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The Big Ten's strengths, weaknesses and Michigan

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We're back with another week of Big Ten football and this time there are a few nice things to say!

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As a conference, the Big Ten had its best Saturday of the season three days ago. Trust me when I tell you this next statistic is not a typo, but every team (that played) in the Big Ten won. Now you might be saying, "Hold on there, Drew. I saw the final score of the Michigan game and they scored way less points than Utah did." To that, I offer this rebuttal: I don't give a damn about the whole state of Michigan -- the whole state of Michigan. Also, it's "way FEWER points," ya dingus. You'd never get into Michigan.

Big Ten East


S&P+ rank: 39th overall; 40th offense, 32th defense

Biggest strength: I get to talk about Indiana right off the bat because the Hoosiers are first in the Big Ten's alphabet., which starts at "I," only includes "M" "N" "O" "P" "R" and "W" and doesn't recognize any of the other, better letters that run cooler offenses and comprise things like DX. Anyway, it's good that I get to talk about Indiana first because the Hoosiers notched the conference's best win of the season! They went on the road and beat the 18th-ranked Missouri Tigers of the SEC! Holy butt, those were two wild sentences to write. Tevin Coleman is also a strength.

Biggest weakness: None. Indiana should probably win the Big Ten and go to the playoff.

Remaining schedule: Doesn't matter. Indiana could beat the '85 Bears defense paired with the '07 Patriots offense right now.


S&P+ rank: 46th overall; 56th offense, 40th defense

Biggest strength: How much the Terrapins love their new conference.

Biggest weakness: Gave up 370 rushing yards to Syracuse.

Remaining schedule: Wisconsin is on there and that can't be good for the Terps' rushing defense


S&P+ rank: 32nd overall; 19th offense, 51st defense


Biggest weakness: Drainage.

Remaining schedule: My uncle went to Michigan and alerted me to a thread on MGoBlog that suggested the Wolverines look at Jim Tressel to be their next coach. Michigan is home against Minnesota next week. I bet Laurence Maroney plays well.

Michigan State

S&P+ rank: 12th overall; 10th offense, 25th defense

Biggest strength: Even with a bye week to prepare, MSU only scored 73 points against Eastern Michigan. Get it together, Spartans.

Biggest weakness: Only forced six turnovers. Get it together, Spartans.

Remaining schedule: A 3-1 Wyoming team that only gave up two more points to Oregon than Michigan State did. I fully expect MSU to win 2-0. They also play at Purdue, which is bad for morale.

Ohio State

S&P+ rank: 17th overall; 17th offense, 19th defense

Biggest strength: Probably enjoyed tweeting mean things on Saturday night to friends who went to Michigan.

Biggest weakness: Most of the tweets probably contained multiple spelling errors.

Remaining schedule: In a recent interview, Urban Meyer said that he was "mentally broke" while coaching at Florida. If he stays in Ohio much longer, he will be financially broke due to the strong-arm robberies.

Penn State

S&P+ rank: 33rd overall; 25th offense, 41st defense

Biggest strength: Wore the same sharp uniforms they've been wearing since Millard Fillmore was in office while steam-rolling UMass. Also, still undefeated, I suppose.

Biggest weakness: Christian Hackenberg averaged only 1.8 yards per carry. Tanner McEvoy averaged 14.4. You tell me who the better pro prospect is!

Remaining schedule: Opens up conference play with the dregs of the conference, Northwestern and Michigan, in back to back weeks.


S&P+ rank: 52nd overall; 54th offense, 45th defense

Kudos on the self-restraint, Gary.

Biggest strength: Gary Nova didn't throw any interceptions against Navy on Saturday and he loves throwing interceptions. Kudos on the self-restraint, Gary.

Biggest weakness: Won't ever work for any Naval Academy graduates because Naval Academy graduates don't run seedy t-shirt stands down the shore. PHILADELPHIA EUPHEMISM ALERT: People from Philadelphia say "I'm going down the shore this weekend" instead of "I am going to the beach this weekend." I look to inform you, dear readers, as much as I entertain.

Remaining schedule: Rutgers plays Tulane next week. I'm still not 100 percent convinced Tulane isn't a front for organized crime in New Orleans.

