Monday Afternoon QB
It was a wild weekend in college football and the Big Ten was not spared from the chaos. Michigan and Northwestern stormed back from large, early game deficits; Michigan State and Indiana played a crazy game in Bloomington; Penn State looked dominant on a national scene (the white outs at State College NEVER get old); Ohio State is rounding back to form and Purdue took one on the chin.
Congrats to AndrewJ1313 for winning the tiebreaker and Getting Gamm on the weekend.
To see what BigTen.org has to say about the week that was, click here...
My team by team thoughts and weekly awards follow:
Player of the Week - I'd love to make it a quadra-fecta for Javon Ringer but I guess it's time to spread the wealth! I'll go with a guy I saw this weekend - Marcus Thigpen from Indiana. 9 carries for 113 yards and 94 receiving yards on two catches including two long jaunts total for scores. He got dinged up and sat the fourth quarter, otherwise he might have racked up another 80 yards! See who BigTen.org picked.
Around the Big Ten - it was a crazy weekend all around college football, with USC, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin and others in the Top 25 going down. The Big Ten was no different than the rest...
Illinois - Came out of the gates strong at Penn State but that place is crazy loud. I generally liked what I saw, but this team needs to have a short memory with a roadie to Ann Arbor coming up. Michigan suddenly has life and Illinois needs to be prepared. By the way, Benn is a first rounder in waiting. Man that guy is good.
Indiana - The Hoosiers were amazing, sloppy, inspired and dog tired all at the same time on Saturday. The two QB sets will cause some defensive coordinators to lose sleep the rest of this season. If this team can stay healthy, it will pull off an upset or two, despite the injury bug that has bitten. IU goes to Minnesota this week for a must-win game.
Iowa - The Hawkeyes have now been stung two weeks in a row and the question is - can/will they rebound or fall upon harder times? Something is missing this year but I can't figure it out. It doesn't help that the Hawks head to East Lansing to face a State team looking for revenge for last year's late collapse in Iowa City. A loss this weekend might start the calls for Ferentz's head.
Michigan - What an amazing comeback for Michigan. After one of the worst one half performances I've ever seen of U-M, the Wolverines battled back and caught Wisconsin sleeping, escaping with a huge, confidence building win in the 500th game played at Michigan Stadium. Illinois comes in this week, which means there is little time to celebrate the big win.
Michigan State - Saturday might be the best example to date of the changes MSU has made under Mark Dantonio. The roller coaster ride never got the Spartans too low or too high and it allowed State to plow forward and get a nice road win. Good teams aren't always on their game but find a way to get the W in cases where the A-game was left at home. I won't label MSU "good" yet, but there is potential...
Minnesota - Predictably, Minnesota fell short in its first test of the season but the Gophers did fight all the way through this game. Indiana comes calling for a key game for both in terms of postseason aspirations.
Northwestern - Wow! 5-0 for the first time since 1962 and a week off to rest and prep for a visit from Michigan State. The Wildcats are coming up big at opportune times and have seven chances to get the one win necessary to become bowl eligible. I like their chances!
Ohio State - OSU has found its man in Pryor and now that Wells is back, and the college football world was turned on its ear this past weekend, look for renewed energy from C-bus. This weekend is huge, with a trip to Madison to face wounded and angry Penn State. Look for an instant classic in this one...
Penn State - Penn State is good - really good. The meat of the schedule is upon them but based on the way they took apart a good Illinois team the other night, I am willing to predict great things for this team. They come at you from all angles. Purdue better be ready to stop this juggernaut...
Purdue - Notre Dame laid a b*tch slappin down on Purdue at South Bend this past weekend. This one might hurt worse than the Oregon game long-term. Purdue was exposed for its lack of run-stopping ability by a team that managed just 16 yards at Michigan State. The same MSU defense that gave up 113 yards on just 9 carries to ONE IU tailback. Penn State is next and suddenly the Joe Tiller swan song tour has hit a BIG snag.
Wisconsin - Despite the performance of Purdue, the biggest loser of the week resides in Mad-town. To lose a 19-point lead on the road against a team doing NOTHING with the ball is unspeakable. To have your star tight end make a crucial mistake on what would have put the game into OT is almost as bad. Wisconsin still has the potential to come out atop the Big Ten but there is no time to cry. Ohio State and Penn State come to Camp-Randall on back to back Saturday's. Can The Badgers bounce back?