Phil Miller's Big Ten short takes

  • Updated: November 15, 2012 - 9:22 PM

• As if this season wasn't going badly enough for Kirk Ferentz, now there's a sex-harassment scandal emerging at Iowa. The Hawkeyes coach had no role in the misconduct -- a former academic advisor is accused of trading football tickets for sexual favors, among other inappropriate behavior -- but Ferentz lost his temper and cursed when he was asked about the scandal at his news conference. The football coach, already under pressure because of the Hawkeyes' four-game losing streak, quickly apologized.

• Like the Gophers, Purdue will finish the season with a different quarterback than it started with. And Boilermakers coach Danny Hope sounds a lot like Jerry Kill when he defends waiting until the season was half over to make a switch that has turned out to be beneficial. "We had a competition at the position, and there was never, ever a controversy," said Hope, who switched from Caleb TerBush to Robert Marve just in time for Marve to pass for two TDs in a 27-24 victory over Iowa.

• When Michigan State made last-minute plays last year to beat Ohio State, Wisconsin and Georgia (in triple OT) -- you could almost see this season coming because that sort of serendipity rarely carries over. Picked as a preseason favorites in the Legends Division, MSU has lost four conference games by four points or fewer, and needs one more victory just to become bowl-eligible.

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