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Big Ten Football Roundup: Week 12

(We know you can go anywhere to find your typical game recap, so we’re changing things up a bit here at talking10. Each week we will give you a look at the best, the worst and of course the most viral moments of  Big Ten football. So let’s take a look at the biggest talking points coming out of each weekend.)

Biggest Winner: Melvin Gordon

Usually this is all about teams and such. Not going to happen this week, that’s for sure.

So…about that Heisman Trophy debate? If ever there was a statement game in college football history, it happened on Saturday as Melvin Gordon broke the single game rushing record with 408 yards rushing. Oh, and he had just FOUR rushing touchdowns too.

Tell us again why Melvin Gordon isn’t the Heisman Trophy winner?

Biggest Loser: Bo Pelini

Pelini is a good coach, probably less so of a nice public figure. His actions on Saturday during the loss to Wisconsin spoke volumes about that. With his team down a ton, Pelini was still going nuts over little things on the sideline and nearly bumping officials.

What we all witnessed on Saturday afternoon was more of the old Bo Pelini and less of the so-called “new Bo Pelini” — you know, the guy who would crack jokes, bring cats out with him at the spring game and generally be a different person.

There’s also the fact that Pelini has yet to really figure out how to stop Melvin Gordon, who has racked up 624 yards in the last two games against the Huskers. Once again, questions will come up about Pelini’s ability to win the big game.

Game of the Week: Northwestern’s upset of Notre Dame

Just when you want to leave Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern Wildcats for dead, they go and win a second game against a ranked opponent on the season. It was perhaps the most shocking result from a Big Ten team that didn’t lose to Northwestern (looking at you Wisconsin).

Don’t get me wrong, because what happened on Saturday in South Bend, Ind. wasn’t pretty. I mean, how do explain 43 points with a quarterback who threw just one touchdown and a running back who had just 149 yards and one touchdown as well?

Simple, you show eight combined turnovers and all the short fields and crazy situations that those turnovers created.

What was nice, if you’re a Big Ten kind of guy, was seeing the Wildcats not give up on the season and continue to fight. Winning this game could be a catalyst to something much bigger down the road.

Standout Player: Melvin Gordon

Hard to argue with setting an FBS rushing record, and the fact that Gordon had four runs of 39 yards or more in the game. Why not just relive the moments of greatness:

Best Video…errr tweet:

Biggest Surprise: J.T. Barrett’s day

Yes, Barrett has been really good almost all season long, but what happened against Minnesota in Minneapolis was just ridiculous. In fact, if it weren’t for Melgor going crazy in Madison, Barrett would’ve been the easy choice for player of the day.

He nearly became the first OSU quarterback to rush for 200 yards and throw for 200 yards. Without his play, and Minnesota’s inability to tackle on the edges, Ohio State may not have come out victorious. It wasn’t a perfect game (as his armpunt of an interception showed), but Barrett continued to put himself in a position to make Urban Meyer’s life extremely difficult going in to next season.

Quotable Coaches: Gary Andersen on witnessing Melvin Gordon’s day

“Well, it’s a luxury I’ve never had before as a coach. I can promise you that much. To see a performance like that was amazing.”

Best TD: Melvin Gordon goes airborne again

The Badgers back has now gone airborne for a touchdown in each of the last two weeks. None of the four touchdowns Gordon scored was more important than the first, because the Badgers went from down 17-3 and on the ropes to right back in the game.

From that point on, the Badgers woke up on all sides of the ball and the rest, as they say, is history.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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