Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Sorry for the late start today. Had to make a quick trip to downtown Chicago and got caught in some morning traffic. The good news is, I got to hear Ohio State coach Jim Tressel on Mike & Mike in the Morning. He reiterated that running back Chris "Beanie" Wells is doubtful for Saturday night's game against top-ranked USC (ABC, 8 p.m. ET). He added that the decision likely will be to play Wells sparingly or not at all. So it's unlikely Wells will play a major role in the game, even if he gets off the sidelines.
Let's start the links with the game everyone's talking about:
Former Ohio State running back Eddie George knows how much Wells wants to play Saturday, Ken Gordon writes in The Columbus Dispatch. Buckeyes star James Laurinaitis will be on the field for a linebacker showcase, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer. USC expects to see Wells on Saturday, Adam Maya writes in The Orange County Register. The numbers don't look promising for Ohio State in a must-win game, the Big Ten Network's Dave Revsine writes in his blog.
Louisiana-Lafayette's athleticism concerns Illinois coach Ron Zook, Terry Bannon writes in the Chicago Tribune. Juice Williams is pulling for the Big Ten in the Ohio State-USC game, while teammate Rejus Benn sides with the Trojans, Bob Asmussen writes in The News-Gazette.
Indiana's defense needs to keep the momentum going for next week's clash with Nate Davis and Ball State, LaMond Pope writes in The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
Ricky Stanzi's poise under pressure and Iowa's line play will be put to the test against Iowa State, Andy Hamilton writes in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Iowa State appears to have the edge on Iowa in facilities, Marc Morehouse writes in The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette.
Despite inconsistent results as Michigan's starting quarterback, Steven Threet is staying relaxed, Mark Snyder writes in the Detroit Free Press. Michigan's John Ferrara and Notre Dame's Eric Olsen have a close connection to the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy, Michael Rothstein writes in The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
Michigan State cornerback-turned-safety Kendell Davis-Clark will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury, the Lansing State Journal's Joe Rexrode writes in his blog. The Spartans plan to run a lot against Florida Atlantic's vulnerable defense, Steve Grinczel writes.
Takeaways have sparked Minnesota's transitioning defense early on, Kent Youngblood writes in the Star Tribune.
Northwestern linebacker Malcolm Arrington can thank his father for steering him toward defense, Shannon Ryan writes in the Chicago Tribune.
Anthony Scirrotto is no longer part of the off-field problems at Penn State, and the senior safety spoke up in a big way last week, Ron Musselman writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane takes a look at the relationship between Joe Paterno and Penn State president Graham Spanier.
Joe Tiller grew up in a neighborhood that hated Purdue because of the success coach Jack Mollenkopf had. Here's a in-depth look at the man Tiller is trying to pass on Purdue's all-time coaching wins list, courtesy of Jeff Rabjohns in The Indianapolis Star.
Wisconsin's defenders better not loaf around coordinator Dave Doeren, Jim Polzin writes in The Capital Times. Badgers star tight end Travis Beckum and linebacker Jonathan Casillas are expected to start against Fresno State, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.