Remember back in September, when literally everyone lost except for UGA, and across the country we all went “yeah chaos!” Well, here we are in November, and it appears that UGA, Bama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Oregon - the preseason favorites - are all working their way toward the playoff. Meanwhile, in the B1G, despite early season losses for OSU and Wisconsin, the two favorites to make the conference championship game are back to being locked in.
Was fun while it lasted I guess!
1. Ohio State
Let it be known that teams a) get way up to play Penn State, and b) pay the price the following week. Sure OSU beat Nebraska, but they only did so by a 26-17 margin, hardly world-beating. I’m sure the Buckeyes will get back to the playoffs, because we can’t have nice things, but they definitely look mortal.
The Badgers put a hurting on Rutgers, winning 52-3. Combined with an upset of the previous #2 team in these rankings, and Wisconsin is back in the driver’s seat for the West.
Nothing like a game against Indiana to cure what ails ya! In this case, the Wolverines got back into the win column by taking down the Hoosiers 29-7. The game against Penn State looms.
4. Michigan State
Perhaps losing to an unranked squad should result in more of a penalty, but my faith in the B1G sort of drops off around here. The 40-29 loss to Purdue wasn’t quite inexplicable, but having everything to play for and dropping a game like that sure seems like the return of SPARTY NO.
Like I said, around here things sort of fall off for the conference. Iowa just barely snuck by Northwestern, winning 17-12, and needing a rally to get the win. At this point, if Wisconsin wins out, Iowa will not head to the CCG, which seemed like a lock just a month ago. My how time flies!
For the second time this year, Purdue’s unranked-over-a-top-five-opponent superweapon was discharged, this time taking down Michigan State. What’s that? A top 5 Ohio State team takes on an unranked Purdue squad this weekend? Oh heavens no!
‘Member when we talked about Wisconsin getting back into the driver’s seat for the West? Or Michigan State having everything to play for and losing? Yeah, combine those two things and you get Minnesota, who - some how, some way - lost to Illinois 14-6. If Minnesota wins out, they’ll head to Indianapolis, but I don’t have much faith in that happening right now.
8. Penn State
Not unlike Ohio State, the Lions suffered a letdown game, this time against Maryland. The game was tied early in the fourth before Penn State pulled away, securing a 31-14 win. This weekend’s game against Michigan will help separate the wheat from the chaff.
The Terrapins played Penn State tough, and were a few unlucky bounces away from pulling off the upset. Kind of sounds like Penn State’s game against Ohio State, no?
Perhaps I should be harsher on Indiana, who has just 2 wins on the season. But man, I just don’t have it in me.
C’mon Wildcats! You could have put the dagger in Iowa’s postseason dreams with a massive upset! Take a page from Purdue’s playbook, wouldja?
Death, taxes, Illinois randomly beating teams they have absolutely no business beating. Unlike SOME teams (cough Northwestern cough), the Illini dashed Minnesota’s hopes, taking the Gophers out of the driver’s seat for the West. Be real nice if the Illini could somehow work their way into bowl eligibility!
Yeesh, just when I think the Scarlet Knights have turned a corner, and are past hugely embarrassing losses, they suffer a 7-touchdown loss. Not good.
I saw some weird stat that in the last 7 games for the Huskers, their scoring differential overall is only like -40 points, but that they are 1-6 in those games. As much as I want to reward a team for playing well against tough competition, if you just never actually win those games, you ultimately move into the basement.
That dark blue squiggly line heard me and is continuing its ascent toward the top.
Ohio State hangs out at the top, while Wisconsin and Michigan move up. Michigan takes a nose dive, while Iowa and Purdue work their way up. Minnesota dips to meet a surging Penn State. Maryland and Indiana both drop a bit, while Northwestern manages to move up after a loss. Illinois climbs out of the basement, while Rutgers takes a steep decline. Nebraska has returned to the basement for the first time since Week 1.