|Michigan's Denard Robinson hopes he can play in his final home game at the Big House. (US Presswire)|
News and notes from around the Big Ten:
- Ohio State wide receiver Philly Brown was reluctant to say he despises Wisconsin more than Michigan, but he did admit he hates “Wisconsin just as much as Michigan.” The past few years, two of the most successful Big Ten programs have staged a few memorable games but “no wound hurts current Buckeyes as much as their last trip to Madison in 2010,” as Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer wrote. In that game, Wisconsin upset Ohio State, which was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country at that point. If the rivalry needs any more fuel, the Leaders Division crown still hangs in the balance of Saturday's game.
- When Nebraska hosts Minnesota on Saturday, it will be RB Rex Burkhead's last time to take the field at Memorial Stadium. His senior season has been a disaster as a knee sprain he suffered earlier in the year has lingered throughout conference play, limiting him to just five games this season. “I think it just kills him every week,” coach Bo Pelini said. Burkhead has practiced this week and is doing everything he can to get back out on the field. “My last home game here, being a senior, it would mean the world to me to get out on the field,” he said to the AP.
- Similar to Burkhead's predicament, the face of the Michigan program -- Denard Robinson -- is questionable for his final game at the Big House on Saturday. Robinson has missed the last 2 1/2 games with a nerve injury in his throwing arm and backup Devin Gardner has subsequently filled in and led the Wolverines to two wins. As has been the case since he incurred the injury, coach Brady Hoke has only said Robinson is day-to-day. “That won't have anything to do with it,” Hoke said to Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press when asked about the emotions of the day involving Robinson's status. “His health is what it will have to do with.”
- Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz became unnerved at his Tuesday press conference when asked about former student athlete academic adviser Peter Gray, who resigned last week after being accused of sexually harassing students. “An internal university investigative report obtained by the Iowa Press-Citizen revealed that Gray provided football tickets and money for sexual favors and inappropriately touched student-athletes,” Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register wrote.
- Minnesota coaches have been thrilled with freshman QB Philip Nelson's decision-making and are equally as pleased at the throws he's chosen not make. "Not to throw the ball into coverage, not to force something that isn't there," offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said to Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. "He knows very well that sometimes an incompletion is better than risking [an interception]." Coach Jerry Kill and Nelson have the Gophers bowl eligible for the first time since 2009.
For more Big Ten coverage, follow Mike Singer and Dave Carey @CBSSportsBigTen.