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Big Ten Superlatives: Week 10

Every Big Ten team was in action on Saturday - here are the storylines

Illinois v Minnesota Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Best Win of the Week: Harlon Barnett, Michigan State finally win

It’s been a brutal season in East Lansing where the Spartans, having endured the Mel Tucker firing, entered Saturday’s Senior Day contest at just 2-6 and winless in conference play. Well, Sparty’s defense came to play, coming away with seven sacks and getting interim coach Harlon Barnett his first win.

Worst Loss of the Week: My Attempt at Prognostication

I’ll own it. I predicted Maryland to knock off Penn State last week on this very site. I noted there that I saw the game going only two ways: a dominant Lion win or a close Maryland victory. Well, I was happily wrong. So, so happily wrong. It was the first time a Penn State prediction of mine has been wrong since last October (when I did pick the Lions to win at Michigan Stadium).

Offensive Player of the Week: Isaiah Williams, Illinois

His stats in a thrilling 27-26 win against Minnesota were good enough - 13 catches for 131 yards and two scores. But, what makes this performance so great was the clutch aspect, especially when working with a backup quarterback on the game’s final drive. John Paddock entered to relieve an injured Luke Altmyer and hit Williams for a long fourth down conversion. Then, there was this touchdown where Williams got behind the defense to help Illinois improve to 4-5 and stay in the hunt for a bowl game.

Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Casey, Indiana

It hurt me not to just give this award for about the third time this year to Penn State’s entire defense, but credit to Casey. He helped Indiana pull the upset this week, notching up huge numbers in a home win against Wisconsin. The Hoosiers are still mathematically alive for a bowl trip with three winnable games ahead.

Offensive Play of the Week: The Crab Cake Special?

I get it. Last week, you all said you didn’t like Crab Cakes. But you do like touchdowns in Maryland. The long awaited Pribula package made its debut and while this wasn’t the most perfectly executed play, it showed that our boy Drew can do a little ad libbing.

Defensive Play of the Week: Jordan Hancock interception helps OSU stay unbeaten

Credit to Rutgers who, like Rutgers seems to always do, hung around thanks to its defense against Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights led at the half and looked like they’d be adding to that lead until this happened.

Most Big Ten Moment of the Week: Rutgers Fumble Rooski

Speaking of the Scarlet Knights, they went to the bag of tricks for this play - which in typical Big Ten fashion led only to a field goal.

Most Big Ten West Moment of the Week: Contenders drop games

Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska each dropped games on Saturday, helping Iowa (who we’ll get to in a moment) reclaim the inside track to Indianapolis. Both the Huskers and Badgers lost to teams who were previously winless in conference play. On the year, the Big Ten East is 11-5 overall against teams from the West. On Saturday, Dave Revsine mentioned the West as being college football’s most balanced division. Even on a Big Ten homer blog like this one, I had a hard time not laughing until I cried.

Most Iowa Moment of the Week: Wrigley winds help Hawkeyes to win

Northwestern and Iowa played Saturday at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. We didn’t get the 2-0 pitcher’s dual that we so desired. Instead, Iowa’s kicker found the basket (a nod to cheap home runs at the Friendly Confines) and the Hawkeyes came away with a 10-7 win. Iowa’s yardage was the lowest for any Division I-A winner this season.

What We’re Looking Forward to the Most: Game of the Year #2

It should be a great atmosphere in Beaver Stadium on Saturday for biggest game in the Big Ten 2.0. I checked StubHub for decent prices on sideline seats, but I’ll be watching from home for this one. Enjoy the trip, be loud, and wear white.