Patterns are emerging.

For all the fascination with super-powers Ohio State and Michigan, the Big Ten title game seems to be tracking for a rematch between Penn State and Wisconsin.

And for all the fascination with Michigan’s win over Florida, and Ohio State’s not-even-close loss to Oklahoma, two results that really intrigue me are Maryland’s 51-41 shocker over Texas, and Purdue’s 35-3 drilling of Missouri.

If the Terrapins and the Boilermakers can play like this in the league, they not only will make their matchups against the Big Ten’s big boys more watchable. They could throw a monkey wrench into the plans of big boys who aren’t careful.

Commissioner Delany and his television partners are already rubbing their hands at the ratings possibilities.


We probably won’t find out about Maryland until at least Sept. 30, when the Terps open their Big Ten slate at Minnesota, another team that could exceed expectations with energetic oarsman P.J. Fleck rowing the boat. Key Maryland question: Can true freshman QB Kasim Hill, who has looked sharp since sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome went down with a season-ending knee injury in the Texas game, keep it going?

With Purdue, the answer will come much sooner. On Saturday, the Boilermakers play host to Michigan, which is still wobbly on offense and oh-so young on defense.

Is Purdue, which hung around with Louisville in its opener, capable of an epic surprise against coach Khaki Pants? Stay tuned.

National experts already are speculating on whether first-year coach Jeff Brohm might be moving up from West Lafayette to a fancier address. If the Boilers’ 2-1 start becomes 3-1—well, just shows how high the stakes are at college-football programs with deep pockets. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.