Big Ten Legends race shapes up

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 1, 2013 - 6:42 AM

Halfway through the Big Ten season, the Gophers haven’t ruled anything out.

hide

Connor Cook has had his ups and downs at quarterback for Michigan State, and it has been the Spartans’ stifling defense that has been mainly responsible for a 4-0 start in Big Ten play.

Photo: Al Goldis • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Gophers acting head coach Tracy Claeys wasn’t suggesting fans should order tickets for the Big Ten Championship Game. He simply said the team was still in contention for a Legends Division title.

Claeys had mentioned that the team needed to reset its goals after clinching a bowl berth with last Saturday’s victory over Nebraska.

“Until we’re proven differently, [a team with] two losses still has a chance to win the division,” Claeys said, referencing the Gophers’ 2-2 Big Ten record. “If you lose three, you don’t have a chance. But up until this point, if you lose two, in our [division], you’re still going to have an opportunity.”

Northwestern is 0-4 in the Big Ten and out of contention. But here’s a look at the title chances for the rest of the Legends Division:

Michigan State (4-0 in Big Ten)

Next five weeks: Michigan, bye, at Nebraska, at Northwestern, Minnesota.

Title chances: If the Spartans defeat Michigan and Nebraska, they’ll be in the driver’s seat. They lead the nation in scoring defense at 12.3 points per game. But their four conference victories have come against Iowa, Indiana, Purdue and Illinois — not a marquee list. Connor Cook has had good weeks and bad weeks at quarterback. The defense is stifling, but with an inconsistent offense, this team is hardly a lock.

Michigan (2-1)

Next five weeks: at Michigan State, Nebraska, at Northwestern, at Iowa, Ohio State.

Title chances: The Wolverines need to win their next four games before facing what looks to be a superior Ohio State team. Quarterback Devin Gardner must limit his turnovers, and Michigan’s defense needs to play much better than it did in a 63-47 win over Indiana. Winning at Michigan State would be key because the Wolverines get Nebraska and Ohio State at home. Michigan is 19-0 at home under Brady Hoke.

Nebraska (2-1)

Next five weeks: Northwestern, at Michigan, Michigan State, at Penn State, Iowa.

Title chances: The Cornhuskers must win four of their final five, at least, especially the games against Michigan and Michigan State. That’s no easy task, especially considering Nebraska got outplayed by the Gophers last weekend. An injured Taylor Martinez isn’t the answer, so maybe Tommy Armstrong Jr. has to lead the offense. The defense has struggled against the run, but Northwestern, Michigan and Penn State are better at passing than running.

Iowa (2-2)

Next five weeks: Wisconsin, at Purdue, bye, Michigan, at Nebraska.

Title chances: The Hawkeyes would need to win their last four games and have Michigan State stumble three times, since the Spartans already defeated Iowa. The Hawkeyes played right with Ohio State two weeks ago, and if they can upset Wisconsin on Saturday, a 6-2 Big Ten finish is possible. Iowa has held opponents to 18.1 points per game, third fewest in the conference, so it’ll continue trying to win with its suffocating style.

Gophers (2-2)

Next five weeks: at Indiana, Penn State, bye, Wisconsin, at Michigan State.

  • related content

  • Big Ten football power poll

    Friday November 1, 2013

    BIG TEN POWER POLL1. Ohio State (8-0, 4-0): The Buckeyes get Purdue, Illinois and Indiana before playing at Michigan on...

  • Big Ten football short takes

    Friday November 1, 2013

    • Penn State will try shoring up its defense against Illinois on Saturday before visiting Minnesota next week. The Nittany Lions...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - R. Hernandez 12:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:05 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close