Phil Miller's Big Ten short takes

  • Updated: October 18, 2012 - 8:30 PM

• The indignities don't stop for the Big Ten. It wasn't unexpected, but it was still jarring when the BCS announced its first Top 25 rankings, and no Big Ten teams made the cut. Sure, it's because unbeaten Ohio State is ineligible for a bowl game, but that didn't lessen the embarrassment, especially when the SEC and Big 12 each have seven teams on the list. The league's streak of eight consecutive BCS at-large berths appears to be history.

• Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald asked his team what could be done about slow starts in its 2:30 games, but he wasn't too thrilled about the answer: We need naps. The players claim they are sluggish by 2:30 after getting up early, so Fitzgerald reluctantly agreed to try a mandatory team nap at 9:30 Saturday morning, after breakfast and position meetings, to prepare for Nebraska that afternoon. "Unbelievable," Fitzgerald said at his weekly news conference. "This is what I get paid to do. Seriously. Create nap time. It's pathetic."

• There could be some jobs at stake in Columbus this week when Purdue faces Ohio State. After Purdue basically took itself out of the Leaders Division race last week by getting steamrolled against Wisconsin, fourth-year coach Danny Hope found his job security being debated by Boilermaker fans. Hope's record is 19-24 and includes only a Little Caesars Pizza Bowl berth in four years. Meanwhile, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer had to give his predecessor and current defensive coordinator, Luke Fickell, a vote of confidence after OSU allowed 49 points to last-place Indiana. The Buckeyes' pass defense is worst in the conference.

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