Ohio State did not play on Saturday, but believe it or not, there were other games played around the Big Ten conference. Some of them actually meant something too.
The best game of the weekend was played in Ann Arbor as Michigan scored a 38-31 overtime victory against Northwestern.
The Wolverines’ prayers were answered as Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner–who was filling in for the injured Denard Robinson–heaved a 53-yard pass to Roy Roundtree to set up a game-tying 26-yard field goal with just two seconds remaining.
In overtime, Gardner scored on a 1-yard touchdown run as Michigan got the ball to being the extra period. The Wolverine defense held Northwestern on its possession to earn the win as Northwestern blew the game in the most Northwestern way possible.
Indiana’s dreams of playing in the B1G Championship Game were dashed rather quickly as Wisconsin buried the Hoosiers, 62-14. With both Ohio State and Penn State ineligible for postseason play, it will be the Badgers representing the Leaders Division in the conference title game.
Nebraska kept its hopes alive for a bid in the B1G Championship Game as it outscored Penn State 26-3 in the second half to earn a 32-23 come-from-behind victory over the Nittany Lions.
Nebraska owns the tiebreaker with Michigan as the Huskers beat the Wolverines head-to-head, 23-9. With games against Minnesota and Iowa remaining, it looks as if it will be Nebraska against Wisconsin for the conference title and a trip to Pasadena.
Purdue finally got off the schnide in conference play as the Boilermakers earned their first conference win, 27-24 against Iowa. The win snapped Purdue’s five game losing streak.
Purdue’s win leaves Illinois as the only winless team in Big Ten conference play. The Illini looked awful yet again as they fell 17-3 to Minnesota. The win was Minnesota’s sixth of the year, making the Gophers the fifth team from the Big Ten to be eligible for a bowl game.
Next week all eyes will be on the Ohio State-Wisconsin game and rightfully so. The Badgers-Buckeyes game is really the only notable game on the Big Ten slate this week. Even though Ohio State is ineligible for postseason play, it can still win the Leaders Division title and bring a trophy to Columbus in Urban Meyer’s first season as head coach.
As rough of a year as it has been for the Big Ten, the conference currently has the only team in the country with ten wins.
After Ohio State’s 52-22 blowout victory against Illinois, the Buckeyes moved to a perfect 10-0 on the season, becoming the first team in the country to reach double digit victories.
With just three weeks left in the regular season, the race for a bid in the B1G Championship Game is starting to take its form. Let’s take a look around at week ten’s Big Ten action.
Nebraska went into East Lansing and knocked off Michigan State 28-24 when quarterback Taylor Martinez threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner with just six seconds remaining. The win moves the Huskers to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten–tied for the Legends Division lead.
The Huskers are currently tied with Michigan–which defeated Minnesota, 35-13. Nebraska, however, beat Michigan last week. So, the Huskers own the tiebreaker and control their own destiny to represent the Legends Division in the title game.
Who controls its fate in the Leaders Division? That would be…Indiana. The Hoosiers defeated Iowa 24-21 to stay in control of their own destiny.
Indiana’s next opponent, Wisconsin, did not play this past weekend. But, the winner of the Wisconsin-Indiana game next weekend in Bloomington will represent the Leaders Division in the B1G Championship Game.
Penn State rebounded after its loss to Ohio State by defeating Purdue 34-9. Purdue and Illinois remain the only winless teams in Big Ten conference play. The good news for those two teams is that they play each other in week 12, so one of them will earn a victory.
As we mentioned earlier, Wisconsin-Indiana is the most important game in terms of the conference picture next week. But some other games to keep an eye on with the Buckeyes on a bye are Northwestern at Michigan and Penn State at Nebraska.
Both Northwestern and Michigan suffered losses to Nebraska. So if either of those teams want to make it to the conference title game, they will need the Huskers to slip up. I, for one, don’t see that happening, though.
It certainly hasn’t been the strongest year for the Big Ten as a whole, but the race to make it to the second ever conference championship game is reason to get excited.
After five weeks of Big Ten play, only one team remains unbeaten within the conference. Ohio State has won its first five B1G contests in addition to four out of conference games to put the Buckeyes at 9-0 on the season.
After a slow start, OSU cruised to a 35-23 victory against Penn State in Happy Valley. We all got a chance to watch the Buckeyes defeat the Nittany Lions, but let’s take a look at what else happened last weekend around the Big Ten.
