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Big Ten Superlatives: Week 7

The Big Three Stayed Dominant...

Oregon v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Best Win of the Week: Washington

The 2023 version of the Big Ten is about to have the first of three games that will ultimately decide its playoff fate - and champion. So before that, how about a look out west where the biggest game in college football happened between two teams who will be in the Big Ten next year. Oregon, behind some questionable fourth down decision making on the part of head coach Dan Lanning, lost a heartbreaker to the Huskies. Meanwhile, Washington quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. is now the odds on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and his team jumped over Penn State in Sunday’s polls.

Worst Loss of the Week: Maryland

September Maryland still a thing? The Terrapins were feisty last week for 2+ quarters in Columbus, but the letdown was real last Saturday. At home, Maryland dropped a 27-24 matchup to reeling Illinois. With that loss, it seems unlikely that a fourth Big Ten team appears in the rankings anytime soon. Wait, what? Iowa is ranked again? More on that in a moment...

Offensive Player of the Week: Leshon Williams, Iowa

In a huge West title implication matchup, Williams made the biggest play. The running back’s 82-yard touchdown sprint gave the Hawkeyes the halftime lead that they would milk on their way to a 15-6 win over the “Dairy Raid” Wisconsin offense. Williams finished with 175 yards to help bolster a Hawkeye offense that passed for just 34 yards on the day.

Defensive Player of the Week: Daequan Hardy, Penn State

Hardy had a tackle and a couple pass breakups for the Nittany Lions, but you know it was his special teams play that puts him on the list. He became the first Penn State player ever to return to punts for touchdowns in the same game as the Lions rolled 63-0 on Homecoming in Happy Valley.

Offensive Play of the Week: J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

McCarthy opened the season wearing a “Free Harbaugh” t-shirt. He showed that he’s watched some old Harbaugh game tapes, too, as evidenced by this scramble and flip in Michigan’s thrashing of Indiana. No comment from this blogger about if McCarthy watched those old VHS tapes during a sleepover.

Defensive Play of the Week: Aaron Young, Rutgers

Technically special teams here, too. But Rutgers was down 24-6 in the fourth to Michigan State when a fumbled punt snap turned into a touchdown for Young and jumpstarted a rally for Rutgers. Speaking of the Scarlet Knights, they’re now 5-2 with a legitimate chance to clinch bowl eligibility via a win in Bloomington on Saturday.

Most Big Ten Moment of the Week: Fans Booing Injured Players

Going back to that Washington game for a moment. Don’t know how many of you caught the end, but on Oregon’s final drive, there was a booing injured players moment. After a first down catch and with a timeout to spare - so in other words, a moment where Oregon had time to get a play off before losing time, a Duck receiver grabbed at his legs and lay on the turf before being tended to and helped off. During that time, Seattle sounded an awful lot like Kinnick.

Most Big Ten West Moment of the Week: How the West was Won Not Lost

We alluded to it last week and have already mentioned it here in this post, but Iowa and Wisconsin battled for the inside track to Indianapolis on Saturday. Playing with a backup quarterback who can’t complete passes, Iowa found just enough offense - and of course scored a safety - to come away with a 15-6 win against Wisconsin. Knowing what else is in the west and knowing what is ahead on each team’s schedule, Iowa is the clear front runner for a second trip to Indianapolis in three years. Miraculously, Iowa also finds itself ranked again following the win. They’re 6-1 and there’s a very real possibility they will be 10-2/11-1 at the end of the season. But remember, Penn State hasn’t beaten anybody...

Most Iowa Moment of the Week: Basketball on (fake) Grass

Know who can score? Caitlin Clark and Iowa’s womens basketball team. They played an exhibition at Kinnick Stadium on Sunday. The visuals? My goodness!

What We’re Looking Forward to the Most: Being the Center of the Football Universe

It’s been nearly a year since Penn State has lost a football game. The last team to get them? You know who. And you know what this week means. We Are...