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The Big Ten in Review, Week 6: Strengths, Weaknesses and Wisconsin

I don't want to talk about it. Wait, that's not true, I want to talk about it ... just not rationally.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

I don't want to say I told you so, but Wisconsin never wins at Northwestern. In anything. Ever. And I told you so. I don't know why I picked Wisconsin to win. I knew they weren't going to. Michigan lost to Rutgers and here I am left to make fun of Wisconsin instead. I hate you, Andy Ludwig. I hate you so much.

Big Ten East


S&P+ rank: 62nd overall, 50th offense, 72nd defense

Biggest strength: Had two guys run for over 100 yards and as a team averaged 8.3 yards per carry. Beat North Texas, which isn't that impressive. They aren't even an entire state.

Biggest weakness: Every weakness for every team this week is going to be a thing I didn't like about the Wisconsin game. They had the most weaknesses and as such there will be 14 things that are weak. When Wisconsin didn't go for it on 4th-and-1 from the 48-yard line five minutes into the second quarter, I wrote down "game over" in my notebook. I'm Gregg Easterbrook.

Remaining schedule: Indiana travels to Iowa City. I hope the Hoosiers bring back some Toppling Goliath beer for me.


S&P+ rank: 51st overall, 74th offense, 38th defense

Biggest strength: Scored in every quarter. If the game was just the third quarter, they would have tied Ohio State!

Biggest weakness: Northwestern pipes the band's music through the stadium's speakers. We lost to a high school team.

Remaining schedule: Who knows? I'm pretty sure they're kicked out of the conference now since they lost their first Big Ten home game. That's a rule, right?


S&P+ rank: 37th overall, 46th offense, 30th defense

Biggest strength: I think we're done here.

One nice thing, though, is that security is quite lax. My friends brought in 1,000 beers.

Biggest weakness: Seriously, have you ever been to Ryan Field? I've seen nice stadiums that Texas high school teams play in. One nice thing, though, is that security is quite lax. My friends brought in 1,000 beers.

Remaining schedule: A whole mess of teams that the Wolverines will lose to. They return home to play Penn State. My sources tell me that you don't have to buy any Coke products to go to the game -- they are going to be dropping tickets over Ann Arbor from an airplane. Michigan is really bad.

Michigan State

S&P+ rank: 8th overall, 8th overall, 12th defense

Biggest strength: I hope you all didn't drink yourselves to sleep before this game. It was exciting! Michigan State withstood a wild Nebraska rally in the fourth quarter to win. I did not heed my own advice.

Biggest weakness: Wisconsin's defensive line was handled by Northwestern's offensive line. That probably shouldn't happen. Northwestern players came to play school! They should not be winning physical battles, too.

Remaining schedule: Plays at Purdue in a game that I can only hope features a running clock.

Ohio State

S&P+ rank: 17th overall, 6th offense, 31st defense

Biggest strength: Walloped Maryland. Zero turnovers and 8-of-14 on third downs is a good way to go through life.

Biggest weakness: The Badgers turned the ball over four times. Northwestern turned the ball over zero times. I wonder who won?

Remaining schedule: Home against 5-1 (!) Rutgers. Whenever I type "Rutgers" I always say "Buttgers" in my head. I am an adult that pays bills.

Penn State

S&P+ rank: 29th overall, 59th offense, 17th defense

Biggest strength: Didn't play and escaped CHAOS WEEKEND. Good work, Nittany Lions.

Biggest weakness: The Wisconsin part of the crowd, probably 30-40 percent of the stadium, cheered loudly when Joel Stave was put in. After the game, Gary Andersen said Wisconsin might go to a two-quarterback system. This can only end awesomely. Just like every other championship-winning football team that played two quarterbacks and all of the great ships that sailed with two captains.

Remaining schedule: You shouldn't be allowed to play Michigan coming off a bye week. That isn't fair.


S&P+ rank: 46th overall, 37th offense, 57th defense

Biggest strength: Notched its first ever Big Ten conference win. Although it will go down with an asterisk since it was against Michigan.

I wish Ohio State played the sound of a nut falling from a tree after every big play.

Biggest weakness: After every big play, Northwestern plays a wildcat roar. I hate it. I wish Ohio State played the sound of a nut falling from a tree after every big play.

Remaining schedule: I don't know. I already navigated away from the Rutgers page on ESPN. Who cares anyways? We're all just specks on a giant rock hurtling through space.

Big Ten West


S&P+ rank: 74th overall, 57th offense, 80th defense

Biggest strength: I can't imagine I have anything to put here.

Biggest weakness: Godwin Igwebuike had the second-most catches for Wisconsin, with three. Our leading receiver had four catches.

Remaining schedule: Playing the Badgers on Saturday. The Illini's starting quarterback is hurt and they're coming off a loss to Purdue. If Wisconsin loses this one ... I don't know, man. I just don't know.


S&P+ rank: 60th overall, 96th offense, 37th defense

Biggest strength: Had a bye. Probably added a third punter to the roster.

Biggest weakness: Rafael Gaglianone missed his only field goal attempt. If I don't get to see this man dance again, I'm going to be quite upset.

Remaining schedule: Home game against Indiana. #puntbattle


S&P+ rank: 28th overall, 72nd offense, 11th defense

Biggest strength: Lost to BYE. No one really escapes CHAOS WEEK.

Biggest weakness: 4.6 yards per pass attempt. Woof.

Remaining schedule: Note: I do not want this.


S&P+ rank: 25th overall, 31st offense, 28th defense

Biggest strength: Showed nice gumption in coming back to lose by five to Michigan State. Still lost, though, so I'm not sure if this is actually a strength.

Biggest weakness: Interception, punt, punt, punt, end of half. When "end of half" is the best result of any of your first half drives, you probably aren't doing so hot.

Remaining schedule: Huskers travel to Evanston. Godspeed, Nebraska.


S&P+ rank: 56th overall, 99th offense, 22nd defense

Biggest strength: Line play. Northwestern's line play was a strength in a game against Wisconsin. SMDH.

Biggest weakness: Wisconsin had one drive of double-digit plays. Northwestern had three, and all three ended in points. The Badgers' ended in a missed field goal.

Remaining schedule: Probably the Big Ten championship game. Jesus tapdancing Christ.


S&P+ rank: 84th overall, 80th offense, 78th defense

Biggest strength: Lost again and are no ... what's that? Purdue won? No. I don't believe you. Purdue lost this weekend, like every weekend.

Biggest weakness: Andy Ludwig is awful. I have nothing else to add to that sentence.

Remaining schedule: Plays Michigan State in an NCAA-sanctioned bloodbath.


S&P+ rank: 30th overall, 34th offense, 35th defense

Biggest strength: We are wasting the best running back we have (possibly) ever had. It makes me sad that Melvin Gordon has to toil away with this merry band of idiots. *glares at Ludwig*

Biggest weakness: Most things.

Remaining schedule: Basketball season starts so soon. Oh god, we are becoming Indiana fans. I HATE EVERYTHING!