Big Ten Notebook: What a week it was


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Michigan’s tumultuous season has been well-documented. In October, the Wolverines played quarterback Shane Morris when he appeared injured.

Even more, Michigan players jammed a tent spike into Michigan State’s field before a 35-11 embarrassment in East Lansing.

Most recently, Michigan Athletics Director Dave Brandon resigned on Oct. 31. Jim Hackett is serving in Brandon’s position with an interim tag.

Many individuals surrounding the Michigan program believe head coach Brady Hoke is next on the chopping block, but the head coach said he isn’t concerned with his hot seat.

“I’ve never been concerned with a job, ever, and I never will be,” Hoke told media members in Michigan Monday. “If I get concerned about a job, then you get distracted.”

Coming off a 34-10 win over Indiana, the Wolverines now stand at 4-5 (2-3 Big Ten).

On paper, things don’t look too bright for Michigan, which still has to play Maryland and Ohio State.

It will likely be heavy underdogs in each game, and if the Wolverines do lose either game, Hoke’s win total will have dropped in each season he has been in charge.

“I think as a coach, you focus on what’s important to your team, and that’s those kids,” Hoke said.

Trouble from a lack of handshakes

Before Maryland’s contest with Penn State on Nov. 1, each team’s captains met at midfield for the pregame handshake and coin toss. As Penn State players extended their hands to Maryland’s representatives, the Terrapins refused the shake.

As a result of poor sportsmanship, the Big Ten announced a public reprimand of head coach Randy Edsall and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs was handed a one-game suspension for his role in a scuffle before kickoff, and Maryland was fined $10,000.

“I accept the penalties handed down by the Big Ten Conference and take full responsibility of our actions [Nov. 1] at Penn State,” Edsall said in a statement. “Our football program did not live up to the standards that we set for ourselves. Moving forward, we will use better judgment and remain composed so that we better represent the University of Maryland.”

Diggs also released a statement, apologizing for his behavior toward the referees and Penn State players. He will have to sit out the Terrapins’ game with Michigan State on Nov. 15.

“I take accountability for my actions and will do everything I can to support my teammates in preparation for our next game against Michigan State,” Diggs said in a statement.

Abdullah hurts MCL

In Nebraska’s last game, a 35-14 win over Purdue, Ameer Abdullah went down with an sprain to his left MCL after his sixth carry in the first quarter.

Abdullah, a Heisman Trophy candidate, ranks seventh in the country with 139.9 rushing yards per game. Before Purdue, Abdullah averaged roughly 156 yards per contest. He ranks second in the conference and tied for third in the nation with 17 rushing touchdowns.

Nebraska is idle this week; it will return to action against Wisconsin on Nov. 14, a game that could determine the Big Ten West crown.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is cautiously optimistic the running back will be back for that game.

“That’s just my as things stand right now,” Pelini said. “It can always change.”

Follow @dannyapayne on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa football team.

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