Welcome to a new episode of Land-Grant Holy Land’s I-70 podcast. On this show, we talk about all things Big Ten football and basketball. After every week of action, we will get you caught up on all the conference’s games and look ahead at the matchups, storylines, and players that you should be paying attention to in the next week. My name is Jordan Williams, and I am joined by my co-host Dante Morgan.
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Throughout history, all dynasties have fallen. In many cases, they were defeated in battle by the next up-and-coming dynasty after they grew old, fat, and complacent. Ohio State was that dynasty, and has been dethroned by its arch-nemesis, the Michigan Wolverines.
Jim Harbaugh led his team to Columbus with an 11-0 record, buoyed by getting the monkey off their back last season, winning The Game for the first time since 2011. One win can be considered a fluke, but two wins are far from it. Harbaugh and his players secured a second win, beating Ohio State 45-23 despite all the talk from Columbus about toughness, revenge, and dedication for 365 days with a sole focus on winning this game. Michigan is the best team in the conference for the first time in two decades, while Ohio State is left licking its wounds… again.
Nebraska, under interim head coach Mickey Joseph for the final time, upset Iowa 24-17, ruining their bid to win the West in back-to-back seasons. This season has not gone well for the Cornhuskers, and there is a lot of change on the horizon, but playing spoiler to Iowa is a great way to end the season. Iowa’s loss allowed Purdue to win the Big Ten West for the first time in program history. Purdue’s season did not go as planned, but Aidan O’Connell battled through multiple injuries and a late-game defensive collapse, willing the Boilermakers to Indianapolis.
Over the weekend, news broke that Nebraska offered the head coaching job to Matt Rhule, former head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rhule is a tremendous hire for the Cornhuskers, as he has successfully turned around Temple and Baylor and has a proven track record as a college head coach.
Many of us expected the Wisconsin job to be handed to defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jim Leonhard after Paul Chryst was let go. The Badgers limped their way across the finish line without Leonhard securing the job. Instead, Wisconsin pulled off the impossible for a non-Ohio State program, hiring Luke Fickell away from Cincinnati to be their next head coach. The Big Ten is changing rapidly, and the hires by Nebraska and Wisconsin represent a changing of the guard as the Big Ten is set to expand and eliminate divisions.
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