Well, at least it is over.
The embarrassing results to nonconference opponents that is.
Most of the nonconference games for Big Ten teams have been played as we head into week five, and the results were not pretty.
We continued to wait for the Big Ten teams to make a statement together as a conference, and it never came. And now, we may have to wait for bowl season to get another opportunity.
In the marquee game for the conference in week four, Michigan had as many turnovers as it did points. For the second time this season, the Wolverines looked terrible in the national spotlight, falling to Notre Dame 13-6.
Along with Ohio State, both Northwestern and Minnesota also improved to 4-0. The Wildcats easily defeated South Dakota 38-7 and the Gophers knocked off Syracuse 17-10.
Nebraska did what a team should do when playing a cupcake. The Huskers blew out Idaho State, 73-7.
Wisconsin struggled. Again. The Badgers had to fight hard against UTEP–now 1-3 on the year. The Badgers held on to win 37-26.
Penn State won its second consecutive game, defeating Temple 24-13. After losing its first two games of the season, Penn state has rebounded nicely to get to 2-2 on the season, one which will be very difficult for them as a program.
Ohio State’s next opponent, Michigan State, struggled a bit early against Eastern Michigan. Sparty scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, though, to pull away to the 23-7 win.
Then there is Iowa and Illinois. Both teams fell to 2-2 on Saturday with brutal losses. The Hawkeyes lost at home on a game-winning field goal to Central Michigan, 32-31. Illinois was blown out at home…by Louisiana Tech, 52-24. Really, Illinois? Really?
This week’s contest between Michigan State and Ohio State will get national attention. The winner will likely be declared the best team in the conference, but what exactly does that mean? I will have more on the Buckeyes and Spartans in my Thursday column.
Wisconsin will travel to Lincoln to take on Nebraska this week too. Four weeks ago, I was really pumped about this game. But as of today, I am not even sure I am going to watch. Right now I can only take one Big Ten football game a week.
But, I guess there is some good news in all of this. The Big Ten can’t do worse than 6-6 in a week from here on out, right?