It appears that other Big Ten team, in fact played this Saturday. Here I was thinking that we only had two games to review. That’s life. Or, as Kirk Ferentz would put it, “that’s football.”
Michigan State 49, Rutgers 0
Hallelujah! Michigan State won’t go winless in conference this season! The Spartans stopped the bleeding on Saturday by handing Rutgers their third shutout of the season, making themselves a solid 12th in the conference. At one point, Rutgers elected to punt from the Michigan State 30, and Chris Ash explained the decision by saying he wasn’t confident in neither his offense nor his kicking team. Ouch.
What this means for Michigan State: I guess they can technically make a bowl game if they win the next two...
Up Next: Ohio State
What this means for Rutgers: I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Rutgers hasn’t found meaning in football since about week 3.
Up Next: Penn State
Northwestern 45, Purdue 17
I will admit, I thought Purdue would figure out its second-half issues in this game. Purdue trailed 14-10 at the half, and, as it’s been the case for four straight weeks, looked poised to give the Wildcats a game the rest of the week. Northwestern promptly scored 21 points in the third quarter, and that was that.
What this means for Northwestern: Beat Illinois, go bowling.
Up Next: at Minnesota
What this means for Purdue: Yet another game slipped past Purdue’s grasp after being competitive in the first half. At this point, I think it would be more encouraging to just get blown out from start to finish.
Up Next: Wisconsin (hey they might get blown out from start to finish!)
No. 5 Ohio State 62, Maryland 3
The Buckeyes have found such consistency that they’re now beating every team by the same score. This is the Buckeye team we all expected after we saw them blow the doors off Oklahoma in week three. Maryland, as expected, was no match for Ohio State. They didn’t help themselves by making a number of mistakes that made it even easier on Ohio State, but otherwise played exactly like we all thought they would.
What this means for Ohio State: Their playoff hopes are still alive. Keep winning, and let the committee do the rest.
Up Next: at Michigan State
What this means for Maryland: It may take two weeks until they can reach bowl eligibility, but given the opponent, I’d be shocked if they didn’t.
Up Next: at Nebraska
No. 7 Wisconsin 48, Illinois 3
Wisconsin has an offense? Well, yes and no. Illinois gave Wisconsin plenty of short fields by turning the ball over at inopportune times, but to give the Badgers credit, they took advantage of each and every one of them. By the time Illinois was done throwing interceptions, the Badgers were already up 31-3. All Wisconsin had to do after that was run the ball, which they did.
What this means for Wisconsin: Their margin of error is still razor thin, but their remaining schedule only includes one game they can seriously concern themselves with. And who knows, maybe they’ll get lucky and meet Penn State in the championship game, where everyone has already projected Penn State to lose.
Up Next: at Purdue
What this means for Illinois: They can still ruin Northwestern’s season...
Up Next: Iowa
No. 19 Nebraska 24, Minnesota 17
Minnesota found itself in another game where they had a realistic shot of winning, but pissed it all away late. Minnesota led at the half 17-10, and found itself in Nebraska territory on 4th and 3, electing to punt. They only got the ball two more times after that, with a chance to tie the game still. Mitch Leidner, however, threw a costly interception that sealed the game. It’s great that Nebraska came away with the win, but why exactly was Tommy Armstrong in the game a mere week after he got knocked unconscious? Brains are fickle things, I know, but it seems to me that if Minnesota had found a way to win, this decision would have received a lot more scrutiny. Take one for the team, Mike Riley, and think of your guy’s well being next time.
What this means for Nebraska: They’ll get a nice bowl game. They need Wisconsin to lose again to have a prayer at the division, so let’s go ahead and kiss those dreams good bye.
Up Next: Maryland
What this means for Minnesota: Like Nebraska, the Gophers’ hopes at a division title are pretty much over at this point. They can still ruin their rival’s season, though...
Up Next: Northwestern
Iowa 14, No. 3 Michigan 13
And there you have it folks! Chaos has struck college football, yet again!
Very few people No one outside of Iowa City expected this result, but many people thank the Hawkeyes for delivering. Jim Harbaugh made the classic mistake of playing Ferentz’s game, and expectedly, he lost. It all started when he tried to redecorate Iowa’s locker room (who does this?), and continued when he tried to play MANBALL against the manliest of men. Up 10-0 and seemingly in control, Harbaugh found himself pinned inside his own 2-yard line, and decided it would be prudent to waste a down by throwing on first down. We’re not talking a slant or a screen here. He tried to sling it close to midfield, when the passing game had been inconsistent all game. Of course, he then tried to run the ball like anyone would have done on first down, but Kirk Ferentz isn’t an idiot, so they knew Harbaugh was going to run next. Guess what? When De’Veon Smith, who is absolutely better than Saquon Barkley (no seriously, ask him), took the handoff, the Iowa defense knew it was coming and stopped it in the end zone for a safety. Here’s a tip, Mr. Harbaugh: If you let Kirk Ferentz score a safety, you will lose. Don’t let Kirk Ferentz score a safety.
What this means for Michigan: They have to win out. Before Saturday, they could have lost to Ohio State and laid a claim to still being in the playoff, but now a loss takes them out of the picture completely. Better yet, if they lose, they may end up having to watch the team they manhandled, with the running back who is in no way shape or form better than De’Veon Smith, play in the Big Ten title game.
Up Next: Indiana
What this means for Iowa: Can they repeat 2008? They were 5-4 then, finished 8-4 in the regular season, and didn’t lose again until October of the next year. We shall see.
Up Next: at Illinois