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Big Ten's sleeper team

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07:01 AM ET 04.23 | Perhaps Northwestern, which won 10 games this past season, is ready to again compete for title -- even if Ohio State and Wisconsin are on the 2013 slate. Fifteen starters return, including the dynamic offensive backfield of quarterback Kain Colter and Venric Mark, an All-Big Ten running back and an All-America all-purpose player. Quarterback Trevor Siemian, who shared time with Colter and improved as the season progressed, also comes back. ... [If] Northwestern can split its first two Big Ten contests, it should be right in the mix for the Legends Division title. The Wildcats host the Michigan schools, and although they visit Nebraska, they won in Lincoln with an inferior team in 2011.

ESPN Chicago

Trevor Siemian, Icon Sports Trevor Siemian, Icon Sports
April 23, 2013  09:17 AM ET

Purple Vandy?

April 23, 2013  09:20 AM ET

FYI ->>> SI, that guy isn't talking about DBs, he's talking about QBs.

April 23, 2013  10:29 AM ET

"they won in Lincoln" . I never thought I would see the day that this would happen.

April 23, 2013  10:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Purple Vandy?

Vandy should be so lucky. Vandy chickened out of their series with the Wildcats last year.

April 23, 2013  11:53 AM ET

Vandy also backed out of a slate with the Buckeyes.

April 23, 2013  12:31 PM ET

I have to say that all the teams in the BIX put me to sleep.

April 23, 2013  12:57 PM ET

Expanding to 14 teams disrupted the schedules of all SEC teams. Some dropped contests may be attributed to this, though it is popular for fans of non-SEC teams to attribute all schedule changes to fearfulness on the part of the SEC team. This is especially true of B1G teams, as recent Bowl history illustrates the SEC's inferiority to the midwestern yankee teams.

April 23, 2013  02:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Expanding to 14 teams disrupted the schedules of all SEC teams. Some dropped contests may be attributed to this, though it is popular for fans of non-SEC teams to attribute all schedule changes to fearfulness on the part of the SEC team. This is especially true of B1G teams, as recent Bowl history illustrates the SEC's inferiority to the midwestern yankee teams.

Facts are facts: NW beat Vandy in Nashville, Vandy cancelled the game in Evanston. Doesn't say the rest of the conference gets the snot beat out of em (although we beat Georgia in a bowl game 2 years ago). Just saying, Vandy gets good press, but they ducked NW.

April 23, 2013  02:06 PM ET

Also, I believe the SEC is still at 8 conference games. Going to 14 didn't reduce their number of OOC games, nor did it increase their "murders' row" conference games. Personally, I think conferences with 14 teams should schedule 10 conference games/season. Yes, it will cut down on the number of ooc games, but so what? I'd much rather see MSU play a B1G team than MAC schools.

April 23, 2013  04:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

NW beat Vandy in Nashville, Vandy cancelled the game in Evanston.

You do not cover the 'why.' Adding TAMU & Mizzou did wreak havoc upon SEC schedules - who plays who when and where. There are 6 division opponent games to be accommodated. The total conference games on each team's schedule may be 8, but these had to be reconfigured. Many SEC teams had to break commitments and seek new opponents to fill new dates on their calendars.

Even though the B1G back-loads conference games, you wait and see how schedules are juggled with realignment.

April 23, 2013  04:27 PM ET

Bash the SEC all you want, folks. I'll laugh along with it, but do not refuse to acknowledge that expansion-related changes in schedules caused SEC teams to have to forgo/renege on some OOC games which could not be moved to mutual advantage. If you wish, you may decry how the SEC handled changes to its scheduling. That's at the heart of it.

April 23, 2013  04:40 PM ET

NW could very well win the B1G "Legends" this year although it will be highly competitive. Hats off to Pat Fitzgerald.

April 23, 2013  04:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

NW could very well win the B1G "Legends" this year although it will be highly competitive. Hats off to Pat Fitzgerald.

Still go by Legends and Leaders? Thought it was changed to "Losers and Liars"

April 23, 2013  04:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Bash the SEC all you want, folks. I'll laugh along with it, but do not refuse to acknowledge that expansion-related changes in schedules caused SEC teams to have to forgo/renege on some OOC games which could not be moved to mutual advantage. If you wish, you may decry how the SEC handled changes to its scheduling. That's at the heart of it.

Nothing to bash other than the occasional questionable recruiting "issues" that seem too pop up.

SEC is the top College Football conference in the country.

The B1G is getting better but not near the level of the SEC in depth and quality. I do believe OSU and Michigan will soon (2 years) be at the level of the top teams in SEC but the quality or depth is just not there right now.

April 23, 2013  04:57 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Still go by Legends and Leaders? Thought it was changed to "Losers and Liars"

Don't know why, but I will dignify your response with one of my own.

Will be simply "East" and "West" in 2014 when Rutgers and Maryland join.

April 24, 2013  12:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

NW could very well win the B1G "Legends" this year although it will be highly competitive. Hats off to Pat Fitzgerald.

My son goes to Northwestern (in the marching band) so I paid close attention to them last year. They had Michigan beat (in Ann Arbor) last year as it took a miralce catch to force OT and UM prevailed. I'm a bit nervous about my beloved Buckeyes playing in Evanston next October... could be the toughest challenge till going to UM.

After looking at the last 2 recruiting classes that Urban Meyer has landed, I believe we are close to the top tier SEC team levels. Watch for two killer DE's to disrupt other team's O. I'm still having nightmares about Florida doing that in the NC game... making Troy Smith's life miserable.

April 24, 2013  07:00 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

My son goes to Northwestern (in the marching band)

Very glad to read this, river. What instrument(s) does he play?

April 24, 2013  09:17 AM ET

Thanks for asking Tin Man. He plays mellophone and also a percussionist. Great school... great experience... proud papa!

April 24, 2013  02:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

They had Michigan beat (in Ann Arbor) last year as it took a miralce catch to force OT and UM prevailed. I'm a bit nervous about my beloved Buckeyes playing in Evanston next October... could be the toughest challenge till going to UM.

After looking at the last 2 recruiting classes that Urban Meyer has landed, I believe we are close to the top tier SEC team levels. Watch for two killer DE's to disrupt other team's O.

No doubt River. Michigan was "lucky" to force OT and win. They also go to Evanston this year.

Also, I agree with you on OSU's talent level [hope this agreeing is not a trend ;) ]. Urban had more to work with than Hoke did upon arrival. Those D-ends will be dynamite. Michigan's gaining ground but not quite there yet. [side note: Losing Jake Ryan to an ACL hurts 2013.]

2014 should be very interesting. Start of the "no more excuses" phase for Hoke. He's done a great job but by that time he'll have two full recruiting classes in with the 3rd arriving.

 
April 24, 2013  03:46 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Losing Jake Ryan to an ACL hurts 2013.

Word.

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