A closer look at four upcoming Gophers opponents:
Iowa (Sept. 28): Last Saturday’s win over Iowa State was another sign the Hawkeyes have improved from last year’s 4-8 debacle.
Their lone loss was a 30-27 heartbreaker against Northern Illinois. Workhorse Mark Weisman is averaging 28 carries and 142 yards per game.
Michigan (Oct. 5): The Wolverines looked like the Big Ten’s best team for two weeks before nearly getting stunned by Akron last Saturday.
Devin Gardner, who was mostly terrific against Notre Dame, had four turnovers against the Zips, who have lost 28 consecutive road games.
Nebraska (Oct. 26): The leaked recording of Bo Pelini ripping Cornhuskers fans in a private 2011 conversation had to be timed for maximum effect, coming after Nebraska squandered a 21-3 lead in a 41-21 home loss to UCLA.
Former Huskers quarterback Tommie Frazier tweeted, “Time for change,” and Pelini responded by saying, “We don’t need [Frazier].” Yikes.
Penn State (Nov. 9): With true freshman Christian Hackenberg showing veteran poise, Penn State opened with strong wins over Syracuse and Eastern Michigan.
But depth issues from scholarship reductions showed up in last Saturday’s 34-31 loss to Central Florida, which never before had defeated a Big Ten team.
BIG TEN POWER POLL
1. Ohio State (3-0): The Buckeyes’ 15-game winning streak is the longest in the nation.
2. Northwestern (3-0): Safety Ibraheim Campbell has intercepted a pass in five consecutive games.
3. Michigan (3-0): The Wolverines are 17-0 at home under Brady Hoke. Next to visit: Minnesota on Oct. 5.
4. Wisconsin (2-1): Badgers eyeing Sept. 28 showdown against Ohio State, but first comes Purdue.