Hoosiers in the drivers seat?11/7/2012
And goal to go …
Indiana in the Rose Bowl? The way the Big Ten’s been trending this year, why the heck not? After a come-from-behind win over Iowa, the Hoosiers pushed their record to 4-5 overall, 2-3 in league play. And get this: If the Crimson and Cream beat Wisconsin this weekend, they’ll somehow be in the driver’s seat, mathematically, to represent the Leaders division in the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 1 in Indianapolis. The division’s two best teams, Ohio State and Penn State, aren’t eligible to play in the game (or in a bowl), while Purdue and Illinois have all but been eliminated from the division race already. That leaves the Badgers and the upstart Hoosiers, who’ve won two league games in a row for the first time since 2007.
Gene Chizik’s record as a head coach before Cam Newton: 13-24. Gene Chizik’s record with Cam Newton: 14-0. Gene Chizik’s record after Cam Newton: 10-12. In case you were curious.
Points Kansas State has scored following an opponent’s turnover: 111. Points Kansas State opponents have scored following a Wildcat turnover: 0. Oklahoma State played well in Manhattan but fell to K-State by two touchdowns thanks to five turnovers, four of them interceptions. Bill Snyder’s men aren’t flashy, but they’re 9-0 for a reason: They never, ever beat themselves.
THE BIG 8:
Ranking the best eight teams in the Big 12 and Big Ten, one through eight…
TEAM (RECORD) / UP NEXT
1. Kansas State (9-0) / vs. Texas Christian
2. Oklahoma (6-2) / vs. Baylor
3. Ohio State (10-0) / Bye (vs. Wisconsin, Nov. 17)
4. Texas (7-2) / vs. Iowa State
5. Nebraska (7-2) / vs. Penn State
6. Oklahoma State (5-3) / vs. West Virginia
7. Michigan (6-3) / vs. Northwestern
8. Texas Tech (6-3) / vs. Kansas
ONE MAN’S RUNNING HEISMAN BALLOT:
1. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: Before a reported head injury ended his evening vs. Oklahoma State, the Wildcats’ quarterback had thrown for 245 yards and rushed for 64 more.
2. Kenjon Barner, HB, Oregon: We’ll admit it — it’s easy to get all those speedsters coming out of the Ducks’ backfield confused sometimes. Barner changed all that with a career-defining performance at USC, rushing for 321 yards and five scores.
3. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama: You wondered if, in a hostile environment, the kid could pull the Tide’s rears out of the fire. McCarron did just that last week, completing 4 of 5 passes for 72 yards and during Bama’s final, game-winning drive at LSU.
SET YOUR TIVO:
The games you won’t want to miss…
1. Oregon State at Stanford, FOX, 2 p.m.: The surprising Beavers have been trounced in their last two trips to Palo Alto by an average score of 37-14.
2. Texas A&M at Alabama, CBS, 2:30 p.m.: Strength vs. strength — Johnny “Football” Manziel vs. The Crimson Wall. Bama picked up a statement win in Death Valley; the upstart Aggies will be looking to do the same in Tuscaloosa.
3. Kansas State at TCU, FOX, 6 p.m.: Since a 14-point home loss to Iowa State, the Froggies are averaging 38.8 points per game. But Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia don’t play defense the way K-State does.
THIS WEEK’S COACH(ES) ON THE HOT SEAT: DANNY HOPE, PURDUE (TIE); KIRK FERENTZ, IOWA (TIE)
The Big Ten’s two most embattled bosses lock horns Saturday in Iowa City after a weekend they’d both rather forget. The Boilermakers dropped their fifth straight game, being routed, 34-9, by Penn State in West Lafayette. The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, have dropped three in a row, with fans wondering if a 24-21 loss at Indiana was officially rock bottom. Chances are, Hope is likely a goner either way — the buyout clause in his contract is reportedly $600,000, and it increases by $100,000 each year through 2016. CVSean Keeler is a columnist/blogger with FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports. In 2011, the Iowa native was named one of the Top 10 sports columnists in the nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors. You can read him at FoxSportsKansasCity.com and at FoxSportsMidwest.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@seankeeler) and through his Tumblr blog: seankeeler.tumblr.com.