Big Ten Football 2012
Big Ten Football Weekly Recap - Week 13
Big Ten Football Scores – Week 13
Nebraska 13, Iowa 7 (Friday)
Ohio State 26, Michigan 21
Penn State 24, Wisconsin 21
Northwestern 50, Illinois 14
Purdue 56, Indiana 35
Michigan State 26, Minnesota 10
Two years ago, the Nebraska Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten Conference, intent on making a new name for themselves, freed from the confines of a Big 12 Conference they had grown to dislike, primarily because of the perceived overreach and political domineering of the Texas Longhorns and their athletic director, DeLoss Dodds. Nebraska sought a fresh start, and two years later, the Huskers have won a division championship, giving themselves a very good chance at some very special accomplishments.
Nebraska overcame 30-mile-per-hour winds and bitter cold to defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday. When Michigan lost to Ohio State on Saturday, Nebraska might have won the Big Ten Legends Division anyway, but by taking care of business on Friday, the Big Red locked up a division flag and a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 1 against the Wisconsin Badgers, the representatives (not champions) of the Leaders division. Nebraska will be favored in that game in Indianapolis, and if head coach Bo Pelini's team can get the job done, this proud and prestigious program will win its first conference title of any kind since 1999, when the Huskers beat Texas in that year's Big 12 Championship Game.
Nebraska going 13 years without a conference title is remarkable, but that drought only magnifies what the Huskers have achieved this season. They won the Legends division with a clarity that does not apply to the Leaders division, which was "won" by 12-0 Ohio State but will not translate to the Big Ten title game. Wisconsin is merely a replacement team of sorts; Nebraska, though, punched its ticket to Indianapolis on the merits.
Speaking of Ohio State, the Buckeyes clinched a perfect regular season by beating archrival Michigan on Saturday. The game didn't mean anything in terms of the postseason, but it means everything to fans of the Buckeyes and Wolverines. Ohio State was able to win because its much-maligned defense was able to shut out Michigan in the second half. The Buckeyes failed repeatedly in the red zone in the third and fourth quarters, but because their defense bailed out their offense – chiefly due to rock-solid run-stuffing between the tackles – they can say that no opponent defeated them in a season marred by NCAA penalties.
Elsewhere in the league, Michigan State and Purdue earned bowl bids, while Penn State won its eighth game of 2012, making Bill O'Brien a frontrunner for the national coach of the year award.
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