Before recapping how the rest of our B1G brethren fared, here's a YouTube eulogy to this past weekend's game (of which we shall never speak of again).
Now, as for the rest of the conference's performances in the opening week: Let's just say it was a mixed bag, at best.
Utah 24, Michigan 17
After all the off-season hype, the debut of the Jim Harbaugh era ended up being a bigger letdown than the fourth Indiana Jones film. Former Iowa QB Jake Rudock got the start for the Wolverines and while he did throw for a pair of touchdowns, also proceeded to toss a hat trick of interceptions, including a pick-six midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Utes a seemingly insurmountable 24-10 lead. The lack of a running game continues to be an issue for Michigan as De'Veon Smith was the leading rusher with merely 47 yards on 17 carries and is something that will need to improve if they want to surprise the B1G.
TCU 23, Minnesota 17
Jerry Kill's Gophers put up an admirable fight against a stingy TCU defense and Heisman hopeful Trevone Boykin (who ended up throwing for 246 yards and a TD and also ran for 92 yards and a TD) but it just wasn't enough. A fumble in the end zone near the goal line by Minnesota's Rodrick Williams in the 3rd quarter that could've tied up a 10-3 game and shifted momentum was perhaps the most critical of mistakes that doomed the Gophers.
Michigan State 37, Western Michigan 24
In their lone tune-up before Oregon, Sparty took care of business against a feisty Western Michigan team looking to pull off the shocker and for a brief moment, it looked like Sparty may have been in for a bigger fight than anticipated when WMU's Darius Phillips returned a kickoff for a touchdown tie the game at 7 early on. From there on, however Connor Cook took care of business (15 for 31 for 256 yards and 2 TD's) Madre London became the new name to remember in Sparty's stable of running backs, running for a pair of TD's himself.
Northwestern 16, Stanford 6
In perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the B1G's opening week was double-digit underdog Northwestern stifling Stanford's offense, holding the Cardinal to just 240 total yards of offense and a pair of field goals. Meanwhile, Justin Jackson ran for 134 yards and new dual-threat starting quarterback Clayton Thorson played a turnover-free game, throwing for 105 yards and running for an additional 68 yards and a touchdown. It's like this Northwestern team actually plays inspired, or something.
Iowa 31, Illinois State 14
The grumblings from the Hawkeye faithful regarding Kirk Ferentz and his staff were put to rest for the time being, as Iowa took care of its sacrificial FCS lamb. C.J. Beathard (pronounced BETH-herd, sorry) threw for 211 yards and a TD and also ran for a pair of TD's while LeShun Daniels led the rushing attack with 123 yards on 26 carries. Illinois State scored a pair of TD's in garbage time to avoid the shutout.
Maryland 50, Richmond 21
Much like Iowa, Maryland also took care of business against an FCS opponent. The Terps rushed for 340 yards, including 150 from Brandon Ross and a touchdown. Will Likely put in a beastly performance in the punt return category, racking up 233 yards on eight returns, including a 67-yard TD return.
Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers 63, Norfolk State 13
Much like Iowa and Maryland, BTPR did exactly what it was expected to. However, given all of the turmoil regarding the five players being booted from the program and with Kyle Flood's own job status uncertain, this actually comes off as a somewhat impressive win. Josh Hicks ran for 118 yards and a pair of TD's while Hayden Rettig and Chris Laviano combined for 13 of 15 passing for 248 yards and 4 TD's.
Illinois 52, Kent State 3
This game was supposed to have been played on Friday night but was postponed until the next day due to thunderstorms. Kudos to Illini interim head coach Bill Cubit for getting his players focused in light of their own tumultuous past week with Tim Beckman's untimely firing. West Lunt tossed 4 TD's and only needed to go 11-for-19 and 162 yards in which to do so. Josh Ferguson and Ke'Shawn Vaughn also tacked on a touchdown each on the ground.
BYU 33, Nebraska 28
There's really just two things you need to know about this game:
1. BYU's stud QB Taysom Hill suffered a season-ending injury
2. Despite that, BYU still managed to ruin Mike Riley's Nebraska coaching debut, thanks to this
Indiana 48, Southern Illinois 47
Unlike Iowa, Maryland, and Rutgers, America's favorite #ChaosTeam needed a defensive stand on a 2-point conversion attempt to avoid an embarrassing loss to an FCS opponent. This, despite Nate Sudfeld picking up where he left off before his season-ending shoulder injury last year (349 yards passing and a TD), UAB transfer Jordan Howard racking up a hat-trick of TD's on 145 yards rushing, and wideout Ricky Jones catching six balls for 186 yards and a TD. It probably didn't help matters that Indiana's already shaky defense had six of its players suspended due to a violation of team rules (nine players in total were suspended).
Alabama 35, Wisconsin 17
Poor Paul Chryst, this was his reward for coming home to coach his alma mater. To nobody's surprise, the Crimson Tide took care of the Badgers, especially with Melvin Gordon's heir apparent, Cory Clement limited with a groin injury (Clement finished with only 16 yards on eight carries). 'Bama tailback Derrick Henry had his coming out party, rushing for 147 yards and three touchdowns while Jake Coker got the starting nod at QB and threw for 213 yards and a touchdown.
Marshall 41, Purdue 31
Austin Appleby put together a solid 270 yards passing and a pair of TD's (one passing, one rushing) and got some help on the ground from D.J. Knox going over the 100-yard rushing mark. Unfortunately for Appleby, he began and ended the game throwing pick-sixes to the same Marshall defender (cornerback Tiqan Lang).
Ohio State 42, Virginia Tech 24
After hours upon hours of speculation by ESPN over who would get the starting nod at QB for the Buckeyes (including this segment involving Tom Rinaldi that flat-out screams W.T.F.), Cardale Jones ended up getting the start and boy, did he deliver with his 2 TD passes (albeit, 1 INT) and 99 yards rushing (replete with a rushing TD). After OSU raced out to a quick 14-0 advantage (including an 80-yard TD run by Ezekiel Elliott which was highly reminiscent of this), Virginia Tech *ADJUSTED*, thanks to some creative play-calling and taking advantage of a pair of Buckeye turnovers, converting them into points, giving the Hokies a 17-14 halftime lead.
The second half however, saw Ohio State run off 28 unanswered points and show the nation why they were a unanimous preseason number one ranked team, stifling the Hokies' offense (especially once VT QB Michael Brewer left the game with an injury) and releasing the offensive Kraken. That Kraken, of course, being none other than newly-minted H-back Braxton Miller and his sick Madden-style spin moves. Be afraid, be very afraid...