Raise your hand if you had rutger, Northwestern and Minnesota all winning this week. In what has been a weird season in the Big Ten, the only thing we can be certain of is that Penn State is elite and Illinois is not.
14. Illinois (2-5, 0-4)
Last week: Loss at Minnesota, 24-17
Imagine being worse than rutger in the Big Ten
13. rutger (3-4, 2-2)
Last week: Win vs. Purdue, 14-12
It took 1,208 days, but rutger finally won back-to-back Big Ten football games.
12. Maryland (3-4, 1-3)
Last week: Loss at Wisconsin, 38-13
This game is a bit deceptive. If Maryland scores a touchdown instead of a field goal late in the fourth, it’s 28-17 going into the final period. Alas, Maryland’s scrappy Terrapins fell short.
11. Nebraska (3-4, 2-2)
Last week: Bye
10. Minnesota (4-3, 1-3)
Last week: Win vs. Illinois, 24-17
Beating Illinois probably shouldn’t make you jump two spots, but welcome to the bottom of the Big Ten!
9. Purdue (3-4, 1-3)
Last week: Loss at rutger, 14-12
8. Northwestern (4-3, 2-2)
Last week: Win vs. Iowa, 17-10
This upset is particularly big for Northwestern because now they just need two wins from their remaining schedule of MSU, NEB, PUR, MINN and ILL, which is very doable.
7. Indiana (3-4, 0-4)
Last week: Loss at Michigan State, 17-9
No one has had a harder start to Big Ten play than IU, so excuse me for not moving them after another loss.
6. Iowa (4-3, 1-3)
Last week: Loss at Northwestern, 17-10
Man, could you imagine overrating this team based off one close loss to a ranked team?
5. Michigan (5-2, 2-2)
Last week: Loss at Penn State, 42-13
I thought Penn State would handle Michigan, but I didn’t expect THAT. It probably says more about Penn State than it does Michigan, but it does not bode well for the Wolverines.
4. Michigan State (6-1, 4-0)
Last week: Win vs. Indiana, 17-9
There’s a pretty clear gap between Michigan State and the top three teams. The Spartans looked really bad offensively, though part of that can be attributed to IU’s defense. Still, I don’t think they’re going to be competing for a Big Ten title.
3. Wisconsin (7-0, 4-0)
Last week, Win vs. Maryland, 38-13
Wisconsin’s schedule was already a joke and now some of their tough games against Michigan and Iowa look even easier.
2. Ohio State (6-1, 4-0)
Last week: Bye
1. Penn State (7-0, 4-0)
Last week: Win vs. Michigan 42-13
For all intents and purposes, this is the Big Ten title game. These two have spent much of the year establishing themselves as the cream of the crop and we’ve spent much of the year imagining the match-up.
That being said, I’m all in on Saquon Barkley. He’s a special talent. I don’t think there will be much in the way of defense in this game. My prediction: Penn State 45, Ohio State 42.