Beck’s new twist: Does it seem like Tim Beck is having fun? The offensive coordinator has a lot of fun toys in his toy chest, too many for some Big Ten defenses to figure out. He showed off a wrinkle on Saturday that Beck hasn’t used very often: the wide receiver screen. Taylor Martinez was throwing the passes wide to Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner and Quincy Enunwa, and their athleticism did the rest. For a team with multiple weapons, this was a new and exciting way to get 4 or 5 yards on first down. It has to be a little scary if you’re Iowa or Wisconsin to see what Beck rolls out of the playbook this late in the season.
More expansion?: There were reports from ESPN.com during the game that the Big Ten is in serious negotiations with Maryland and Rutgers to join the league. That sent shock waves throughout the nation on a college football Saturday. My initial take was, I guess the potential TV sets are worth it, because neither helps the diminished football profile of the league. If it happens, I hope that means the divisions can be realigned and renamed West and East, with Wisconsin joining the West. The only problem, as my Twitter followers pointed out, is that leaves Ohio State with a fairly easy walk to the division title. Maybe the answer is to exchange Michigan and Michigan State with Wisconsin and Illinois. Stay tuned. Nebraska might be recruiting heavily in Bruce Springsteen country again and eating crab cakes every four or five years.