Raise your hand if you had “Michigan beating Ohio State by two scores” as your prediction! Then put your hand down you liar! What an exciting end to the season, and after years of “more of the same” at the playoff level, it looks like we’ll get some fresh blood in there this year.
Let’s get to it!
What else is there to say? Michigan straight up out-muscled Ohio State, running the ball at will, and making the OSU pass defense look silly. A 42-27 win over the previous #1 is an easy way to jump to the top yourself.
Begrudgingly, the Hawkeyes have earned the #2 spot. At 10-2, and finishing the season with a 28-21 win over Nebraska, Iowa will take on Michigan for the Big Ten title. Barf!
3. Ohio State
Yes, OSU lost by 2 scores, but I have a hard time believing they’d do that to many more teams on this list. You could argue that OSU should still be #2 in the conference, but with two 10-2 teams, I’ll go with the one heading to Indy.
4. Michigan State
Should MSU have lost to PSU? Perhaps. Did they? No, and the jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and then made the plays they needed to down the stretch to get the 30-27 dub. We’ll see where the Spartans head in the postseason.
Oh come ON Wisconsin! All you had to do was beat middling Minnesota and the West was yours! After a rocky start to the season, you finally looked good! Then you go and lay a 23-13 egg, and hand the West crown to Iowa. Barf again.
Not much to say here about the Boilermakers. They beat rival Indiana 44-7, and are the top of the “third tier” of Big Ten teams.
Good on you, Gophers, for beating your rivals. Bad on you for losing weird games earlier in the season and not heading to Indianapolis instead of Iowa.
8. Penn State
In a season of what ifs, the game against Michigan State was filled with what ifs. What if Stout makes the extra point and field goal? What if MSU doesn’t convert on 4th and 15 for a touchdown? What if Penn State abandoned the run and simply continued to shred the porous MSU pass defense? Alas, we can’t know. The Lions await their bowl destination.
In a game battling for bowl eligibility, one team came out on fire, and the other did not. Maryland scorched Rutgers 40-16, punching themselves a ticket to the postseason.
I’m not saying I was expecting Rutgers to win, because a game between two 5-6 teams shouldn’t have any expectations. But I was expecting a bit more fight from the Scarlet Knights. Better luck next season Mr. Schiano!
A resounding 47-14 win over rival Northwestern is a nice way to cap off a season, even if the Illini are most likely staying home for the holidays.
Yet another one-score loss! I guess I’m glad it’s not just Penn State that has these issues, but on the other hand, I’m not sure I want to share much in common with Big Red.
A bad ending to a bad season, Pat Fitzgerald and co. will have a lot of work to do this off season.
Speaking of bad endings to bad seasons, I can’t quite recall a fall from grace quite as swift as Indiana’s. If you’ll recall, the Hoosiers had a legitimate argument to go to the Big Ten Championship game last year, only for the conference to change the rules on them, causing some fairly visible strife. Here they are a year later, winless in Big Ten play. Life comes at you fast!
The dark blue squiggly line was apparently the little engine that just couldn’t. Oh well, we’ll revisit one more time after bowl season is behind us.
Michigan and Iowa leap to the top, while Ohio State drops. Michigan State fills the void left by Wisconsin. Purdue and Minnesota move up with wins, while Penn State drops with a loss. Maryland and Rutgers flip flop, while Illinois holds steady. Nebraska moves up after yet another close loss, while Northwestern drops after a blowout. Indiana can’t go lower than the basement they already inhabited.