Big Ten Football Q&A: Taylor Martinez, Ohio State-Penn State, Illinois and More

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Big Ten Football Q&A: Taylor Martinez, Ohio State-Penn State, Illinois and More
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Every week (or so) on The Big Ten Blog, we will feature questions from the B/R inbox, Twitter and email. Do you have questions for next week's Q&A? Send them to Big Ten lead blogger Adam Jacobi via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @Adam_Jacobi or at

Hello again, friends. Let's talk Big Ten football, shall we?

That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked. Obviously, Taylor Martinez is not the top quarterback in the Big Ten. That's Braxton Miller, and it would take a serious reversal of the previous eight weeks for Martinez to even challenge Miller's dominance and take the All-Big Ten first-team QB spot.

Braxton Miller is the best quarterback in the Big Ten. Who's second-best?

Submit Vote vote to see results

That being said, while the competition for first-team QB is slim, it's not so great for second-team QB, either. Yes, Denard Robinson deserves to be in this mix as well—and a lot of this discussion is going to center around what happens tomorrow when Michigan and Nebraska lock horns—but past that, the quarterback situation is pretty barren in the Big Ten.

Fully half of the conference (Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin) has had major instability at the quarterback position so far this year, and none of those teams can make a plausible claim for having even an honorable mention all-conference quarterback. Also, Iowa and Michigan State are standing by their quarterbacks, but James Vandenberg and Andrew Maxwell are having awful years. They're not in this discussion.

So that leaves Miller, Martinez, Robinson and Matt McGloin. That's the order we'd rank the Big Ten quarterbacks—with a chasm between McGloin and everyone else, just so there's no confusion about whether being the fifth-best QB in the conference matters—and there's enough football yet to be played that those rankings aren't set in stone.


If we're talking beer trades, then you speak-a my language, so I'm glad you asked. The Big Ten Blog home base is right here in Chicago, which just so happens to be where Goose Island is from, too. You can have all the 312 you want. It's an average beer. So is everything else Goose Island puts in a six-pack.

The four-packs, however, are where Goose Island is at its best. Matilda is a great beer. So is Sofie. If you can ever find the Bourbon County Stout, you must buy it and drink it. That is not optional.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Many football fans enjoy below-average beers too!

Back to the actual sports, though, I think this demonstrates pretty effectively the limited value of "big markets" in college football. Boston is a giant sports hub. But very few people actually care about Boston College there because there are better options available in every sport. College sports don't really thrill anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line except for Penn State—and even then, that excitement doesn't bleed into Philadelphia very well.

That's why Rutgers was never a serious contender for being in the Big Ten and why schools like Boise State, Nebraska, Utah and West Virginia are the ones upgrading their conference affiliations as of late. It doesn't matter how populous the state or media market is that your school is in. The sports are what matter. Period.

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Well, friend, I'm glad you asked! My prediction is right here, along with every other Big Ten prediction for the week. If your clicking finger is broken, here's a spoiler alert: it's Penn State in a close one, although this one could easily go either way.

So, since that question's effectively answered, here are a few goofs about the game from other Twitter friends!

You guys make me laugh.

Anyone else?


Illinois' football team is not "paper mache." Illinois' football team is papier-mâché. Get it right.

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