2007 Midseason Report - Big Ten
Michigan RB Mike Hart
Michigan RB Mike Hart
Posted Oct 16, 2007

The best Big Ten players, coaches, surprises of the midseason and more. Scroll down for predictions for every team and every game.

Midseason Reports Midseason All-America Teams
- ACC | Big East | Big 12 | C-USA
- MAC | M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC
- 2006 CFN Midseason All-America Teams

Offensive Player of the Midseason

Mike Hart, RB Michigan

Defensive Player of the Midseason
Jonal Saint-Dic, DE Michigan State

Ten best Big Ten players in the first half of the season
1. Mike Hart, RB Michigan
2. Jonal Saint-Dic, DE Michigan State
3. Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
4. Sean Lee, LB Penn State
5. Javon Ringer, RB Michigan State
Dan Connor, LB Penn State
P.J. Hill, RB Wisconsin
8. Kellen Lewis, QB Indiana
Shawn Crable, LB Michigan
10. J Leman, LB Illinois

Biggest Surprise – Indiana
Oh sure, Illinois has been a great story so far, but Indiana has overcome the tragic death of head coach Terry Hoeppner to get off to a 5-2 start and get within range of a bowl game. The defensive has been aggressive and regulars at getting into the backfield, while Kellen Lewis and the offense have been explosive at times. The overall talent level isn't there, but the team is good enough to make plenty of noise in the Big Ten race.

Biggest Disappointment – Minnesota
Michigan's start would be the biggest disappointment if the team didn't quickly change things around. Minnesota has been awful, taking things to another level of bad on defense, while the offense hasn't been consistent. The running game has slipped big-time since the Glen Mason era, and now the pressure is on early in the Tim Brewster era.

The Big Ten Champion will be ... Ohio State.
And it probably won't even be close. Penn State appears to be hitting its stride, and Michigan is right in the thick of things, but everyone will keep picking each other off, while the Buckeyes, thanks to their defense, will keep on rolling.

Best Game of the First Half
Appalachian State 34 ... Michigan 32, Sept. 1
Appalachian State pulled off one of the biggest stunners in college football history after Corey Lynch blocked a 37-yard Jason Gingell field goal attempt as time ran out. ASU gave the Wolverines all they could handle in the first half, as QB Armanti Edwards completed all seven of his passes with two touchdown throws to Dexter Jackson, a nine-yard scoring strike to Hans Batichon, and a six-yard touchdown run on the way to a 28-17 lead. But Michigan would come back as Mike Hart took over with touchdown runs from four and 54 yards out. A missed two-point conversion, and a failed field goal attempt, left the door open, and ASU kicked it in with a 69-yard drive in seven plays finished up by a 24-yard Julian Rauch field goal. Michigan got within field goal range on a 46-yard completion to Mario Manningham, but Lynch came through with the blocked kick to pull off the upset

Second Best Game
Minnesota 41 ... Miami University 35 3OT, Sept. 8
Third Best Game
Northwestern 49 ... Minnesota 48 2OT, Oct. 13

Worst Game of the First Half 
Ohio State 58 ... Northwestern 7, Sept 22
Ohio State ended it before everyone got settled in their seats. Brian Robiskie caught touchdown passes from 42 and 28 yards in the first four minutes, and later added a 19-yard score. The running game got into the act with two short Maurice Wells touchdowns and a 36-yard Chris Wells dash. Northwestern was held to 120 yards of total offense and only scored on a 99-yard Sam Simmons kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half.

Coach of the Midseason – Bill Lynch, Indiana
In a league full of big name coaches, legends and rising stars, Lynch is the one unknown of the bunch, has come up with a great year under trying circumstances. This is Terry Hoeppner's team he's coaching, and he's building on what was started to get a great defensive year, by IU standards, and another strong year from Kellen Lewis, James Hardy and the offense.

Player who'll step up in the second half – Chad Henne, QB Michigan
Now he's relatively healthy, he's starting to find a groove, and Mike Hart is dinged up and can't run as much. It's Henne time. The senior leader will start working with Mario Manningham more to get the high-octane passing game going, as the offense will have to open things up.

Best performance so far -
Michigan RB Mike Hart ran 44 times for 153 yards and a touchdown in the 14-9 win over Penn State.

Top Freshman – Adam Weber, QB Minnesota
With the Gopher running backs inconsistent, and the defense giving up points by the bucketload, Weber has had to do everything possible to keep Minnesota's head above water. He hasn't been able to pull off wins, but the offense is 18th in the nation cranking out huge yards in shootout after shootout.

Coach who needs to have a big second half – Tim Brewster, Minnesota
It's not like the Glen Mason era was that bad. 1-6, with the one win coming in overtime over Miami University, isn't exactly what the Minnesota brass had in mind when it made the controversial call to hire the unknown Brewster. Losing to Ohio State is one thing, but losing to Florida Atlantic, Bowling Green, Indiana and Northwestern is another.

Player who needs to have a big second half – Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan
All of a sudden, the Badger running game has struggled, with defenses loading everyone up to stop P.J. Hill, and not being afraid of the young, banged up, receiving corps. Donovan will likely have to bomb his way to wins, and he'll have to be far sharper than he was against Penn State if Wisconsin is going to get in the Big Ten title hunt again.

Best remaining conference game – Ohio State at Penn State, Oct. 27
Oh sure, as always, Ohio State vs. Michigan will mean everything, but before then, the real danger for the nation's number one team will be the trip to Happy Valley in what should be a killer defensive battle. If Penn State is back on track after a rough Big Ten start, it might be able to pull off the win and show it belongs in the hunt for the Rose Bowl.

Team Mid-Season MVPs & Predictions   
Illinois – RB Rashard Mendenhall
predicted wins: Michigan, Ball State, at Minnesota, Northwestern
predicted losses: at Ohio State
predicted record: 9-3 

Indiana – QB Kellen Lewis
predicted wins: Ball State, at Northwestern
predicted losses: Penn State, at Wisconsin, Purdue
predicted record: 7-5

Iowa – LB Mike Humpal
predicted wins: Minnesota, Western Michigan
predicted losses: at Purdue, Michigan State, at Northwestern
predicted record: 5-7

Michigan – RB Mike Hart
predicted wins: Minnesota, at Michigan State
predicted losses: at Illinois, at Wisconsin, Ohio State
predicted record: 7-5

Michigan State – DE Jonal Saint-Dic
predicted wins: at Iowa, at Purdue, Penn State
predicted losses: at Ohio State, Michigan
predicted record: 8-4 

Minnesota – S Dominique Barber
predicted wins: North Dakota State
predicted losses: at Michigan, Illinois, at Iowa, Wisconsin
predicted record: 2-10 
Northwestern – QB C.J. Bacher
predicted wins: at Eastern Michigan, Iowa
predicted losses: at Purdue, Indiana, at Illinois
predicted record: 6-6

Ohio State – WR Brian Robiskie
predicted wins: Michigan State, at Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, at Michigan
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 12-0 

Penn State – LB Dan Connor & Sean Lee
predicted wins: at Indiana, Purdue, at Temple
predicted losses: Ohio State, at Michigan State
predicted record: 8-4 

Purdue – QB Curtis Painter
predicted wins: Iowa, Northwestern, at Indiana
predicted losses: at Penn State, Michigan State
predicted record: 8-4 

Wisconsin – RB P.J. Hill
predicted wins: Northern Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, at Minnesota
predicted losses: at Ohio State
predicted record: 9-3