On September 7th, the Big Ten Conference sent out the second press release of the 2021 NCAA College Football Season. Here are the top storylines from the release.
Action Packed Weekend
Every Big Ten team will play during the second week of the season, and four teams are playing home openers against non-conference opponents. These teams are Indiana University, the Michigan State University, Penn State University and Ohio State University. The teams host the University of Idaho, Youngstown State University, Ball State University and the University of Oregon respectively.
Top 25 Polls
The polls had four Big Ten teams in the Top 25, with Ohio State at No. 3, the University of Iowa at No. 10, Penn State at No. 11 and the University of Wisconsin at No. 18. The University of Michigan and Northwestern University also received votes but did not place. This is interesting, especially since the Wildcats fell to Michigan State in their season opener during week one.
Rematch of 2015 CFP National Championship
Ohio State hosts Oregon in a Top-15 matchup that pits the contestants in the inaugural College Football Playoff championship against each other for the first time since that game. The Buckeyes emerged as victorious in that contest by a score of 42–20. Ohio State has also won 23 consecutive home games, which is only two games off of its previous all-time record set in the early 1970's.
Cy-Hawk Trophy Up For Grabs
One of the most intense rivalries in collegiate football is the one that pits the Iowa Hawkeyes against the Iowa State University Cyclones. This year has a first, however, as it is the first time that both programs are ranked in the Top-25 when battling for the trophy.
C.J. Stroud Breaks Out
Ohio State lost star quarterback Justin Fields to the National Football League Draft last season, but his replacement looked up to the task in the first contest of this season. Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud went 13–22 for 294 yards and four touchdowns in the Buckeyes season-opening win over the University of Minnesota. Senior wide receiver Chris Olave also had a stellar day, earning 127 yards and two touchdowns off of four catches.
Riley Moss Leads on Defense
In the Hawkeyes 34–6 victory over the Hoosiers, senior defensive back Riley Moss had quite a day, snagging two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, becoming the third Hawkeye to do that in the program's history.
Kenneth Walker III Lights it Up
The Wildcats struggled to contain Michigan State junior running back Kenneth Walker III last week, as the tailback cruised to 264 yards and four touchdowns in the 38–21 Spartan victory. This was the most rushing yards for a Spartan in their debut with the team, and Walker III currently leads the FBS in yards and touchdowns after week one.
All of the information below has appeared in past press releases. It will be summarized, but for more on this visit the older stories.
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The Cotton and Orange Bowls will serve as the semi-final games in the CFP. Alabama defeated Ohio State in the 2020 CFP Championship. 120 players in the Big Ten this season were All-Big Ten honorees in 2020. Ohio State defeated Northwestern in the 2020 Big Ten Championship after the two programs won the East and West divisions respectively.
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