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Big Ten Review: Week 2

 Hope you enjoyed the high profile games on Saturday (at least before nightfall) as we're three weeks away from the beginning of conference play. With a few exceptions this coming Saturday (Iowa-Arizona, ASU-Wisconsin, ND-MSU), the majority of games between now and October are glorified scrimmages, unless you're one of the handful of Divisional State University Sweepstakes enthusiasts.

This Week in Things Joe Paterno Wouldn't Do

Run a marathon; allow a quarterback to play without tying his shoes ; argue that the punt is the most important play in football.  

Divisional State University Sweepstakes Standings

South Dakota is a public university whose name includes a cardinal direction. They play division 1aa football. The Coyotes are not only eligible to win the 2010 Divisional State University Sweepstakes, they're the leader in the clubhouse after beating Minnesota on Saturday. Western Illinois made Purdue a little uncomfortable, but the Boilermakers pulled out the victory. Illinois finally looked decent, beating the Salukis of Southern Illinois by 32.

Exceeded Expectations

Dan Persa--who has a quarterback rating of 212 through two weeks--and Denard Robinson--who put up more than 500 yards--both deserve this award. Despite the lackluster stat line and the L, I'm putting audacious, temerarious, Robert BOLDen here, too, because he played exceedingly well, all things considered. 

The Iowa Hawkeyes certainly exceeded my expectations on Saturday, even after I learned that everything I wrote about them in last week's preview was factually incorrect. I thought Iowa State would give them a game based on the rivalry alone, but this year's Cy Hawk game was never in doubt. Based on the first two weeks of the season, the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes seem to be a step above the rest of the conference.

Met Expectations

Terrelle Pryor didn't have a great game--he completed less than half of his passes--but he managed to run for more than 100 yards, pass for more than 200, and win.   

Purdue won, but they didn't look special; then again, I didn't expect them to be.  Northwestern took care of business again, and it appears as if Pat Fitzgerald has the Wildcats poised to transition from perennial bowl appearance to actually competing for the Big Ten championship.

Failed to Meet Expectations

Wisconsin is 2-0, but they've done it ugly and they're 0-2 against the spread. Even though their game against was San Jose State was never particularly close, they didn't demolish the Spartans like Alabama did the week before, even though SJS had to travel half way across the country for the second straight week.

Michigan State beat Florida Atlantic, but again, that game was a little closer (30-17) than it should have been (Vegas had MSU by 28.5).

But really, Minnesota is the team that takes the cake here. Maybe Tim Brewster should be fired, maybe the Gophers were looking ahead to their game against USC this Saturday, maybe South Dakota was playing in their version of the super bowl, but under no circumstances should a Big Ten team lose to a team that's an FCS independent.  Even as such loses are becoming more and more commonplace in college football, there's still no excuse for a team with the facilities and recruiting advantage that Minnesota (or Virginia Tech) has to lose to a team that has a chance to play in a college football playoff.