It was quite a weekend in the Big Ten! Penn State moved on without Joe Pa, Wisconsin is all of a sudden back in the driver’s seat, and Michigan State played basketball on a boat. Let’s start with Penn State.
We all know what has happened at Penn State, and I have no intention of going into it again. But for the first time since the Sandusky story broke, something familiar happened in State College, Pa…they played football. It was obviously not under normal circumstances, and a football game seems inconsequential in the ‘big picture’; but if only for three hours, it helped. Trailing Nebraska 17-0, Penn State came back to score 14 unanswered points in the second half. Although they lost after a failed fourth down play with 1:49 left, they made it a game, they came back, and it was great to watch! From the “WE ARE…PENN STATE” chant, and the prayer before the game, to the stadium-wide round of applause after, it was a special event. Whether they won or lost means nothing, but that they played means everything.
On a lighter note, Wisconsin is back in the Leaders’ division driver’s seat. With the Penn State loss and the upset of Purdue over Ohio State, the only team standing in Wisconsin’s way…is Wisconsin. Two more wins will earn the Badgers a trip the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. But they still have to play good football. They play Illinois in Champaign on Saturday, then Penn State in Madison.
In the Legends division, if Nebraska can win out and Michigan State loses one, Nebraska wins the division. If Michigan wins out and Michigan State loses out, Michigan wins the division. And if Michigan State wins out, Michigan State…you guessed it, wins the division.
Speaking of Michigan State, did you know they played basketball on a boat last Friday?!?! With President Obama in attendance, Michigan State and North Carolina tipped off their seasons on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson in Coronado, Calif. The 8,111 people in attendance saw the No. 1 Tar Heels beat Michigan State 67-55. For the Spartans, the road gets no easier. They play Duke on Tuesday. In fact, Michigan State is the only team in the Big Ten not to win their first game. Ten other schools are 1-0, Indiana is 2-0.
Who knows what the next two weeks of football hold? And what will come of this basketball season? These are questions whose answers I can’t wait to find out!
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