A look around the Big Ten

Originally Published: October 27, 2004
By Teddy Greenstein | Special to
Will Ron Turner survive in Champaign? Does Purdue have a legitimate gripe with the officials? Will the week off benefit the surging Badgers? Our Big Ten notebook answers there questions and more.

All signs point to coach Ron Turner's dismissal after eight years in Champaign. Before the season, athletic director Ron Guenther said he was looking for improvement after the Illini went 1-11 in 2003. But Illinois' 45-0 loss to Minnesota Saturday marked its 13th consecutive loss in conference play and first shutout loss since 1998. Guenther won't comment on the program until after the season. Turner, meanwhile, isn't lobbying for his job: "I'm just focused on trying to beat Iowa (Saturday)."

At least Turner has settled on a starting quarterback - for this week. Redshirt freshman Brad Bower, who posted respectable numbers at Minnesota (14 of 20 for 131 yards) will get the call. Bower has beaten out sixth-year senior Jon Beutjer and sophomore Chris Pazan, who completed 5 of 9 passes against Minnesota for 28 yards. Said Turner: "If we don't block better and run the football better, it doesn't matter who's at quarterback." Although Beutjer wasn't even listed on the depth chart this week - Bower, Pazan and Tim Brasic were - Turner said that was merely an oversight: "John should have been on there. He's definitely in the mix."