The Hoosiers were the only Big Ten team last month to drop their game. Yes, I'm as upset about it as you are, but that doesn't mean that the other conference teams looked good. At this point in the season, sometimes a win is actually a loss. That did happen to a few teams this week. Meanwhile, some others continued to show why they're the bee's knees.
Illinois 45 vs. Cincinnati 17: We're starting off with the surprising result of the weekend for the Big Ten. Illinois pretty well dismantled a team that they were an 8 point underdog to at home. After Cincy blew out Purdue in the previous week, everyone was certain that Illinois stood little more than a puncher's chance in this one. Instead Nate Scheelhause proved himself worthy to lead a quality offensive attack and the defense was stout enough to provide Illinois fans with some thoughts of "what if?".
Iowa 28 vs. Missouri State 14: This was a result that a lot of people are wanting to put in the loss column despite the score. Iowa went up against a very mediocre FCS opponent and made it look more difficult than it should. A couple key mistakes at crucial times set Missouri State up for more points than they were capable of. A key blown coverage by a freshman CB gave up a 27 yd TD pass and then a boneheaded throw for a pick 6 gave Missouri State their only points. The concern should be the Iowa offense, the Iowa defense was fine.
Michigan 41 vs. Notre Dame 30: Michigan set a college football attendance record with their win against Notre Dame. Both teams were pretty equal in passing production, but the dual threat of Devin Gardner was too much for Notre Dame to handle. Gardner looks to be the real deal and Michigan could potentially threaten Ohio State for the B1G crown in a few months.
Michigan State 21 vs. South Florida 6: Here we come to our first win that was actually a loss. Michigan State's prowess on defense may only be trumped by their ineptitude on offense. Seriously, after their game against a not very good South Florida they now rank 1st in the nation in defense and second to last on offense. It is truly an impressive feat. I'm starting to wonder if even with Indiana's obvious deficiencies if we should start inching that game in East Lansing towards the win column.
Minnesota 44 at New Mexico State 21: Strangely the most impressive thing about Minnesota so far is their special teams. In two games they've accumulated 4 touchdown returns. That's really the only impressive thing so far for Minnesota. Despite the scores for their two games to this point, they haven't put poor teams away like they should. The jury is still out for the Gophers.
Nebraska 56 vs. Southern Miss 13: Whew! After Nebraska's sticker of an opener against Wyoming it is encouraging to see them come out and take care of business in week 2. They allowed nearly 600 yards of offense in week one and trimmed that down to a more fit 284 this week. The defense even opened the first quarter with two pick sixes. So perhaps the Cornhuskers can breath a sigh of relief and brush that Wyoming game off as an anomaly.
Northwestern 48 vs. Syracuse 27: 375 yards of passing to go with 206 yards rushing. Gee willikers Batman, I think Northwestern's got something. Northwestern came out with an offensive assault that put them up 20 before Syracuse got on the board. The Wildcats coasted by a Syracuse Orange squad that showed much more life against Penn State last week. I think that says more about Northwestern than it does Penn State.
Ohio State 42 vs. San Diego State 7: This went pretty well as expected. The Buckeye faithful let out an audible gasp as Braxton Miller for the second time in two weeks took a hit and stayed down. He's been diagnosed with a sprained MCL, but will likely be able to brace and play with just a minor discomfort. Move along, nothing to see here.
Penn State 45 vs. Eastern Michigan 7: Another blow out that was never really a contest. Christian Hackenburg looked really good. He's probably Nate Sudfeld's best competition for best young quarterback in the conference this year. Hackenburg is going to help ease the pain of the dark years Penn State is about to face.
Purdue 20 vs. Indiana State 14: Arguably the biggest "loss' of the weekend for the conference. Purdue is all sorts of bad and their performance against Indiana State proved it. A trick play on the return for the first play of the game was the difference in this one. If Indiana State had Shakir Bell playing, I'm certain that Purdue would be looking at 0-2.
Wisconsin 48 vs. Tennessee Tech 0: Yeah, the opponents have been terrible, but Wisconsin has yet to give up a point as they head into Arizona State for their first real challenge of the year. Wisconsin has proven that they still have a devastating run game with three different backs gaining 100 yards in both games so far. It is really quite ridiculous. 2 games, 3 backs, none with less than 250 yards on the ground. It's not fair.
Overall we obviously saw a very successful week in the conference. Some teams are still quite suspect but at this point it doesn't matter. In the win-loss column we're looking at a conference record of 21-3. Keep this up for two more weeks and a decent finish in the conference may actually garner some higher end bowl games that want middle of the pack Big Ten teams deserve. But hey, that's for the rest of the nation to complain about. B-1-G! B-1-G!