Phil Miller's short takes: Nov. 11

  • Updated: November 11, 2011 - 12:12 AM

• The Big Ten is obviously uncomfortable with the Penn State scandal, but it's got a decision to make, too. The league got national publicity for naming its fancy new championship trophy after Amos Alonzo Stagg and Joe Paterno, obviously never dreaming the Penn State coach's career would end in such a humiliating way. The Stagg family isn't so sure it wants to be associated with Paterno, according to CBSSports.com, although Thursday night, Stagg's great-grandson, Robert Stagg, said his family will be honored to have the Stagg name on the trophy regardless of whether or not Paterno's name is also on it. Here's guessing Commissioner Jim Delany sticks with the name for now, in hopes the controversy fades. That's how he handled "Legends and Leaders," after all.

• After surviving a five-game losing streak, Northwestern resurrected its season by shocking Nebraska in Lincoln last week, a victory that, assuming the Wildcats beat Rice at home on Saturday, means Northwestern will be playing for bowl eligibility when the Gophers come to town Nov. 19. The Wildcats' victory was such an upset, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez even suggested that the players from the "smart school" were stealing Nebraska's signs. "They were looking at me or looking at the sidelines for our play," Martinez said. The Wildcats scoffed at the notion, sort of. Coach Pat Fitzgerald said Martinez sometimes gives away his intentions and Wildcats noticed. "There were some things we saw in our film study that he gave away," Fitzgerald told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I think we took advantage of some of those things."

• Denard Robinson is 35-for-75 for an average of 163 passing yards during Michigan's last three games, two of which were losses, prompting Wolverines offensive coordinator Al Borges to "go back to the basics" during practice this week. Robinson's adjustment to Borges' offense has included an alarming number of overthrown passes, and the dynamic junior is the runaway Big Ten leader in interceptions with 12. So Borges, according to the Detroit Free Press, is emphasizing simply putting the ball where receivers can touch it, not worrying about being too fine, and letting his "good, rangy receivers that can catch jump balls" make plays for him.

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