2013 Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Hip Hop MCs Edition

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Can’t leave Big Ten football alone the game needs me. Notorious B.I.G. once said that he raps about the ghetto because that’s what he knows. And…”if I worked at McDonald’s, I’d be rapping about Big Macs and fries.”

You write and talk what you know and live. And I know Big Ten football. We’re still a ways away from Big Ten football media days. Well, less than two weeks now. The preseason is indeed here, time for some WAY TOO Early Big Ten football power rankings

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Single threat QB Denard Robinson pleads guilty to driving on a suspended license

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Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license but still remains eligible to play in U-M’s inevitable Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina. He paid a fine and faces no additional punishment from the university. The Wolverines suspended three players from this game earlier this week including their punter, who got the Big Ten punter of the year award, and starting corner J.T. Floyd.

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Michigan Alone Atop Legends Division: How They Can Stay There

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At this point, the 2012 Big Ten football season is shaping up to be what many thought it would be. Wisconsin will, barring a total meltdown, be the Leaders division representative in the Big Ten championship game, and Michigan is in control of their own destiny in the Legends division. With their 12-10 win over Michigan State last Saturday, the Wolverines are the only team in the division with an undefeated conference record. However, the division is still wide open, and this coming weekend has the potential to be huge.

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Michigan Looks to Bounce Back After Bama

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After a receiving a thorough beat down from Alabama last week, Michigan is looking to get back to their winning ways this Saturday against Air Force. A home opener against a weak opponent is the perfect hangover remedy for a team coming off a tough loss. With Fitzgerald Toussaint off of suspension and Denard Robinson’s poor play against Alabama, don’t expect the Wolverines to take is easy on the Falcons this weekend.

Although last week’s loss was a tough one to swallow for Brady Hoke’s crew, it came at the perfect time. A loss in week one is a lot better than a loss in week two or later. Beyond that, Alabama is the best team Michigan, or any team for that matter, will face all season. With Air Force coming up and Massachusetts the week after, the Wolverines have two weeks to figure out their running game with Toussaint in the picture before facing Notre Dame and their conference schedule.

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#7 Michigan Wolverines: College Football 77 in 77

Denard Robinson

Welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the Michigan Wolverines.

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Was last season a fluke for Brady Hoke and Michigan?

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With Brady Hoke’s incredibly successful first season at Michigan, the question, now, is whether the Wolverines will continue on their road to success as a nationally prominent team or if they will slipup in 2012.

The answer to that question lies to a great extent in the hands of Denard Robinson. The Heisman candidate has, without question, the ability to lead the Wolverines to another double-digit-win season and BCS bowl berth. However, he does have a tendency to make careless throws that seem to hang in the air forever. This is, in large part, the reason for his 15 interceptions last season.

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#16 Nebraska vs. #18 Michigan: Brutally Honest Game Preview

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In both the present and the future these two teams matter much for Big Ten. The loser between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Michigan Wolverines is officially eliminated from the conference title. The winner stands as the #2 should Sparty falter down the stretch, and would grab the trip to Indianapolis in place of Michigan State. That’s the short term.

In the long run, these two programs will have to carry the league flag for awhile. There are only four big traditional powers in the Big Ten, and these two right here will need to step up while the other two (Ohio State and Penn State) are in disarray for a few years. Of course, the level of disarray and the fallout yet to come is a million times worse at PSU.

Coincidentally, the two scandalous league powers play each other this Saturday. While the two “clean” powers do battle with each other as well. I’m sure league officials are really glad now that Nebraska joined, and that Michigan seems to have turned the corner.

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Penn State is “Radioactive” to Bowl Selection Committees; Big 10 Bowl Projections

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“They’re radioactive,” a bowl official told Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday. “[Bowls] wanted Joe Paterno ‘s last game, not a nightmare.”

The Nittany Lions finish the season at Ohio State and Wisconsin. The OSU game looks like a toss-up, and the Badgers will likely destroy them. That season ending tilt is looking like it’ll be the Leaders division championship game, with the winner going to Indianapolis. So Penn State still has a chance to go to the Big Ten title game and the Rose Bowl; although it looks much less likely given how they performed Saturday.

Remember, the bowl selection process is arbitrary and capricious to say the least, and since PSU is a branding and PR nightmare right now, they could fall to the Ticketcity or  Meineke Bowl. If it comes to that, hopefully the school will do the right thing and decline their bid. Even if it doesn’t come to that, and PSU ends up in one of the top five slots, they should do the right thing and decline their invitation.

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Michigan Has Emerging Star at Tailback in Fitzgerald Toussaint

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No matter what team you root for in college football, you have to admit it’s cool that the Michigan Wolverines have both Fitzgerald and Hemingway playing the offensive skill positions for them. We’ve profiled wide receiver Junior Hemingway, who’s had “A Movable Feast” of receiving yards this season.

Now we profile Fitzgerald Toussaint who ran for a career-high high 192 yards on 27 carries yesterday (previous high was 170 yards versus Purdue) and a fourth-quarter TD that ended any remote chances hope of an Illini comeback. Toussaint came out of the gates strong, going 65 yards on his second carry; 121 yards rushing after one quarter.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said “Action is Character.” Fitzgerald running for 8 yards shy of 200 versus Illinois, the nation’s 15th ranked run defense (6th overall defense) defined his character yesterday.

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Your Denard Robinson Wrist Injury Update

Denard Robinson

For the Michigan Wolverines offense, tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint was the bellcow, finishing the 31-14 win over the Illini with 192 yards rushing on 27 carries; two touchdowns.

Single threat quarterback Denard Robinson had two rushing touchdowns to go with 42 yards on the ground, on 11 attempts. He threw 6-11 for 91 yards and two picks, although one was an end of half desperation heave, so I don’t really count that as an interception- even though it goes in the books as one.

Robinson left the game early with a injury of some sort and it did not return. Continue after the jump to learn his status.

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Michigan Wolverines Shut Down Illini; Win Low-Scoring Big 10 Affair

67-65 in multiple overtimes this was not. This meeting between the Illini and Wolverines was much less “college basketball on AstroPlay” than last year. Michigan still won; this time with a different style.

Out of the gates Michigan dominated. They held a 172-13 yardage advantage after one quarter of play; 249-30 at the half. UM tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint had 121 yards rushing, on just three carries at the end of the first period. Yet the Michigan lead was only 14 at intermission.

The Memorial Stadium attendance was 60,676, a sellout- first one this season. And they had reason to come alive when the Illini cut it to 17-7 on Nathan Scheelhaase‘s TD run. However, that optimism was short-lived when Scheelhaase threw a pick-six on the next Illini offensive series.

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#24 Michigan Wolverines v. Illinois Fighting Illini: Brutally Honest Game Preview

In my lifetime, Illinois has beaten Michigan at home just twice- in 1983 and 2009. For some reason, the Illini don’t have a home field advantage versus the Wolverines or the Ohio State Buckeyes. Part of it is my alma mater has issues selling tickets to college football games.

If you can’t sell out a game versus Ohio St, when you’re undefeated and nationally ranked in the top 15, then when can you sell out? Michigan is starting to stumble a bit after a fast start, and they’re getting Illinois at the right time.

Or are they? The Illini had a bye week to prepare for this, and have to be feeling a sense of urgency. They started out 6-0 and now find themselves projected to the Pizza Bowl in Detroit. Uhm yeah, time to start winning some more games.

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