News and notes surrounding the Big Ten championship game:
- The Badgers will be a lot healthier when they meet Nebraska this time around. When the two teams met on Sept. 29, Wisconsin's two starting defensive ends Brendan Kelly and Pat Muldoon were held out with injuries as was safety Shelton Johnson. "It has been kind of a difficult year for us," coach Bret Bielema said to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I don't know if I've had more players ... that were great players who have missed entire ball games." The Huskers boast the top-rated offense in the Big Ten at 460 ypg and average the second-most points in the conference with 35.4. If Wisconsin is to make it to a third straight Rose Bowl, containing QB Taylor Martinez, who burned the Badgers for 108 yards rushing and a touchdown in the first meeting, is of the utmost importance.
- Nebraska is trying for its first BCS game since 2001 while the Badgers are trying to make it to Pasadena for a third-straight year. Here's CBSSports.com's Big Ten title game preview.
- Wisconsin's all-Big Ten wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was cleared to play in Saturday's game after sustaining a mild concussion against Penn State last week. It's the second concussion he's had this year. The first one came against Oregon State and caused him to miss the Badgers' next game vs. Utah State but Abbrederis said his symptons were light this time. "I knew right away I'd probably be able to go," he said to Madison.com. "It wasn't too bad."
- Before last Friday's win over Iowa, Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead spent the previous four games recuperating from a knee injury instead of exposing himself to the physical pounding each and every Saturday. While not exactly planned, his time off could pay huge dividends as the postseason starts on Saturday. No one expected Nebraska's trio of halfbacks Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard and Imani Cross to rush for more than 1,600 combined yards and 16 touchdowns, but their progress has limited the urgency to get Burkhead back. "To me, it isn't so much your body leaving the game, it's if your heart and your mind and your soul have left the game," Huskers RBs coach Ron Brown said to the Lincoln Journal Star. "A lot of injured guys allow that to happen," he said. "For Rex, there was no warming up in the bullpen or anything. He was mentally ready and he conducted himself well."
- Five things you should know about Lucas Oil Stadium, according to Colts vice president Larry Hall. The stadium was named the 2009 Sports Facility of the Year by Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal and it was also ranked as the NFL's best Fieldturf in 2009 and 2010.
- Bo Pelini's nephew, C Mark Pelini, may start on Saturday due to Justin Jackson's ankle injury in the first half against Iowa last week. The younger Pelini, a sophomore, has played in four games this season and hasn't been overwhelmed. "We knew when he came in [against Iowa] that he would know exactly what he was doing and make the right calls and all that," OT Brent Qvale said to the Lincoln Journal Star. "He came in and played his butt off, and he's going to get another chance now to do it again." The Huskers coaching staff has said they'll evaluate his progress throughout the week but they say no decision has been made.
For more Big Ten coverage, follow Mike Singer and Dave Carey @CBSSportsBigTen.