The day got off to a great start for the Big Ten. The competition this week wasn't much to write home about, but the Big Ten did a great job of taking care of business in a big way against its non-conference foes. Then the sun set, and things got a little sketchy. Unfortunately, it appears as though the Big Ten is completely out of BCS title consideration after only three weeks of non-conference football.
(#12, 3-0) Ohio State- 35
(1-2) Cal- 28
Ohio State looked like they were ready to roll over the Golden Bears as they jumped to a 20-7 first quarter lead in impressive fashion. Then Cal figured out they needed to key on Braxton Miller, and the Buckeyes offense slowed down enough for the Golden Bears to eventually tie the game at 28 early in the first quarter. After tying the game, Miller threw an interception and Cal had a tremendous shot at a go-ahead score with little time left on the clock. However, Cal could not take advantage and missed a 42-yard field goal that would have given them a late lead. Miller then responded with a 72-yard touchdown strike to put the Buckeyes up for good. Cal had nearly three-and-a-half minutes to answer, but an interception by Ohio State DB Christian Bryant ended any hope of an upset.
Up Next for Ohio State: UAB
(2-1) Wisconsin- 16
(2-1) Utah State- 14
There was a lot of action across the nation on Saturday night, so in case you missed it Wisconsin came away with a win they probably didn't deserve. Utah State built a 14-3 halftime advantage and led much of the game. Wisconsin then slowed down the Aggies offense until eventually taking the lead. Utah State drove down the field as the clock ticked down, but missed a 37-yard field goal wide right to clinch the win for the Badgers.
Up Next for Wisconsin: UTEP
(3-0) Northwestern- 22
(1-2) Boston College- 13
Don't look now, but Pat Fitzgerald has the Wildcats at 3-0 after three consecutive non-conference wins against BCS conference teams. Northwestern had a strong second half against Boston College, and RB Mike Trumpy's 27-yard touchdown run with under two minutes remaining sealed the win. Wildcats QB Kain Colter, who had his accuracy questioned all offseason, completed 16 of 20 passes for 144 yards.
Up Next for Northwestern: South Dakota
(#20, 3-0) Notre Dame- 20
(#10, 2-1) Michigan State- 3
Michigan State never had much of a chance after Notre Dame proved they could shut down Spartans RB Le'Veon Bell. Many speculated that Michigan State's offense was too one-dimensional, and the Fightin' Irish did a fantastic job of proving them right. Notre Dam claimed a 14-0 lead early in the second half, and Michigan State just couldn't respond. Spartans QB Andrew Maxwell had a solid game, but his inability to complete a deep ball doomed the Spartans, whose only points came off a 50-yard field goal.
Up next for Michigan State: Eastern Michigan
(2-1) Ball State- 41
(2-1) Indiana- 39
Michigan State wasn't the only B10 team to have a rough night on Saturday. The Hoosiers had a rare chance to go 3-0 and make it halfway to bowl eligibility. Unfortunately, the Indiana defense just couldn't hang with its competition from the MAC as the Hoosiers lost in heartbreaking fashion. The Cardinals led most of the game, but the Hoosiers came alive to take the lead with only 49 seconds on the clock. However, they could not stop Ball State from completing a couple downfield passes to set up a game-winning 42-yard field goal as time expired.
Up Next for Indiana: at Northwestern (9/29)
(#17, 2-1) Michigan- 63
(0-3) UMass- 13
UMass gave Michigan a scare the last time they played in 2010. This year's contest was never even close. Robinson had another monster game, gaining just under 400 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns. UMass is in its first season as an FBS school, but looked like they will need another few years to compete at a new level.
Up Next for Michigan: at Notre Dame
(3-0) Minnesota- 28
(2-1) Western Michigan- 23
Minnesota has struggled against teams from all conferences and levels recently, but this year the Golden Gophers have been able to take care of business so far. Minnesota QB MarQueis Gray missed the second half with a sprained ankle, but backup QB Max Shortell threw for 3 touchdowns and 188 yards in limited playing time to help the Gophers reach the 3-0 mark.
Up Next for Minnesota: Syracuse
(2-1) Nebraska- 42
(1-2) Arkansas State- 13
Nebraska bounced back after a disappointing loss to UCLA to walk over Arkansas State. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez continued to demonstrate his improved accuracy by completing 13 of 14 passes for 180 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
Up Next for Nebraska: Idaho State
(2-1) Iowa- 27
(1-2) Northern Iowa- 16
Northern Iowa narrowly missed out upsetting Wisconsin in week one, but they didn't prove as pesky for the Hawkeyes. Iowa's offense found some bright spots after looking completely anemic by scoring one touchdown in the first two weeks. Iowa managed to rack up 429 yards, but the defense allowed 339 yards to its FCS foe.
Up Next for Iowa: Central Michigan
(2-1) Illinois- 44
(0-3) Charleston Southern- 0
The Illini were able to win big on Saturday despite having 14 members of the coaching staff standing outside Adriam Amos' apartment.
Up Next for Illinois: Louisiana Tech