clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Big Ten Superlatives: Week 13

The regular season came to a close over the weekend

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Best Win of the Week: Michigan Wolverines

It’s three years in a row now for the Wolverines against Ohio State, the longest such streak since the mid-1990s. Michigan won it the way they always seem to, being more physical and taking advantage of turnovers. The Wolverines are now approximately 14 touchdown favorites in Saturday’s Big Ten title game where they can clinch a playoff berth.

Worst Loss of the Week: Ohio State Buckeyes

What’s next for Ryan Day? That seems to be a legitimate question around Columbus with the possibility of sneaking into the playoff like last year highly unlikely.

Offensive Player of the Week: Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland

Career records are what they are now, thanks in part of extra years of eligibility and more games on the yearly schedules. But, still credit to Taulia who became the Big Ten’s all-time leader in passing with his 361-yard, three-touchdown performance on Saturday in a 42-24 season-ending win against Rutgers.

Defensive Players of the Week: Penn State

Others can opine about this, but I’m honestly not sure Penn State has ever had a better defense than it did in 2023 - at least not in my time of watching Nittany Lion football closely since 1991. More or less, this is what the 1999 defense was supposed to be - an attacking group with stars at every level that brought havoc. Friday night, that ended with Michigan State totally 50-something yards and a whole bunch of Lions flying around making plays. It’s unfortunate that this group won’t have a ton of postseason honors - Diaz’s love for depth and the way that they were off the field so fast didn’t allow for a ton of stats to pile up.

Offensive Play of the Week: Hudson Card gives Purdue a Bucket Win

The “other” game in Saturday’s noon slot was Indiana visisting Purdue as two 3-8 teams played for a famous college football trophy - the Old Oaken Bucket. It was a back-and-forth affair with the home team prevailing thanks to Hudson Card’s touchdown run in the closing moments. It also proved to be the final game for Indiana coach Tom Allen, who was fired on Sunday.

Defensive Play of the Week: Iowa interception sets up game winning field goal

Ethan Hurkett was in the right place at the right time to help set up a game-winning field goal for the Hawkeyes.

Most Iowa Thing of the Week: Backup Kicker Makes Winning Field Goal

Speaking of the Hawkeyes, how’s this for an end to their regular season? You have to give them credit for overcoming tons of injuries to finish 10-2 and it was a backup who came through for the winning field goal. Reserve kicker Marshall Meeder connected on the game’s final play to help the Hawks to a 13-10 win against Nebraska.

Most Big Ten West Thing of the Week: Bowl games? Nah.

Minnesota, Nebraska, and Illinois all entered Saturday with a chance to get a sixth win and clinch a bowl spot. All three failed. Nebraska and Minnesota each lost four consecutive games in November, while the Illini lost back-to-back heartbreakers to wind up 5-7, too. In a year filled with mediocrity and with mediocrity being all that’s necessary to get an extra game, these programs went ahead and got a head start on 2024.

Most Big Ten Thing of the Week: Michigan State’s coaching hire announcement

Michigan State made a great hire, honestly, plucking Jonathan Smith from Oregon State. The timing of the announcement? Sort of strange. While it had been reported that he was the heavy front runner, MSU pushed out an announcement on Saturday. Around 2 p.m. When there was something else in the conference happening.

What We’re Looking Forward to the Most: Peaches?

Penn State learns its bowl destination on Sunday. We’ll also be anxiously awaiting any OC news.