A look around the Big Ten

Originally Published: December 6, 2004
By Teddy Greenstein | Special to
How does Michigan State make sense of its season? How did Ohio State recover on offense? Can Kirk Ferentz work his magic again in 2005? Our Big Ten notebook answers these questions and more.

The Ron Turner regime finally ended after a 28-21 overtime loss to Northwestern that left the Illini 3-8. It was Turner's sixth losing season in eight years, and he beat just two Division I-A opponents in his final two years. Turner's players all say they loved him, but they certainly didn't win for him. Illinois was doomed this season by a quarterback carousel that started with sixth-year senior Jon Beutjer, continued with Chris Pazan and ended with Brad Bower. The three combined for just 184.7 passing yards per game.

MVP: TB Pierre Thomas. He supplanted E.B. Halsey as Illinois' featured back, and the talented sophomore led the conference in all-purpose yards. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry and 27.1 yards on kick returns.