1971. The last team to win all of its Big Ten games by double-digits was Michigan back in 1943 when it went 6-0 in conference play.
This will be short and sweet, so let's begin.
B1G Candidate: Ohio State (12-0)
The Buckeyes should root for ...
- Missouri to beat Auburn. Although the SEC champion will lobby for a spot ahead of Ohio State no matter what, No. 5 Missouri would have a tougher case than No. 3 Auburn. Either team would need a major boost in the polls to have a chance to jump an undefeated Buckeyes squad.
- Duke to beat Florida State. A Florida State loss would remove the Seminoles from the championship chase, so Ohio State wouldn't have to worry about the SEC champion taking its spot in Pasadena on Jan. 6.
B1G candidates: Michigan State (11-1) and Ohio State (12-0)
The Spartans and Buckeyes should root for ...
- Bowling Green to beat Northern Illinois. The 14th-ranked Huskies can clinch an at-large spot with a win in the MAC championship game. A loss to Bowling Green frees up a spot.
- Texas to beat Baylor and Oklahoma to beat Oklahoma State. Losses by either the Bears or Cowboys -- or both -- would take the Big 12 out of the at-large picture. Baylor, at No. 9 in the BCS standings, is a big threat for an at-large berth.
- Stanford to beat Arizona State. Although Stanford wouldn't be a strong at-large candidate with three losses and a small fan base, an Arizona State loss would eliminate the slim possibility of the Pac-12 having two teams in the big bowls (even though No. 12 Oregon should be eligible).
The Big Ten championship game has plenty of implications for both Ohio State and Michigan State. The Buckeyes could end up in the national championship game, and the Spartans could land in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988.
There won't be visiting recruits in Indianapolis for the game, per se, but here are 10 prospects who will be impacted by this game on Saturday.
LB Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County): The No. 12 prospect in the country makes his decision Dec. 16. That will be only nine days after Ohio State plays in the Big Ten championship game. If the Buckeyes win, there is a good chance they end up in the national championship game, which could be a point of emphasis for McMillan. If he knows he can win championships at Ohio State, it might make it easier for him to head North away from home.
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The Big Ten has quite a few of those recruits in the game, so here is a look at five of the bigger storylines heading into the prestigious game.
Will Jabrill Peppers take visits?
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- For Michigan State, winning the Big Ten title would mean everything and is on Mark Dantonio's list of "impossible-but-possible" goals for his team.
- Urban Meyer has $4.2 million on the line in the Big Ten Championship.
- Up until he flipped off Michigan Stadium, Marcus Hall had a pretty good reputation. Now he has to deal with the decision he made.
- Five things to know about Michigan State-Ohio State and the Big Ten title game.
- On the BTNLive show, they discuss whether the Big Ten champion should be in the VIZIO BCS National Championship.
- Top Minnesota receiver Derrick Engel's ACL surgery went well.
- The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is looking at four Big Ten teams -- Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota.
- Michigan needs to figure out what went wrong, forget about the Ohio State game and get back to work.
- Penn State WR Geno Lewis heads into the offseason on a high note.