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B5Q Roundtable: recap of a wild (?) week in the Big Ten

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Our writers got together to discuss how the most recent Badgers-less weekend of college football went.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A pretty boring weekend of college football, all things considered, had a couple of God awful Big Ten games that we felt the need to discuss more, a fun Civil War and some takes about whether or not Ohio State should still be No. 4 when the next CFP rankings come out. J.J., Belz, Owen and Drew got together virtually to chat about all of this and to put a nice bow on the most recent week of college football.

What does Northwestern losing to Michigan State say about Wisconsin?

J.J.: I don’t think it says a ton to be entirely honest. At least not enough to over-analyze. Northwestern played a good game against a sloppy Wisconsin team. They then played a sloppy game themselves against a Michigan State team that was able to stay out of its own way. Obviously the Badgers’ play shouldn’t all be just chalked up to injuries when preparation and decision making by players and coaches was also a pretty major factor, but I also don’t think the Northwestern team played the same across the last two weeks.

Owen: I agree with what J.J. said. More of an indictment on how Wisconsin performed against a solid NW team that wasn’t going to beat themselves. They beat themselves against Michigan State, who just managed to not lose it. Northwestern were frauds we knew this.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Michigan State Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Belz: I am in agreement with J.J. and Owen. Northwestern has skated by this season in all of their wins outside of Maryland, and the Badgers absolutely gift wrapped the game last weekend with five turnovers. Wisconsin had a clunker last week, and Northwestern had their own this week. These things happen in college football.

Drew: I don’t know if Wisconsin is as good as some of the advanced metrics say, and Northwestern beat the Badgers by 10 points, but if those two teams played 10 times I’d guess the Badgers win at least seven of them. The Spartans only turned the ball over once, compared to NU turning it over twice and Wisconsin turning the ball over, conservatively, 1,000 times against the Wildcats. That’s the difference in the game(s) and I think that’s what Northwestern losing to MSU says about the Badgers.

If you replayed the Michigan/Penn State game but switched the head coaches so Jim Harbaugh was on the PSU sideline and James Franklin was on the Wolverines’ sideline. Who would win?

J.J.: People who decided to spend Thanksgiving weekend with their families.

Owen: Las Vegas, that’s about it.

Belz: ABC, because that would have given them another talking point to discuss in that futile game.

Drew: Sickos. Only the sickos would win.

Nebraska is scheduled to play Buffalo next season. Buffalo’s junior running back Jaret Patterson just rushed for 409 yards and eight touchdowns on Saturday. Assuming he doesn’t go pro, what will Paterson’s stat line be against the Huskers?

J.J.: I’d figure they’d limit his carries to save him from straining himself after multiple 75+ yard runs, so he probably wouldn’t break 30 attempts. That being said, he’d probably easily break the 500 yard barrier and, since Nebraska has such a propensity for history, make some himself and score 10 touchdowns.

Owen: He’d start slow, maybe even a fumble in the first quarter. But early in the second quarter he’d have a long touchdown run where he hurdles a Nebraska defender down the right sideline, and he’d eventually get pulled after the 3rd quarter with 408 yards and….. wait. No, yeah, this hasn’t happened before.

NCAA Football: Dollar General Bowl-Buffalo vs Troy John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Belz: I think Patterson’s stats will depend upon if Leipold stays, and if Jaret is allowed to play in the fourth quarter. If the stars align for both of those things, hoo boy buckle up for some fun and Nebraska tears.

Drew: I think a nice 420 yards on 61 carries (for a rounded up 6.9 ypc) and nine TDs sounds like the bare minimum he’d get against Nebraska.

Which game was the most interesting from the holiday weekend?

J.J.: Oregon/Oregon State was, if nothing else, incredibly interesting. Some incredibly bad refereeing, the underdog team scoring a last second touchdown, and a backup quarterback playing the hero on the first snap of his college career? You’ve got to love it.

Owen: JJ is right, so I’m going to say the Iron Bowl. Not interesting from the score, but that Alabama made a major statement that they’re the team to beat this season. Alabama is BACK.

Belz: The Oregon/Oregon State is the obvious answer here, especially the final three minutes of chaos, but I will say the Iowa State/Texas game. The Cyclones took down the Longhorns in Austin, and basically punched their ticket for the Big-12 Championship in a nailbiter.

Drew: Yeah, the Civil War was great. You couldn’t see anything for half the game either which gave it a mysterious and sexy vibe tbqh. However, the game I found most interesting was UK at Florida. The Gators were about to be down 10-7 going into halftime until Kadarius Toney returned a punt for a touchdown with 42 seconds left in the half. In the second half, the Gators outscored the Cats 20-0 and I ::gulps:: think they could give Alabama trouble in the SEC Championship game.

Should Texas A&M or Florida jump Ohio State for the No. 4 spot in the CFP rankings?

J.J.: My heart says yes, my brain says no. I know Ohio State didn’t play this week, and both the Aggies and Gators mustered up fairly convincing wins, but I’m still not convinced that with all the talent OSU has, and the way they’ve played in games so far, that either Florida or A&M are better teams. But I cannot stress enough that I am very very open to being proved wrong on this front.

Owen: No. Texas A&M beat a clearly struggling LSU team while their QB went like 11-30 or something. I really like TAMU but not worthy of jumping Ohio State. Florida beat up on Kentucky who was COVID ravaged, but have a much better argument. Ultimately, Florida controls their own destiny when they’ll play Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Florida Gainesville Sun-USA TODAY NETWORK

Belz: I am with Owen. I think the argument for Florida has some merit, but let’s be honest OSU would be a sizable favorite on a neutral field. A&M doesn’t have a reliable enough offense for me to buy into them yet, so until things change I think Ohio State is still one of the best four teams in the country.

Drew: I think Florida SHOULD jump into the No. 4 spot, but I don’t think they will. Despite calls of SEC BIAS by people on the internet there is probably an even greater OHIO STATE BIAS out there. Until the Buckeyes lose, they aren’t moving from the No. 4 spot.