clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Big Ten in Review, Week 8: Strengths, Weaknesses and Rutgers (finally!)

Let's delve into some numerology and public health initiatives after Wisconsin's bye week.

Alex Goodlett

This weekend in the B1G sure had a lot of the same numbers. Two games ended in identical 56-17 scores. Three teams scored 17 points AND 38 points respectively. Four teams had byes and scored zero points combined! I feel like I'm one of those guys on Twitter that looks at numbers and concludes that the Illuminati is making it impossible for good things to happen to me. Like, Domino's here in Chicago were selling pizzas for $1 on Saturday afternoon and I had to work. Thanks, Illuminati.

There were some close games this weekend in conference, and even though our beloved Badgers didn't strap on the pads, I hope you were able to enjoy a pleasant football Saturday. Watching Iowa meltdown was especially pleasing to me.

Big Ten East


S&P+ rank: 70th overall; 47th offense, 88th defense

Biggest strength: I'm thinking about renaming this column "What Would Tevin Coleman's Stats Look Like If He Played For Anyone Other Than Indiana." I want to give him a hug. That might be weird though, so I'll probably just give him the "I know what you're going through" nod.

Biggest weakness: Starting a jewel thief at quarterback. Zander Diamont is his name. Robbing banks all over Europe is his game. Because, you know, quarterbacking is certainly not his game. 5-for-15 with 11 yards is no way to go through life, son. #FreeTevinColeman

Remaining schedule: Didn't score a single point in the second half. I haven't played NCAA in a while, because I've been too busy dominating fools in FIFA (note: I am terrible at FIFA), but I don't think I won too many games when I went scoreless in an entire half. IU has a bye next week. I predict Coleman still runs for 180+ yards.


S&P+ rank: 46th overall; 62nd offense, 35th defense

Biggest strength: Hangonability. Maryland was up 17 points with five minutes to go against the Bayloresque offense of Iowa, and was able to hang on and win by a touchdown. Also, Maryland has played approximately 30 different players at quarterback this year and the Wisconsin coaching staff is jeaaaaallllllous. A double also! Their kicking game is immaculate (30 for 30 on extra points, 12 for 12 on field goals, long of 57). Brad Craddock might be the best player in the B1G. I AM TRYING TO JINX YOU, BRAD! Wait, his long is 57 yards? I bet Rafael Gaglianone can't even run 57 yards (and I love him all the more because of it).

Biggest weakness: None of those quarterbacks seem to be particularly good. C.J. Brown runs good though. He'll probably come close to 100 against Wisconsin, in both passing and rushing.

Remaining schedule: Travel to the greatest city in the world -- Madison, Wisconsin -- this weekend. I don't know what this means, but it sounds ominous.

He has four picks and two touchdown retur...ohhhhh, I get it. He's going to douse Wisconsin's "passing game" this week. All this Maryland talk and I haven't even mentioned Stefon Diggs. Goodness, I'm terrified for this weekend's game.


S&P+ rank: 35th overall; 61st offense, 23rd defense

Biggest strength: Still on a one game winning streak. Better than half of the conference, so suck it, haterz.

Biggest weakness: Still operating with Brady Hoke as the head coach.

Remaining schedule: Since 2004, Michigan has scored fewer and fewer points every year in their games against Michigan State. They scored six points last year. I can't wait for them to score negative points in three years!

Michigan State

S&P+ rank: 5th overall; 13th offense, 8th defense

Biggest strength: Had 662 total yards of offense against Indiana, which is four yards away from the devil number, so you tell me which team does or doesn't secretly worship Satan at halftime. I bet Tevin Coleman would rush for 8,000 yards a season if he played for MSU.

Biggest weakness: Only recorded -1 yards on punt returns. Special teams win games, Dantonio!

Remaining schedule: Battle for Mitten Supremacy, or whatever their rivalry game is called against Michigan. Hold on just second, the winner of this game gets the Paul Bunyan Trophy? GET YOUR OWN THING, STATE OF MICHIGAN!

Ohio State

S&P+ rank: 8th overall; 5th offense, 19th defense

Biggest strength: Didn't give Rutgers Ebola.

Biggest weakness: Potentially kept all the Ebola for themselves. Might weaken the team later in the season. I don't know, I'm not a doctor.

Remaining schedule:

Well, which is it ESPN? T.J. or J.T.? Does Ohio State have quarterback cloning capabilities? WHO REALLY SHOT JFK, URBAN? OSU takes their genetic freak show on the road to play Penn State. If the Marvel Civil War storyline taught me anything, it's that OSU should have to register any mutants they've created with the government. Note: this screenshot was taken on Sunday night. Has no one noticed that they got the name of the quarterback of one of the most popular teams in the country wrong?

Penn State

S&P+ rank: 33rd overall; 59th offense; 16th defense

Biggest strength: Didn't lose to Michigan again this weekend.

