Iowa 40, Northwestern 10
In its second game against a ranked Big Ten opponent in two weeks, Northwestern managed to fare just a little better, scoring 10 points and losing by 30 instead of 38. That's about it when it comes to positives in this game for Northwestern. Iowa, despite key injuries, contines to hum along on offense and defense. Iowa seems to have its best team since 2009, and this is right on schedule. Just as people were ready to quit on Kirk Ferentz, he manages to work his magic and put a strong Iowa team on the field, securing himself another 20-year extension.
What this means for Iowa: With Northwestern and Wisconsin already taken care of, Iowa only needs to split with Minnesota and Nebraska to secure themselves the Big Ten West crown. Indiana and Maryland shouldn't pose too much of a threat.
What this means for Northwestern: Northwestern needs to get their stuff figured out in a hurry. With only one "sure" win left on the schedule (against Purdue), they're getting infinitely close to the meltdowns of 2013 and 2014.
Iowa's Next Opponent: vs Maryland, 10/31
Northwestern's Next Opponent: at Nebraska, 10/24
Purdue 7, Wisconsin 24
Two things have changed for Wisconsin this year: 1) They're a passing team now, 2) They don't beat opponents by 50 anymore. Purdue managed to keep this game close for a bit, tying it at seven apiece in the second quarter, but Wisconsin's defense was too much for Purdue to overcome. Little by little, Wisconsin found a way to make the necessary plays to come away with a win.
What this means for Purude: Purdue reminds me of the Penn State Basketball team. They're getting more competitive, being in the game for a while, but not being able to come a way with any wins. Unlike our beloved basketball program, though, there's no promise that recruiting may turn things around soon. This may be the last year we see Darrell Hazell donning the black and gold.
What this means for Wisconsin: Wisconsin is looking up at Iowa in the standings right now, and will need them to trip up twice if they have any prayer of making the championship game again. On the bright side, Wisconsin has the easiest remaining schedule of any Big Ten team.
Purdue's Next Opponent: vs Nebraska, 10/31
Nebraska 48, Minnesota 25
For the first time since week 2, Nebraska played a complete game against an opponent. Leading 24-14 at the half, Minnesota had a chance to come back, but Nebraska had other plans. A 24-point second half all but put the game away for Nebraska. No last-minute heartbreaks here.
What this means for Nebraska: Any hopes of winning the Big Ten West are long gone, but they can still salvage the season by beating three more opponents and making it to a bowl game. After the rough start they had, this is all they can hope for at this point.
What this means for Minnesota: Like Nebraska, Minnesota is all but eliminated from Big Ten West contention unless absolute madness ensues within the next six weeks. With games against Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, and Wisconsin left, bowl eligibility is in serious doubt for Minnesota, let alone another 8-win season.
Nebraska's Next Opponent: vs Northwestern, 10/24
Minnesota's Next Opponent: vs No. 15 Michigan, 10/31
Rutgers 55, Indiana 52
In one of the crazier games of the day, Rutgers found themselves down 52 - 27 in the fourth quarter. Rutgers then decided it was time to make the game interesting, converting three turnovers into touchdowns and scoring 19 points in the process to tie the game. Then, as time expired, Rutgers' kicker, Kyle Federico, hit the game-winning field goal to seal the game.
What this means for Rutgers: With games against Maryland and Army left, Rutgers needs to pull just one upset to become bowl eligible, while taking care of business against a Maryland team that's not good by any stretch of the word, and an Army team that, while feisty, has now managed to lose to an FCS opponent, while almost losing to another one.
What this means for Indiana: Indiana needs to start closing out games. The issues were apparent against the lesser competition, when the same thing almost happened against Wake Forest, Florida International, and to a lesser extent, Western Kentucky. There's not need to panic yet, as Indiana has games left against Maryland and Purdue, but if they don't start putting teams away, and keeping them away, this can quickly turn into another season with early high hopes turned into late disappointment.
Rutgers' Next Opponent: vs No. 1 Ohio State, 10/24
Indiana's Next Opponent: at No. 7 Michigan State, 10/24
No. 7 Michigan State 27, No. 15 Michigan 23
The other crazy game of the day saw the No. 7 Michigan State Spartans pass the "Sparty No!" baton to their little brother, the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines. Officiating opinions aside, Michigan had every opportunity to put Michigan State away. They never trailed in the game, and were really one play away from sealing the deal. However, in true "Sparty No!" fashion, Michigan botched the punt that would seal their victory with 10 seconds left in the game, a Michigan State player recovered the fumbled punt, and the rest is history.
What this means for Michigan State: Not much, really. They're still in the divers' seat to win the Big Ten East, and they're still the team to beat, along with Ohio State. As long as they keep winning, ugly or not, they should be good to go.
What this means for Michigan: With only one loss in the Big Ten, Michigan still has a chance to win the East. Win out and hope Michigan State trips up somewhere twice, and the East crown is theirs.
Michigan State's Next Opponent: vs Indiana, 10/24
Michigan's Next Opponent: at Minnesota, 10/31
Bye Weeks: Illinois, Maryland