In the other big game, Nebraska defeated Michigan 23-9. Wolverines’ quarterback Denard Robinson was knocked out of the game in the second quarter and was unable to return to help his team. He watched his replacement, Russell Bellomy, throw three interceptions and the Huskers outscored the Wolverines 16-3 in the second half. With the win, Nebraska is now in the driver’s seat to represent the Legends Division in the B1G Championship.
Just when it seemed like Wisconsin had its season figured out, the Badgers suffered a 16-13 overtime loss to Michigan State at home. After Wisconsin kicked a field goal on its possession in overtime, MSU quarterback Andrew Maxwell threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Bennie Fowler to earn the victory.
Northwestern earned its seventh win of the season as the Wildcats defeated Iowa 28-17. Northwestern has two tough road games in the next two weeks–against Michigan and Michigan State. If the Wildcats can win both of those games, they should win ten games on the year as they finish with Illinois. That’s not something anybody predicted at the start of the season.
After almost upsetting Ohio State last weekend, a few were wondering what Purdue would do for an encore? Well, it appears the crushing defeat to the Buckeyes will stick with the Boilermakers for the remainder of the season as they fell to Minnesota 44-28.
Illinois, like Purdue, remains winless in Big Ten play as the Illini fell to Indiana 31-17. Illinois won’t get its first conference win next week either as it takes on Ohio State.
Just like we all predicted, with four weeks left in the conference season, Indiana controls its own destiny to make the B1G Championship Game. Football is a crazy game, indeed.
There was no shortage of drama around the Big Ten in week eight.
Ohio State-Purdue, Michigan-Michigan State and Nebraska-Northwestern all provided quality entertainment for Big Ten fans.
Without its star quarterback Braxton Miller, Ohio State was able to improve to 8-0 with an improbable come-from-behind overtime victory over Purdue. We all saw the drama that was the OSU-Purdue game, but let’s take a closer look at what happened in a wild week eight around the Big Ten.
Trailing 10-9 with just five seconds left, Michigan’s Brendan Gibbons nailed a 38-yard field goal to help lift Michigan over Michigan State for the first time since 2007. The victory was the 900th in the history of the Michigan program–making it the first to reach that milestone.
Not only was the win big for the history of Michigan, but it helped the Wolverines improve to 3-0 in the Big Ten as they now sit alone atop the Legends Division. The loss drops Sparty to a dismal 1-3 record in the conference and 4-4 overall.
Another thrilling game took place in Evanston as Nebraska downed Northwestern 29-28. The Huskers took the lead with just over two minutes to play in the game and were able to barely hang on as Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien’s 53-yard field goal attempt missed wide right with roughly a minute to play.
The win for Nebraska sets up a huge game with Michigan next week in which the winner will be in the driver’s seat to represent the Legends Division in the B1G Championship Game.
Wisconsin won its third consecutive game as the Badgers defeated Minnesota 38-13. Penn State routed Iowa 38-14 and in non conference action, Indiana fell 31-30 to Navy. The win for Navy is its first against a Big Ten opponent since 1979. So thank you for that, Hoosiers.
Next week would be even bigger if Ohio State and Penn State were eligible to compete in postseason play. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are the only two undefeated teams in the Leaders Division and will meet next week in Happy Valley as the Game of the Week in the Big Ten.
The Michigan at Nebraska game will likely decide the Legends Division. While people were ready to write off Michigan after two early losses to Alabama and Notre Dame (both teams are currently ranked in the top five, by the way), the Wolverines have rebounded to get themselves to 5-2 overall and No. 22 in the country.
But playing a night game in Lincoln against a good Nebraska team is a very difficult thing to do. I’m excited to watch that one, and to see how the rest of the Big Ten season will unfold.
Raise your hand if, at the beginning of the season, you had the Northwestern Wildcats to be the first Big Ten team eligible for a bowl game.
Nobody saw that one coming, even with Ohio State ineligible this year. And for the Wildcats to do it after just seven games is even more impressive.
Sure, Northwestern’s schedule hasn’t been the strongest, and the Wildcats don’t play Wisconsin or Ohio State this season, but you can’t argue with the results. With its 21-13 victory over Minnesota last week, Northwestern is currently 6-1 overall, and 2-1 in the Big Ten.
After three weeks of Big Ten play, there are four unbeaten teams left in conference play: Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa and Penn State.
