And then there were three...
We went into an important week of conference play with five unbeatens. We came out with three. Wisconsin and Penn State rule the roost in the Leaders, Michigan State in the Legends. The race is still on in both, as Illinois has yet to play either Penn State or Wisconsin and will try and have a final say in the deal. Ohio State can still play the spoiler too. The Spartans, meanwhile, still have to go to Iowa and Nebraska - one loss teams hungry to stay in the mix. And frankly, Michigan might have one of the easier roads with home games remaining against its toughest competitors.
It was a great weekend for football around the Big Ten. The only game never in doubt was Wisconsin v. Indiana. The rest gave us plenty of entertainment and water cooler fodder.
The good... Wisconsin. Although I am disappointed that the Badgers scored 24 less this year than last. What's up with that?! Michigan State. Another year of containing D-Rob. Conditions were nasty, so MSU got back to Pound, Green, Pound and looked great doing so. Sets up a great game this week with UW. Ohio State. The Buckeyes ratcheted up the D some more and made Illinois look silly at times. Iowa. That's the offense that was sorely lacking at Penn State. Then again, maybe it only appears against sub-par defenses? Penn State. Solid, if not at all pretty.
The bad... Purdue. But not really. The Boilers played Penn State tough. They just get this rap after a loss. Them's the breaks! Michigan. Two-fold. The vaunted offense again looked below average against MSU's defense. And those uniforms? H-I-D-E-O-U-S. Burn them. Or donate to kids looking to dress as bumble bees for Halloween. Illinois. Phew, what's that smell? The Illini offense. Northwestern. Great offense. Zero defense. Hard to win in this conference without a good D.
The ugly... Indiana. Sorry but wow, are they bad or what? Penn State's offense. It is hard to watch. Ohio State's offense. Not all of it though. The Bucks can run, especially with Boom back. But one completion on four attempts? Holy old school Batman! The dirty talk regarding MSU - UM. Especially that from Chris Spielman on the broadcast. Please. MSU was penalized as the officials saw fit. And don't go thinking that M was squeaky clean. Right before the "punch", Will Gholston's facemask was in hand with his helmet being pushed to the ground. Kudos to Michigan coaches and players for calling it what it was - physical domination and not dirty play. Media and fans? Bag it. This is football not patty cakes!
Got Gamm? No one bested my 4-1 and that catapults me back to the top overall, in a tie with Phats.
Illinois at Purdue
Indiana at Iowa
Nebraska at Minnesota
Penn State at Northwestern
Wisconsin at Michigan State (Game of the Week)