BY H. JOSE BOSCH
Let's be honest: This weekend is awful if you're a Big Ten fan. With a few exceptions, most of the conference games will be painful to watch. But there are no breaks in writing Around the Big Ten. So if you want to know what's going to happen this weekend (and you do because you won't be able to actually see most of the games), read on.
Akron at No 12 Ohio State - Noon, Big Ten Network
BY DANIEL BROMWICH AND SCOTT BELL
Where should most of the blame lie?
BY SCOTT BELL
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr isn't going anywhere. But if you flip on ESPN, pick up a national newspaper or ask around campus, you might not know that.
Since Saturday's loss to Appalachian State, the only coach to win a National Championship in the last 60 years at Michigan has been under intense scrutiny from both fans and the media about his future.
Earlier this week, a quartet of seniors defended Carr at the team's weekly press conference on Monday.
BY H. JOSE BOSCH
Week one of the college football season wasn't supposed to be eventful. It turned out a little differently. At any rate, week two should be interesting for reasons not related to catastrophic losses, and one top-10 team will fall before the sun sets on a second weekend of college football. Read on to find out who.
No. 3 West Virginia at Marshall - 11:10 a.m., ESPN
(6-7, 8th in the Big Ten)
Key returnees: DE Ken Iwebema, RB Albert Young, LB Mike Klinkenborg
Player to watch: Yet another QB in this spot, but it seems that no contender other than Michigan in the conference is completely confident in its quarterback. Hawkeye Jake Christensen replaces Tate at the helm of the offense, and his ability to get the job done will determine where Iowa finishes.
BY JACK HERMAN
College football historians will eventually decide where Michigan's 34-32 loss to Appalachian State ranks among the sport's all-time greatest upsets. But there's no debate over part of the fallout.
Ranked fifth to start the season, the Wolverines fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll released yesterday. Since the poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989, no team has ever fallen further.
Michigan placed 33rd in the poll, tallying 39 points. Southern Cal took the top spot with 1,619 points.
(8-5, 5th in the Big Ten)
Key returnees: WR Dorien Bryant, DE Cliff Avril
Player to watch: Quarterback Curtis Painter. With receivers like Dorien Bryant, Painter has the weapons he needs to lead the offense. But although he led the Big Ten in passing by more than 1,000 yards, he'll have to improve upon last year's 129.12 QB rating if he wants to command what could be among the Big Ten's most potent offenses.
Reason for optimism: The Boilermakers return 20 starters from last year's bowl team.
Illinois Fighting Illini
(2-11, 11th in the Big Ten)
Key returnees: QB Juice Williams, MLB J. Lehman
Player to watch: Williams. Last season, Williams was erratic at best with his passing accuracy, and coach Ron Zook would like to see the sophomore grow into the leader of the Fighting Illini.
Reason for optimism: Zook boasts an explosive and fast defensive unit that should keep games close.
(5-7, 7th in Big Ten)
Key returners: QB Kellen Lewis, CB Tracy Porter
Player to watch: James Hardy. The wide receiver will be the key to stretching the field and giving Indiana an aerial weapon.
Reason for optimism: Lewis, running back Marcus Thigpen and wide receiver James Hardy form an offensive core that could be tough to stop.
Michigan State Spartans
(4-8, T-9th in the Big Ten)
Key returnees: RB Javon Ringer, LB SirDarean Adams
Player to watch: Ringer. First-year coach Mark Dantonio uses a conservative offensive gameplan relying on a strong running game. Ringer wasn't happy with his inconsistent touches last season, and he'll have his chance to shine under Dantonio.
Reason for optimism: Dantonio is a straight shooter. Spartan fans won't have to sit through monumental collapses and face slaps of the John L. Smith teams.