Now that the dust has settled on a day that featured close finishes, upsets, and blowouts let’s take a look at what important caveats can be taken away from week nine in the Big Ten.
- Michigan State is Clearly the Best Team in the Conference- People have known this for a while, but “Little Brother” just abused what used to be big bad Michigan 35-11. The Spartans are the most complete team in the Big Ten and it just isn’t close.
- Michigan is As Bad As Advertised- Look, when you are Michigan and ESPN starts putting up stats like you have not scored a touchdown against Michigan State since 2011, something has changed. This program is in shambles and big changes will be coming after the final game in Columbus.
- Minnesota was Pretending- The Gophers came into the game against Illinois looking to solidify their role as contenders in the West. They left with their tail between their legs after a shocking upset. Minnesota played with fire the last two weeks falling behind early. This time they got burned 28-24, by an Illinois team on the ropes.
- Ohio State Didn’t Impress Much- When a team loses their Heisman-caliber quarterback at the beginning of the year, going 6-1 in their opening seven games is impressive, but this Buckeye team has not really been tested. They let a below average Penn State squad come back from a 17-0 to take the game into OT. Even though they ultimately won 31-24.
- Penn State’s Line is Bad- If you want to sum up the Nittany Lions’ season in one play just look at the final play from last night when Joey Bosa was not picked up by a lineman and blew up the running back, basically tossing him into quarterback Christian Hackenberg resulting in a game sealing sack. How does this happen?
- Illinois Did Not Save Tim Beckman’s Job- It’s a case of too little, too late for the beleaguered coach, whose fate was probably sealed last weekend when the Illini lost at home to Purdue.
- Wisconsin and Nebraska Are Not Gracious Hosts- The Huskers and Badgers welcomed in newbies Rutgers and Maryland respectively this weekend and introduced the tandem to life in the Big Ten. Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah ran wild on Rutgers in a 42-24 romp, while Melvin Gordon and the Badgers nearly shutout the Terps, winning 52-7.
- Big Ten Refs are Horrible- This was highlighted as what can only be described as a Whisky Tango Foxtrot game for the refs at Penn State. They botched a replay call on an interception because they could not get the correct feed, and they also missed an obvious delay of game call on a field goal. They could not even get the coin toss correct when the game took to overtime. It is time for the Big Ten to evaluate the talent in the officiating pool, because their performance has been comparable to the actual Big Ten members – a joke.
*Section Photo credit to Eric Francis, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jeff Hanisch, USA Today Sports