Braxton Miller Injury Changes Big Ten Race
Braxton Miller had the third best odds in Vegas of winning the Heisman trophy this season, up until yesterday. Ohio State enjoyed a preseason ranking in the top five after two straight undefeated regular seasons. Now both his Heisman and the top five ranking are in serious doubt, because Miller may be out for the season with an injury. That also improves the odds for every other Big Ten team hoping to win the conference championship.
Even trying to imagine the rosiest scenario for Nebraska this year, it was hard to picture the Huskers winning the Big Ten Championship game against a healthy Braxton Miller. Miller led his team to a three touchdown lead over NU in just over two quarters in 2011, before a fumble as he fought for yards followed by a hit that knocked him out of the game allowed the Huskers to score four unanswered touchdowns to win the game. In 2012, he continued to shred the Huskers with 186 yards rushing and 127 yards passing to go with a pair of scores in the Buckeye rout.
Taking such an experienced and explosive dual-threat weapon off the field changes the outlook considerably were Nebraska to face Ohio State. The Huskers are not set to face a team that they couldn't beat. At the same time, there are several games that NU could lose. Still, with Miller out of the picture, it now appears the Huskers could contend with any team in the conference.
The odds are still pretty low for the Huskers to navigate a difficult schedule with question marks at quarterback and on defense. But they now look a bit better with such a formidable opponent out of the picture.