On the surface, a 10-2 record for Big Ten teams in week one seems impressive.
But, factor in the opponents and margin of victory, 10-2 doesn’t seem so impressive anymore. We all know how the Ohio State game went, so let’s take a look at how exactly the rest of the Big Ten fared last weekend.
Minnesota kicked off the college football season with a 30-27 triple overtime victory against UNLV. The two teams are probably similar talent wise, as Minnesota will more than likely finish near the bottom of the conference.
In an intriguing matchup, No. 13 Michigan State welcomed No. 24 Boise State to Spartan Stadium Friday night. The Spartans passing attack was lacking as first-year starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell was just 22 of 38 for 248 yards and three interceptions. Not lacking, though, was the running game. Led by Le’Veon Bell’s 44 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns, Sparty was able to wear the Broncos’ defense down and come away with the victory.
Northwestern defeated Syracuse 42-41 in what was probably the most entertaining Big Ten game of the weekend. Demetrius Fields caught a nine yard touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian with just 44 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats the victory.
No. 17 Nebraska was equally as impressive as the Buckeyes in its 49-20 win against Southern Miss. Quarterback Taylor Martinez looked very impressive as he threw five touchdown passes.
Illinois defeated Western Michigan 24-7. The big news in this game, though, was Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
No. 12 Wisconsin and Iowa were less than impressive. Both the Badgers and Hawkeyes recorded victories as the Badgers beat Northern Iowa 26-21 and the Hawkeyes came from behind to beat Northern Illinois 18-17. Wisconsin’s result may be a little more surprising since many people had picked the Badgers to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl.
Purdue defeated Eastern Kentucky 48-6 and Indiana scored a 24-17 victory over Indiana State, though I’m not sure anybody noticed either team played.
Penn State and No. 8 Michigan were the two Big Ten teams to lose its week one matchups. Most of the nation tuned in to watch No. 2 Alabama dismantle the Wolverines 41-14. Denard Robinson struggled big time, throwing two interceptions. He also physically took a beating from the hard-hitting Crimson Tide defense. The Nittany Lions had an emotional Saturday afternoon as they played their first game with Bill O’Brien as head coach. Penn State got off to a solid start against Ohio, but the Nittany Lions eventually fell to the Bobcats 24-14.
A 10-2 week seems like it could be considered a positive, but the Big Ten took another serious shot to its image with Michigan getting blown out by Alabama. Hopefully, week two will give Big Ten teams a shot to show improvement.
Some notable week two games include Penn State at Virginia, Purdue at No. 22 Notre Dame, Iowa State at Iowa, Nebraska @ UCLA and Vanderbilt at Northwestern.