Oct. 21, 2013
B1G MOMENTS IN ROSE BOWL HISTORY - Jan. 2, 1967 - Purdue 14, USC 13: Thanks to two touchdowns from fullback Perry Williams, Purdue carried a 14-7 lead into the fourth quarter against USC. The Trojans scored with 2:28 remaining in the game and elected to go for the two-point conversion. The attempt was intercepted by George Catavolos, securing the Boilermaker win in their first postseason game.
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Penn State's John Urschel: Urschel, who claimed the Big Ten Medal of Honor last May, was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2012, starting all 12 games at right tackle and helping the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total offense during the conference season. A candidate for the 2013 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award, he earned his bachelor's degree in less than three years on campus. He earned his first master's degree last May and is currently working on his second master's. This semester, he is teaching Integral Vector Calculus and researching multigrid methods and computational mathematics.
Breaking Down the Legends Division: Three teams carry winning records within the Legends Division, including two with perfect marks in conference play. Michigan State and Nebraska are undefeated in Big Ten competition, with the Spartans owning a 3-0 mark and Nebraska a 2-0 ledger. Michigan State travels to Illinois, while Nebraska opens division play at Minnesota this Saturday. Michigan is third in the division race at 2-1 and has a bye this week. The Wolverines will return to action on Nov. 2 when they head to Michigan State. Minnesota and Iowa are tied for fourth in the division standings with matching 1-2 Big Ten marks.
A Look at the Leaders Division Race: Two programs carry three conference wins and are atop the Leaders Division standings. Ohio State knocked off Iowa last Saturday to maintain its unblemished record, moving to 3-0. Wisconsin, which has a bye on Saturday, trails by one-half game in the standings at 3-1, but the Buckeyes hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Badgers following the meeting in Columbus earlier this season. After a bye last Saturday, Penn State is third in the division with a 1-1 conference record and plays at Ohio State on Saturday. Indiana is fourth with a 1-2 Big Ten mark and has a bye this weekend.
Continuing the Streak: Ohio State extended the nation's longest active winning streak to 19 games last Saturday, the second-longest stretch in program history and equaling the 19 straight triumphs during the 2005-06 and 2002-03 seasons. The 19 victories rank as the eighth-longest stretch in Big Ten annals. Conference programs have combined for seven stretches of at least 20 or more wins, with the 1901-03 Michigan squads holding the conference record of 29 consecutive victories. The Buckeyes are now 7-0 on the season and one of just 10 teams around the country still boasting a perfect record and one of six who have won their first seven games.
Debuting in the BCS: The initial Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings of the 2013 season feature three Big Ten teams - No. 4 Ohio State, No. 22 Michigan and No. 24 Nebraska. The Buckeyes make their 77th appearance in the BCS poll, which ranks seventh among all teams. OSU cracks the BCS standings for the first time since the 2010 campaign, and rate among the top four for the first time since ending the 2007 season rated No. 1 overall. The Wolverines have now appeared in 76 BCS standings, which rates eighth among all schools, after ending last season at No. 18 in the final BCS poll on Dec. 2. The Cornhuskers make their 63rd appearance in the BCS rankings after wrapping up last year at No. 16.
Record-Setting Day in Ann Arbor: Last Saturday's Indiana-Michigan contest, a 63-47 Wolverine win, featured some of the best offensive performances in Big Ten history. Receiver Jeremy Gallon recorded the most productive day in conference annals, totaling 369 receiving yards to shatter the previous conference record of 301 yards set by Purdue's Chris Daniels in 1999. Gallon's yardage is the second-highest total in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history, averaging 26.4 yards per catch in the win. Wolverine quarterback Devin Gardner set a program record with 503 passing yards, while his 584 yards of total offense is one yard shy of the Big Ten record. Gardner's and Gallon's efforts are single-game highs in the FBS this season. The 110 combined points mark the third-highest single-game total in Big Ten history, while the game's 17 scoring drives averaged just 2:06.
Bowl Eligibility: Michigan and Michigan State reached the six-win mark to join Ohio State as bowl-eligible teams, while three others could reach the standard with another victory. The Wolverines became eligible for their 43rd postseason appearance in program history and fourth consecutive. The Spartans earned bowl eligibility for a program-record seventh straight season and 24th time overall. Meanwhile, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin are within one win of reaching the six-win landmark. The Badgers have a bye this weekend, while the Huskers and Gophers will meet in Minneapolis on Saturday.
In the Division: Three of the four conference matchups on Saturday will be divisional showdowns, including two contests within the Legends Division. Nebraska travels to Minnesota, with the winner earning bowl eligibility, and Northwestern heads to Iowa. The Huskers are the final conference team to open division play and begin a four-game stretch against division foes, while the Gophers will compete in their fourth consecutive intra-division game. Iowa takes on its third division foe of the season, while Northwestern faces its second of five straight Legends Division teams. In the Leaders Division, Penn State heads to Ohio State for each team's second division contest of the season. The Buckeyes begin a stretch of four straight division contests, while the Nittany Lions open a two-game stretch against division foes.
That's a First: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer made history in guiding the Buckeyes to victory last Saturday. Meyer won 20 straight games for the third time in his career, becoming the only coach in college football history to achieve the feat. He is among a group of nine coaches in history with multiple 20-game win streaks, including Walter Camp, George Woodruff, Fielding Yost, Robert Neyland, Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, Joe Paterno and Tom Osborne. Meyer won 22 straight games while coaching at Florida during the 2008-09 seasons and won 20 consecutive from 2003-05 while at the helm of Utah and Florida. His current streak began in his final game at Florida in 2010 and into his 19-0 start with the Buckeyes. Meyer's .842 overall winning percentage (123-23) is tops among active coaches with at least 10 years of head-coaching experience.
They’re Automatic: Two active conference kickers hold the top spots on the Big Ten’s all-time consecutive extra points list, having recently surpassed the previous conference record. Michigan’s Brendan Gibbons holds the conference’s all-time mark with 136 straight conversions, while Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien is second all-time, having converted on each of his 127 career extra point attempts. The previous conference record was held by Michigan’s J.D. Carlson, who connected on 126 straight from 1989-91.