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Embracing the Big Ten's strengths, weaknesses and Purdue

The SEC thinks it can dominate the college football landscape? Well, we here at Bucky's 5th Quarter will stand for it no longer! The Big Ten plays football, too (except in Indiana; I don't think they've ever had football in the state of Indiana).

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After another week of disgraceful Big Ten football, it can be disheartening to look at the conference we call home and feel even a shred of pride. Monday, SB Nation's Bill Connelly and Ryan Nanni (née Celebrity Hot Tub) took a look at how good the SEC West is and how present the SEC East is this year, and yet again the Big Ten is left behind.

I will not stand for it any longer!

The Big Ten is a wonderful and historic conference full of champions! You all remember the back-to-back-to-back national champion Minnesota dynasty of 1934-36? Even Alabama took a year off when winning three of four national titles. Big Ten 1, SEC 0.

This year, the Big Ten is in shambles but still insistent on playing out the rest of the season. Since the mainstream, national SB Nation media won't report on the best academic conference in the country, we will do it for them. Here's how the Big Ten ranks in offense, defense and remaining schedule.

Big Ten East


S&P+ rank: 38th overall; 44th offense, 37th defense

Biggest strength: Its defense has outperformed its offense, which can't possibly be true, but that's what the numbers say.

Biggest weakness: Road games against MAC teams.

Remaining schedule: Big matchup against Pitt in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and playing Louisville in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden loom before the Hoosiers open up Big Ten play against Nebraska, which only lost once at home last year.


S&P+ rank: 51st overall; 88th offense, 26th defense

Biggest strength: New uniforms with song lyrics on them. Hopefully Logic is next!

Biggest weakness: Home games against Big East teams. Wait, what conference is West Virginia in?

Remaining schedule: The Terps don't play Purdue, so they might not win a game the rest of the season. But they probably will because they get Rutgers at home, where tickets are going for as low as $5.25! CATCH THE FEVER, MARYLAND!


S&P+ rank: 24th overall; 22nd offense, 45th defense

Biggest strength: Assembling the quietest 100,000+ people in the world every Saturday at Michigan Stadium. Bring a book, for the boredom and the silence.

Biggest weakness: This will be the only time that Michigan will appear in a top-25 poll for football all season, unless the AP takes to ranking Michigan Man-ness. Then Michigan will rank second, behind Stanford.

Remaining schedule: You can't make me look up the rest of Michigan's schedule. YOU AREN'T MY REAL DAD! A loss against a state university in Ohio to end the season is assured, though.

Michigan State

S&P+ rank: 7th overall; 9th offense, 23rd defense

Biggest strength: The sterling quarterback play of Connor Cook. He has one incomplete pass at home all season. If he keeps that up, I bet it's at least a school record.

Biggest weakness: Isn't Michigan. Nevermind, that's actually a strength. I don't know, their mascot is stupid?

Remaining schedule: They don't play Wisconsin due to realignment (lame) and they don't have to play Oregon again (I don't think) so they should probably end up with a pretty good record.

Ohio State

S&P+ rank: 17th overall; 12th offense, 43rd defense

Biggest strength: Haven't lost a single player to the Thunderdome that is living in Ohio. Say what you will about Urban Meyer, but he has to be commended for that.

Biggest weakness: Beating teams that lose to East Carolina at home.

Remaining schedule: They have three night games in a row, which is total bull because Wisconsin has none. They thankfully dodge ECU this year, too.

Penn State

S&P+ rank: 27th overall; 81st offense, 5th defense

Just by reading this sentence with his name in it, you've signed to play for James Franklin's Nittany Lions next year

Biggest strength: Being bowl eligible! Recruiting. Just by reading this sentence with his name in it, you've signed to play for James Franklin's Nittany Lions next year. Welcome aboard, son.

Biggest weakness: Anything on offense. Holy balls, was that game against Rutgers unwatchable. AND I WATCHED THE WHOLE THING.

Remaining schedule: Sitting atop the conference at 3-0, PSU is in the driver's seat for a berth in the Big Ten Champ...oops, and they lost to Michigan. Way to go, idiots.


S&P+ rank: 67th overall; 43rd offense, 96th defense

Biggest strength: Apologizing.

Biggest weakness: Backing up their trash talk.

Remaining schedule: Brutal.

Big Ten West


S&P+ rank: 69th overall; 67th offense, 75th defense

Biggest strength: Umm, plays in the Big Ten conference? Shit, that might not be a strength.

Biggest weakness: Located in central Illinois, which despite its looks is close to Chicago, but can't get any kids from Chicago to come play sports there.

Remaining schedule: Welcomes Texas State to Champaign this weekend. My cousin went to Texas State and he's a cop now. I hope he arrests Illinois' whole team for stealing three hours of time on Saturday.


S&P+ rank: 41st overall; 75th offense, 15th defense

Biggest strength: The defense is stout. They made Playboy's top-10 party schools.

Biggest weakness: The offense is Ferentz'd.

Remaining schedule: I elect to punt this category in honor of Iowa.


S&P+ rank: 57th overall; 98th offense, 19th defense

Biggest strength: Got an all-expenses-paid trip to Texas last weekend. Play in the same stadium as an NFL team. Might get to meet Teddy Bridgewater! Coach looks like their mascot.

Biggest weakness: Man, that was a lot of strengths for a team that is terrible and I hate. Sorry, guys, I guess I'm going to write for The Daily Gopher now.

Remaining schedule: Haven't beaten Wisconsin in over a decade.


S&P+ rank: 25th overall; 54th offense, 20th defense

Biggest strength: Their coach has a cat

Biggest strength: Their coach has a cat. They have a funny fake Twitter account for said coach. Seriously, check out @FauxPelini -- dude spits hot fire. Undefeated and ranked.

Biggest weakness: Fans don't care for hip-hop.

Remaining schedule: Have already lost four games this year. I don't care that they've only played three games this year.


S&P+ rank: 61st overall; 86th offense, 35th defense

Biggest strength: Chicago's favorite Big Ten team... if you discount Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, the University of Chicago, Nebraska, Indiana and Notre Dame.

Biggest weakness: I just realized that only Illinois has a higher-rated offense than defense in the West division. No wonder no kids from the south want to come play in this stupid conference.

Remaining schedule: Another directional Illinois that might beat them. Chicago's Big Ten team, Notre Dame, is in the mix, too.


S&P+ rank: 92nd overall; 83rd offense, 95th defense

Biggest strength: Purdue runs the saddest spread offense in America, and that is something to hang your hat on.

Biggest weakness: Everything. I don't feel the need to expound on that.

Remaining schedule: Who cares? I'm pretty sure I said earlier that they don't play football in Indiana. Let's see how Robbie Hummel is doing in the pros. Cool, he plays for the Timberwolves now. Good for him!


S&P+ rank: 29th overall; 31st offense, 40th defense

Biggest strength: Didn't play last weekend, so they didn't lose.

Biggest weakness: Press conferences. Telling the truth. Giving it to Melvin Gordon always.

Remaining schedule: They get to play at Northwestern in a couple of weeks. Hit me up if you come to Chicago, we'll grab a beer!

Remember, the SEC dominates the news cycle because we let them. And because they are better than us at football.