Biggest weakness: Still lost to Michigan two weekends ago, which is like, really, really embarrassing.

Remaining schedule: Can redeem their season with a win over Ohio State at home. Christian Hackenberg only has five TDs this season. He had four against Wisconsin last year. Sports are dumb.


S&P+ rank: 42nd overall; 33rd offense, 62nd defense

Biggest strength: Learned a valuable lesson about Ebola from a science, a, oh. I guess they learned a valuable lesson on Ebola from their football coach. They also had a receiver gain exactly 100 yards which is pretty cool, I suppose.

Biggest weakness: Not getting steamrolled by TJJT Barrett and the Buckeyes. They were losing by 46 at the end of the third quarter. You can easily insert "butt" into the name of their university. A lot of weaknesses here.

Remaining schedule: Continue their "Welcome to the B1G" tour with a trip to Nebraska in a battle of "two schools that have the least in common of any two schools in the same conference in the country."

Big Ten West


S&P+ rank: 83rd overall; 72nd offense, 87th defense

Biggest strength: Had a bye. Have scored 69 (niiiiiiice) points all season. I really hope they get shutout the rest of the year.

Biggest weakness: When this gets posted, I'll be touring the new Lagunitas brewery here in Chicago. Sometimes working at a bar has its perks. Being drunk on a Monday afternoon, ostensibly "for work," is one of those times.

Remaining schedule: Home against sadness, at despair and return home for a battle with ennui.


S&P+ rank: 62nd overall; 96nd offense, 41st defense

Biggest strength: Managed to get to third down 21 different times! Using all the downs you are allotted is just smart football. It's like how Native Americans used every part of the buffalo because waste was abhorrent to them. Kirk Ferentz is like a wise, old Native American chief that only says one word every third day. That word? "Punt."

Biggest weakness: Only converted seven of those 21 third downs into first downs, which my sources tell me is "bad." They also threw the ball 56 (!) times. Iowa will drag this conference into the 21st century one down-field heave at a time.

Remaining schedule: Get a bye to lick their wounds, although I hope they read Kyle Flood's Ebola pamphlet and properly protect themselves against infection.


S&P+ rank: 36th overall; 51st offense, 33rd defense

Biggest strength: Won a wild, back-and-forth affair with Purdue that was legitimately exciting to watch. Had two receivers catch more than one pass.

Biggest weakness: Probably should have been running the ball on all of those pass completions. Proof:

Come to think of it, every team in the B1G should rethink their offensive strategy. Instead of "throwing the ball," maybe think about "running the ball" instead. Also, I don't care how feisty Purdue is, you should probably beat them by more than one point, Gophers. /hope this doesn't come back to haunt me

Remaining schedule: Play Illinois. Will rush for 400+ yards. C'est la vie.


S&P+ rank: 23rd overall; 20th offense, 31st defense

Biggest strength: Is now, legally, the only team in the conference allowed to refer to themselves as NU. Sorry Northwestern, rules are rules. It was a "loser leaves town...and can't call themselves NU anymore" match, Ameer Abdullah had four TDs.

Biggest weakness: Was losing to NW (I'm a law abiding citizen) at halftime. Fans were really drunk at my bar both Friday and Saturday night. HOLD YOUR LIQUOR BETTER, HUSKERS!

Remaining schedule: Home against Rutgers, and if they win this one, Nebraska can call themselves RU too.


S&P+ rank: 61st overall; 95th offense, 40th defense

Biggest strength: Probably made a lot in concession sales due to all the Nebraska fans at the game.

Biggest weakness: Making Wisconsin look good. What, Northwestern? You can't win one game after beating the Badgers? Smdh.

Remaining schedule: Bye week upcoming. I bet they could switch place with Bears and nobody would be able to tell the difference. TRY IT THIS WEEKEND FITZGERALD!


S&P+ rank: 66th overall; 53th offense, 76th defense

Biggest strength: They just keep getting closer and closer to ruining someone's season. If they played the Badgers while Wisconsin was undefeated (a hypothetical, fantasy world, I know), they would definitely win. Had one more total yard than Minnesota did.

Biggest weakness: Turned the ball over too much. Turnovers are bad, mmkay?

Remaining schedule: Bye week and then they play another couple of games. You can't possibly expect me to look any of this up. You can't and I won't.


S&P+ rank: 26th overall; 28th offense, 26th defense

Biggest strength: Did you know -- Joel Stave is completing under 50 percent of his passes so far this season? Melvin Gordon.

Biggest weakness: Hmmm, that first strength looks a lot like a weakness. We'll go with that for biggest weakness.

Remaining schedule: Homecoming game against a confident Maryland team. Which also happens to be my first game at Camp Randall this year. I'm a bad season ticket holder.