The Nittany Lions were off last week and we all saw Ohio State squeak out a win at Indiana, but let’s take a look at the rest of the action in the Big Ten from last weekend.
Iowa gutted out a double overtime win against Michigan State, 19-16. The Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-0) scored the game-tying touchdown with just 55 seconds remaining. After trading field goals in the first overtime, Iowa took a three point lead in the second overtime on its posession. Greg Castillo then intercepted an Andrew Maxwell pass to end the game and give the Hawkeyes the win.
With the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions ineligible to play in the B1G Championship Game, the matchup between Wisconsin and Purdue would decide who represented the Leaders Division in the B1G Championship Game.
Wisconsin won easily, 38-14 and the Badgers seem to have got some of their mojo back.
After its 45-0 blowout loss to Michigan, I’m officially crowning Illinois as the worst team in the Big Ten this year and it’s not close. In three Big Ten games so far, the Illini have been outscored 111-21.
Three pretty big games next week for the Big Ten Conference: Nebraska goes on the road to face Northwestern, Michigan State takes on Michigan and Penn State will travel to Iowa.
The B1G Championship picture is starting to come together.
If you take a look at the Coaches Poll this week, you will not see any Big Ten teams listed.
If that seems unusual to you, it should. This marks the first time in the history of the poll where no Big Ten teams are represented.
Ohio State is ineligible for the Coaches poll or it would be ranked, but the fact that none of the other 11 teams are speaks volumes about the state of the conference.
My eyes tell me, though, that the two best teams in the Big Ten are Michigan and Ohio State–the way it should be.
Michigan dominated Purdue by an eye-opening 44-13 margin. Many thought the Boilermakers would represent the Leaders Division in the B1G Championship Game, and they still may, but Purdue was run off the field by the Wolverines.
Ohio State’s defense may not have been all that impressive. But the Buckeyes’ offense more than made up for that, as OSU defeated Nebraska 63-38.
It’s October and Big Ten football is officially here.
I’ve been very critical of the Big Ten as a conference so far this season and rightfully so. September was an absolutely brutal month for the conference on a national stage. But, with the first week of conference play officially in the books, let’s take a look at some of last week’s results and see how things went down.
Obviously the marquee match up was Ohio State-Michigan State. A game in which the Buckeyes won in traditional Big Ten fashion, 17-16.
Nebraska came from behind to beat Wisconsin at home. Trailing 20-10 at halftime, the Cornhuskers were able to outscore the Badgers 20-7 in the second half to earn the 30-27 victory.
It will be interesting to see what kind of momentum a great win like that will do for a team like Nebraska. The Huskers will travel into Ohio Stadium this week for a primetime game. Will Nebraska feed off of that momentum, or did they use most of their juice to make that comeback?
Northwestern remained unbeaten on the season and it defeated Indiana 44-29. If they can get by Penn State in Happy Valley this week, the Wildcats have a real shot at being 7-0 heading into the week seven contest with Nebraska. And, with no Michigan or Ohio State on the schedule for Northwestern, it has a real shot at winning the Legends Division. Read More
This week THE Buckeyes will take on the other team from up North. For this week’s Across the Web we look to our friends at www.enlightenedspartan.com, who also joined us for last year’s chat. ES took some time from his busy schedule to answer our questions on Sparty.
1. Are MSU Fans excited about William Gholston’s play, or is it more of a “man, I hope he doesn’t kill us with a stupid penalty”?
ES: Gholston is the Spartans’ version of Dirty Harry… he is mean, and with a penchant for taking no prisoners ‘cause he’s THE MAN – but while kicking butt, he’s not thinking about the impact of his actions outside of his own skin. So, we’ll take his two steps forward, knowing we’ll take one step back.
2. What are the odds that MSU drops Notre Dame, following their move to the ACC? Bigger rival- the Irish or the Wolverines?
ES: Part 1, ND: Nil. As expected, the Catholics dropped the Wolvies, because scUM is a far more disinteresting matchup. The Spartans have a much longer history, and more wins in the series, and we’re on the docket for… forever.
Part 2, Rival: Our bigger rival is the Rodents, and that’s tied into our relationship in the Big Ten… speaking of which, the Roadkill was the only Big Ten school to vote against Michigan State joining the conference back in 1949, and we’ve hated that scUM ever since. The ES is permanently irked at having to watch both scUM and the Goddam Catholics get support annually from millions of Trailer Trash who love them yet never even attended college. Read More