Last week: won vs. No. 8 Nebraska 48-17
What else can really be said about Russell Wilson? The sad thing is, because his team gets out to such lengthy leads taking the ball out of his hands, and because Montee a freaking Ball (hog) inside the 5, Wilson's total stats are hardly befitting of a Heisman winner (though his efficiency is reasonably ridiculous). Bret Bielema maintained it's a good time for the bye to get healthy, but you hate to lose that heat check.
Next: Oct. 15 vs. Indiana
2) No. 14 Nebraska (4-1, 0-1 Legends); LW, 2
Last week: lost at No. 7 Wisconsin 48-17
Your friendly Badger Nation publisher belongs to the "Taylor Martinez is an awful passer" club. On Saturday night, you'd have to think Martinez's mother was at least perusing a brochure. You can't throw three horrible picks at night in another team's house and expect positive results. The Cornhuskers are still good - it was just one game - but they'll quickly learn that defensive coordinators in their new conference are actually paid to do their jobs, unlike those in their former league.
Next: vs. Ohio State, 7 p.m. ABC
3) Iowa (3-1, 0-0 Legends); LW, 3
Last week: Idle
Weirder subplot: Bielema allowing Wilson to spend Five Good Minutes on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, or Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz filming an 11-minute ‘Just Askin' video for Sports Illustrated? Give me the latter. Bielema seems to have relaxed his tightened stance on player availability, whereas Ferentz is notoriously a closed book.
Next: at Penn State, 2:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN
4) RV Michigan State (4-1, 1-0 Legends); LW, 4
Last week: won at Ohio State 10-7
Forget its fledgling quarterback. The Spartans' defense is absolutely ransacking opposing offenses to the tune of 173 yards and 10 points a game. Nine sacks in Columbus? Whoosh. Now MSU gets a couple weeks to see if it can't work out the kinks in the passing game.
Next: Oct. 15 vs. No. 12 Michigan
5) No. 12 Michigan (5-0, 1-0 Legends); LW, 7
Last week: won vs. Minnesota 58-0
Now that's puttin' on a whoopin' for the Little Brown Jug. Brady Hoke has done everything right so far, especially since a crazy ending against Notre Dame. The Wolverines don't face Wisconsin, which means Michigan is easily set up to settle in as a top-15 fixture. The intrastate battle in two weeks should be a doozy, but first Michigan has to stay awake at Ryan Field in its first road game of the season.
Next: at Northwestern, 6 p.m. BTN
6) No. 19 Illinois (5-0, 1-0 Leaders); LW, 6
Last week: won vs. Northwestern 38-35
You know what, every now and then, it doesn't hurt to come back the way Illinois did against the Wildcats. Pumps the fanbase up, and often can spurt a team's confidence.
Next: at Indiana, 1:30 p.m. BTN
7) Ohio State (3-2, 0-1 Leaders); LW, 5
Last week: lost vs. Michigan State 10-7
Yeah, it's usually a big-enough accomplishment just to win in the Horseshoe if you're not wearing scarlet and gray. But now MSU feels empty because it missed the shutout by 10 seconds. How far has OSU fallen? With three more players suspended for the trip to Lincoln, this might spiral further.
Next: at No. 14 Nebraska, 7 p.m. ABC
8) Northwestern (2-2, 0-1 Legends); LW, 8
Last week: lost at No. 24 Illinois 38-35
On the flip side of Illinois' fueling victory is Northwestern's demoralization. Dan Persa looked excellent in his return until reaggravating his Achilles, though he's supposedly going to be okay for this weekend.
Next: vs. No. 12 Michigan, 6 p.m. BTN
9) RV Penn State (4-1, 1-0 Leaders); LW, 9
Last week: won at Indiana 16-10
Line of the month, from the Sporting News' Matt Hayes: "I'm saying it's time Penn State seriously addresses whether it wants to compete at a high level, or play footsie with the Temples of the world." That was BEFORE the Nittany Lions barely escaped Bloomington with a win. Joe Paterno, you're aging worse than Brett Favre. It's time, my man. By the way, it was funny hearing Penn State linebacker Glenn Carson call Iowa a "wrestling school", since PSU hardly resembles a football school right now.
Next: vs. Iowa, 2:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN
10) Purdue (2-2, 0-0 Leaders); LW, 10
Last week: lost vs. Notre Dame 38-10
Yeesh. A horrible effort in primetime, and then some bickering between coach Danny Hope and once-promising quarterback Robert Marve on whether Marve was making like Favre by freelancing within the system.
Next: vs. Minnesota, 11 a.m. ESPN
11) Indiana (1-4, 0-1 Leaders); LW, 12
Last week: lost vs. Penn State 16-10
Not that hanging with Penn State is what it used to be, but hey, any sign of progress in Indiana is a good thing for Kevin Wilson, whose biggest impact so far is touching gloves with local columnists and radio hosts.
Next: vs. No. 19 Illinois, 1:30 p.m. BTN
12) Minnesota (1-4, 0-1 Legends); LW, 11
Last week: lost at No. 19 Michigan 58-0
Its punter's got a booming leg. And ... Minnesota's lovely this time of year. So there's that.
Next: at Purdue, 11 a.m. ESPN