Big Ten West


S&P+ rank: 75th overall; 63rd offense, 84th defense

Biggest strength: The Illini won and are somehow 3-1 on the season.

Biggest weakness: I didn't watch a single second of this game, and I hope you didn't, either. It appears that Texas State probably could have (should have?) won this game. The Bobcats roughed the Illini kicker in the fourth quarter to give Illinois another chance on offense, which it turned into a touchdown. Later, Texas State QB Tyler Jones threw a costly pick-six on the ensuing drive. Whatever, I've already looked at this box score for over five minutes and I'm getting agita.

Remaining schedule: I played as Texas State in NCAA Dynasty Mode, and hooo boy, does Tyler Jones go on to win some Heismans.


S&P+ rank: 44th overall; 59th offense, 31st defense

Biggest strength: Came back to knock off *checks notes* Pitt? Iowa's celebrating a comeback victory over Pitt? Nope. Iowa has no strengths this week.

Biggest weakness: The sad state of affairs that is celebrating a comeback victory over Pitt. Jake Rudock is also a weakness.

Remaining schedule: Probably a bunch of teams that will beat them except for one kind of good team that they'll beat. pleasedontbeWisconsinpleasedontbeWisconsinpleasedontbeWisconsinpleasedontbeWisconsinpleasedontbeWisconsinpleasedontbeWisconsinpleasedontbeWisconsinpleasedontbeWisconsin


S&P+ rank: 63rd overall; 48th offense, 72nd defense

If you need more than one guess, you'll have guessed more times than the Gophers completed a pass.

Biggest strength: The rushing attack. I'm going to give you one guess as to how many passes Minnesota completed on Saturday. If you need more than one guess, you'll have guessed more times than the Gophers completed a pass.

Biggest weakness: 1-of-7, 7 yards, zero touchdowns and one pick. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Minnesota's backup quarterback completed an equal amount of passes to both teams! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Remaining schedule: The Gophers should have only been up 10-7 at halftime if it weren't for the derpitude of the San Jose State quarterback. Minnesota has played one real team this year and gotten spanked; they continues their string of cupcakes with a matchup at Michigan on Saturday.


S&P+ rank: 31st overall; 35th offense, 29th defense

Biggest strength: Another decent out-of-conference win for the Big Ten ... if Miami were still in the Big East! I'm trying out a new Triumph the Insult Comic Dog routine. Please give notes in the comments. Also, Miami hasn't won a conference title since they left the Big East. ACC! ACC! ACC! ACC!

Biggest weakness: Ameer Abdullah only carried the ball 35 times. I'd give it to him 50 times minimum the rest of the season.

Remaining schedule: A game against Illinois that starts at 8 p.m. CT? Who the hell is staying up that late to watch Big Ten Football? Not Nebraska fans, that's for sure. They can't be bothered with something that starts four hours after dinner.


S&P+ rank: 68th overall; 73rd offense, 65th defense

Biggest strength: Not offense. Woof, are the Wildcats bad on offense. Although they rushed for 166 yards against Western Illinois. Wisconsin rushed for 167. Notched one in the win column.

Biggest weakness: I'm gonna say offense. Northwestern averages 115 yards per game rushing, which is 106th-best in the nation. On the bright side, that's 17th-best in the NFL. TAKE THAT, 49ERS!

Remaining schedule: Northwestern gets Wisconsin at home. I'm going to the game. The Wildcats are going to win. I already know all of this; there is no need to talk about it anymore. Wisconsin hasn't won there since 1849. We got the first game at home in 1848.


S&P+ rank: 93rd overall; 92nd offense, 97th defense

Biggest strength: Went for a needless two-point conversion in the second quarter. Somewhere, Bert is smiling.

Biggest weakness: Let some guy named MyCole Pruitt catch 10 passes. He's the selfish version of Arvydas Sabonis.

Remaining schedule: Home against Iowa this week in what is sure to be appointment view...ZZZZZZZZZZZ


S&P+ rank: 15th overall; 15th offense, 20th defense

Biggest strength: Melvin "THAT'S A MAN'S RUN" Gordon.

Biggest weakness: Not breaking records. You shouldn't have made them so fragile!

Remaining schedule: OMG, did you guys see that the game against Northwestern is at 2:30!?! /chugs 100 beers in celebration AND at the tailgate.