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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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Page 81 of 117

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 82 BY ALAN KARPICK M aybe being blanked in the national semifi- nal brings the Big Ten's relative power into question. The hangover from Ohio State's 31-0 loss to eventu- al national champion Clemson has some talking about the Big Ten being shut out of this year's playoff. "I don't think the Big Ten is in any more danger than it has been with respect to getting into the BCS playoff," BTN analyst and former Minnesota coach Glenn Mason said. "The playoffs are about marquee teams rising to the top, and this conference has the same marquee programs it has ever had, and three are playing at a high level." Mason thinks when all is said and done, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan can be in the conversation for 2017 Big Ten Preview Does The Big Ten Have A National Title Contender? Ohio State, Penn State look to be class of league Tipping Point(s) Sure Big Ten fans and observers have their collective eyes on the big matchups, such as Wisconsin at Nebraska (Oct. 7), Penn State at Ohio State (Oct. 28) and Ohio State at Michigan (Nov. 25). But here's a listing of unsung games that could loom large in determining the direction of the each program's season: Illinois: Nebraska (Sept. 29) Indiana: at Virginia (Sept. 9) Iowa: Penn State (Sept. 23) Maryland: Northwestern (Oct. 14) Michigan: Florida (Sept. 2) Michigan State: Notre Dame (Sept. 23) Minnesota: Michigan State (Oct. 14) Nebraska: at Oregon (Sept. 9) Northwestern: Penn State (Oct. 7) Ohio State: at Nebraska (Oct. 14) Penn State: at Iowa (Sept. 23) Purdue: Ohio (Sept. 8) Rutgers: Purdue (Oct. 21) Wisconsin: at BYU (Sept. 16) Penn State Athletics Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley has helped put the Lions in the College Football Playoff conversation.

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