Saturday, September 8, 2007

More BTN Fun

Once again the Big Ten Network had a great afternoon, in large part due to the Big Ten's weakness against teams it is supposed to beat. Ohio St. trailed Akron 2-0 at the end of the first quarter and led only 3-2 at half-time. Bowling Green, which beat Minnesota last week, took a 14-7 lead at Michigan St. In the end, neither MAC team pulled the upset, but those early scares made for an entertaining start to the afternoon.

In the 2nd half, it was Northwestern-Nevada and Minnesota-Miami(OH) which provided the drama. Northwestern trailed by 4 with under 2 minutes left in the game and had to go for it on 4th down. They came up a foot short on the 4th down play and it looked like the Wolfpack would pull off the win. But Northwestern used its timeouts, got the ball back, and Bacher threw a TD to Ross Lane with 21 seconds left. Northwestern then tackled Nevada for a loss twice, including a safety on the final play of the game to secure the win.

Meanwhile, Minnesota squandered a 16 point lead in the final minutes and went into overtime for the second straight week. In the 2nd overtime, the Gophers missed a FG and it looked like an easy win for Miami (OH), but the Redhawks missed a FG of their own to send the game into a 3rd OT. In the 3rd OT, Minnesota intercepted a pass and then left nothing for granted. Having missed 3 FGs in the game, Minnesota made sure there would be no final FG scare by running the ball in for a TD to win the game.

The beauty of the Big Ten Network on DirectTV is that all of the games are on at once, on different channels. That meant there were 5 Big Ten games on at noon today. Things worked out fine for cable viewers however, as the national feed caught all the major drama. The national feed started with the Ohio St. game, switched to the Michigan St. game, to the Northwestern game, and finally to the Minnesota game before the noon action finally concluded at about 4:30 pm.