I have been one of the loudes proponents of Wisconsin’s impending doom due to their play up to this point. I can no longer support that view point, given that Wisconsin has done everything asked of them this season. Teams play the schedule in front of them, and the Badgers have soundly defeated every opponent so far, even if sometimes it looked a little sloppy in the process.
No. 5 Wisconsin 24, No. 24 Michigan 10
The minute Brandon Peters went out of the game it became apparent that Michigan wouldn’t make a comeback, but Wisconsin left no doubt by tacking another touchdown on to make it clear to everyone. Wisconsin is what it is at this point: a team who will make you earn every yard on defense, and one whose offense will do just enough to put the game out of reach, and nothing more. The strategy has led to the first 11-0 start in program history. It’s still concerning that Alex Hornibrook has thrown an interception in every game except BYU, but it hasn’t mattered. And maybe it won’t until College Football Playoff time.
What this means for Wisconsin: They’ll either stay put at No. 5 or they’ll crash the party after this win. Regardless, win and they’re in.
Up Next: at Minnesota
What this means for Michigan: The Wolverines may have found their quarterback in Brandon Peters, but that quarterback is now injured and might not play next week.
Up Next: vs Ohio State
No. 23 Northwestern 39, Minnesota 0
After scoring 54 on Nebraska last week, Minnesota followed it up by throwing for 43 yards and rushing for 139. On the other hand, Justin Jackson ran for 166 yards on his own for the Wildcats, who put this game out of reach very early, making the second half nothing but a formality.
What this means for Northwestern: A 10-win season, after they lost to Duke early, is an accomplishment for this Wildcat team. Maybe next season they’ll avoid tripping over themselves early.
Up Next: at Illinois
What this means for Minnesota: Spoil Wisconsin’s season or make a bowl game on APR alone. Either is possible given college football.
Up Next: vs Wisconsin
Indiana 41, Rutgers 0
Rutgers was not expected to win this game, but they weren’t expected to lose it by 41 either. Indiana has showed that their record is a byproduct of their schedule, and could make a bowl for the third straight season with a win next week.
What this means for Indiana: A third straight bowl game is on the table still, and would be the first time the program would accomplish the feat.
Up Next: at Purdue
What this means for Rutgers: They’re improved over last season, but still have a long way to go to become consistently competitive.
Up Next: vs Michigan State
No. 9 Ohio State 52, Illinois 14
What we all thought would happen happened. Moving on.
What this means for Ohio State: The game against Michigan is technically meaningless, as the Buckeyes have already clinched the East. Michigan also has zero chance without Peters, so there’s that.
Up Next: at Michigan
What this means for Illinois: Just one more game and it’ll all be over...
Up Next: vs Northwestern
No. 17 Michigan State 17, Maryland 7
So, as it turns out, Michigan State doesn’t excel in all bad weather, just rain. Something to keep in mind for next season maybe. LJ Scott still carried the rock for 147 yards though.
What this means for Michigan State: They went from 3-9 last season to potentially 9-3 this season, and second in the Big Ten. That’s nothing short of remarkable.
Up Next: at Rutgers
What this means for Maryland: Their 4th string quarterback looked better than the opposing team’s starter, so there’s that.
Up Next: Another 150-yard rushing day for Saquon Barkley
Purdue 24, Iowa 15
Oh my lord Iowa what have you done? On the one hand, this loss makes Ohio State look all the worse. On the other hand, how can a team follow up such a good performance with two of the worst outputs of the season? It baffles the mind.
What this means for Iowa: They’re already bowl eligible, so they’ll see the postseason, but man talk about ending with a whimper.
Up Next: at Nebraska
What this means for Purdue: Will you look at that! The Bucket game is now for bowl eligibility. Talk about excitement, the stakes are so high!*
Up Next: vs Indiana
*I’m not being sarcastic. This will probably be the most exciting game next week.