Three-point stance: Big Ten needs to get serious

Posted by ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel

1. If Big Ten teams are to be taken seriously, they need to win games such as they play this week: No. 8 California plays at Minnesota, Arizona plays at Iowa and Michigan State goes to Notre Dame. Last season, home or away, the Big Ten went 3-13 against bowl teams from the other five AQ conferences, 7-13 against all other AQ teams (thanks, Syracuse). This year, the league is 4-3 against all AQ opponents (thanks again, Syracuse).

2. After watching video of his team’s 35-20 loss at West Virginia, East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said he is more impressed with Mountaineer quarterback Jarrett Brown than on Saturday, when Brown threw and ran for 407 yards and four scores.

“I told somebody after the game that I think I'd rather play Pat White than play Brown again,” Holtz said Monday. “Brown has so many weapons because he can run the ball and throw it very well, too.” Wow.

3. No. 19 Nebraska has done what it should against Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State, winning by a combined score of 87-12. That’s good defense no matter who the opponents. Now comes a visit to No. 13 Virginia Tech. The Huskers have lost nine consecutive games to ranked opponents, 11 straight to top-20 teams. As with the Big Ten, this is Nebraska’s national yardstick game. In fact, the whole Big 12 North could use this one.