As always, we begin in the non-con.
Indiana State let Eastern Kentucky score the first 16 points of the game before coming back to win 36-16 in the first round of the FCS playoffs. Mike Perish threw for 407 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Colonels. The Sycamores also returned a Bennie Coney interception for a touchdown, and recorded a safety as well. 8-5 Indiana State advances to play at Chattanooga this Saturday.
Bowling Green lost a battle of big plays to Ball State 41-24. The Cardinals also had a 13 minute edge in time of possession, one of the few stats that was particularly different between the teams. Bowling Green scored early with a 75 yard touchdown run just 11 seconds into the first quarter, then Ozzie Mann threw a 62 yard touchdown pass for Ball State just before 2 minutes of the quarter had been completed. The Falcons then returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for another touchdown. 3 minutes later, they scored on a 2 yard touchdown run. By the time Bowling Green would score again (a third quarter field goal), Ball State had taken the lead and would not relinquish it. The Falcons end the regular season at 7-5, but have the MAC Championship game at Ford Field this Friday night against Northern Illinois.
#17 Missouri survived a battle with Arkansas 21-14 to win the SEC East. Mizzou broke a 149 minute Razorback streak of holding their opponents scoreless with a career long field goal from Andrew Baggett in the second quarter. Baggett added a 50 yarder as time expired in the first half, and then Missouri finally scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Tigers did outgain Arkansas 423-288 in spite of the score. 10-2 Missouri plays Alabama in the SEC championship game Saturday afternoon.
North Texas played hard against UTSA, but ultimately fell 34-27. The Mean Green trailed by as much as 27-12 before coming back to tie the Roadrunners at 27. The Roadrunners came back and scored a touchdown, and though North Texas forced a three and out following their own punt, the Mean Green fumbled the return and UTSA held on from there to win. North Texas closes their season at 4-8.
And in the B1G:
Maryland and Rutgers had their first meeting as Big Ten members (rivalry name and/or trophy still pending), and Rutgers gets the glory of the 41-38 inaugural victory. The Scarlet Knights put up nearly 500 yards of offense in their comeback over the Terrapins. Maryland led early, and built their advantage as high as 35-10, but could not find a late score after Kyle Federico's field goal with 6:14 left in the game gave Rutgers their first and only lead of the game. Both teams end their first B1G regular season at 7-5.
Iowa committed 4 turnovers in their Black Friday loss to Nebraska, 37-34. The Hawkeyes scored touchdowns off an interception return from John Lowdermilk, a Drew Ott punt return that bounced backwards off a Cornhusker, and two Jaek Rudock passes, but were matched by a trio of Tommy Armstrong Jr. touchdown passes and an 80 yard punt return by De'Mornay Pierson-El. A fourth Armstrong touchdown pass in overtime sealed the victory for Nebraska, but couldn't save Bo Pelini's job. Iowa finished the regular season at 7-5.
#10 Michigan State and Penn State battled for the Land Grant trophy, and the Spartans came away clear victors 34-10. R.J. Shelton returned the opening kickoff for a Michigan State touchdown, and Jeremy Langford ran for 2 second half touchdowns in a game Penn State was never really in on their Senior Day. Akeel Lynch scored the lone Nittany Lion touchdown on a 3 yard run late in the third quarter. 6-6 Penn State is headed to a bowl for the first time since their sanctions ended, while 10-2 Michigan State is still hoping for a major bowl berth.
Michigan and #6 Ohio State came into "The Game" as two programs going in two very different directions, and while they mostly maintained those paths during a 42-28 OSU win, neither team feels great right now. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has the very real specter of being fired hanging over his head, and this loss did little if anything to shake that, while Ohio State lost their second quarterback for the season, as J.T. Barrett broke his ankle during the game, leaving third string QB Cardale Jones the likely starter for the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin this Saturday night. 5-7 Michigan heads into an offseason of uncertainty, while 11-1 Ohio State has both the B1G game and a bowl game to look forward to before their offseason can begin.