Ohio State: It wasn’t a convincing win, but it was another win against a top 25 team. The Buckeyes went on the road and beat an underappreciated Minnesota squad. Ohio State needs to keep winning and they very well could find themselves in the inaugural college football playoff.
Michigan State: The Spartans won convincingly on the road against Maryland last weekend. It is highly likely that head coach Mark Dantonio will be leading his team to one of the top six bowls this season.
Wisconsin: No team in the country had a better weekend than the Badgers. They started out down 17-3, only to go on a 56-0 run. It was a beat down of epic proportions. Heisman frontrunner Melvin Gordon set an FBS rushing record with 408 yards. He now leads the nation 1909 rushing yards, still with two games to play.
Nebraska: No team in the country had a worse weekend than the Huskers. Bo Pelini “hot seat” talk is back on the national scene, despite leading his team to an 8-2 record. It is as if people haven’t seen several top programs in the nation get blown out this season. With that said, it is clearly a pattern with Pelini and Husker faithful have grown beyond tired of the trend.
MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers are one of the more underrated teams in the country. Much of that is their own fault, as they didn’t show up to play against a horrid Illinois team. If they had won that easy game a lot more respect will be there. They have a good opportunity to earn more by beating Nebraska in Lincoln this weekend.
MARYLAND: They suffered a tough defeat to Michigan State, but still have the opportunity to finish their first year in the Big Ten with a very respectable 8-4 record. They simply have to win in Ann Arbor to face Michigan and then welcome Rutgers to town. Most people in Terrapin Nation would be very satisfied with an 8-4 season.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes sit at 7-3 with Wisconsin and Nebraska left. They get to play both of those teams at home and are in prime position to play spoiler to both of the top teams in the Big Ten West. The question remains the same, which Iowa team will show up to play the Huskers and Badgers?
Penn State: Sanctions have been dropped and six wins have been achieved, the Nittany Lions are going bowling this postseason. They beat Temple by 17 last weekend and travel to Illinois on Saturday. If they can win and secure a 7-win season it will be a pretty good start to head coach James Franklin’s tenure.
MICHIGAN: The Wolverines sit at 5-5 and have Maryland and Ohio State left on the schedule. Most people assume Brady Hoke’s future has already been decided and he is on his way out. This is probably true, but if he fails to win at least one of his next two games and ends the year with a 5-7 record he is certainly doomed.
Northwestern: What Big Ten team took down Notre Dame? Of course it was 4-6 Northwestern who went to South Bend and got the win. It was a great game and a valiant performance from the Wildcats. It once seemed highly unlikely that Northwestern would make a bowl game, now it is probable as they only need to beat Purdue and Illinois. Can head coach Pat Fitzgerald get his team to perform their last two weeks?
RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights beat Indiana with 45-23 by winning the turnover battle 3-1. It got them the coveted sixth win and a spot in a bowl game. Head coach Kyle Flood could have had a much worse season than he did in their first year in the Big Ten. The question is can he start locking down his own state in recruiting in order to get enough talent to really compete in the Big Ten.
PURDUE: The Boilermakers are on a four game losing streak, but they are also coming off a bye week. Two winnable games are ahead of them. Can head coach Darrel Hazell finally turn improved play into a win against Northwestern this weekend?
ILLINOIS: The Fighting Illini are 1-5 in their last six games, which is actually better than expected. They got a surprising victory against Minnesota and you can bet Illinois is hoping for more of that magic.
INDIANA: The Hoosiers travel to Columbus to face the Buckeyes. Expect Ohio State to post a great score for the playoff committee to gaze at.