Last week: won vs. Purdue 62-17
"Lot of weird stuff going on today," mused Craig James once the Purdue slaughtering was getting out of hand. He, of course, was referring to pretty much every other Big Ten game except the one he was calling for ABC and ESPN. The Badgers took care of business, which will be a common theme the rest of the season.
Next: at Minnesota, 2:30 p.m. BTN
2) No. 12 Penn State (8-1, 5-0 Leaders); LW, 5
Last week: Idle
If Joe Paterno coaches this game, Penn State and everybody associated with Penn State is a mockery and a sham. And that's all there is to say about that.
Next: vs. No. 19 Nebraska, 11 a.m. ESPN
3) No. 19 Nebraska (7-2, 3-2 Legends); LW, 1
Last week: lost vs. Northwestern 28-25
The Cornhuskers clearly weren't ready for the Big Ten Conference's style of play, which is interesting since Nebraska fits the Big Ten better than any other former or present Big XII member. (Let's see Oklahoma State stay unbeaten against Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State, etc. with that excuse for a defense.) But Northwestern? Bullying the Black Shirts? We must live in bizarro world. Nebraska should be an angry team heading into Not-So-Happy Valley.
Next: at No. 12 Penn State, 11 a.m. ESPN
4) No. 13 Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 Legends); LW, 3
Last week: won vs. Minnesota 31-24
Wipe your brow, Sparty. Getting outplayed at home by a far, far inferior opponent doesn't bode well for the future, even if you play the good-teams-find-ways-to-win card. Something's just not right with MSU, which is solidifying a rep for playing to its opponent's level.
Next: at Iowa, 11 a.m. ESPN2
5) No. 22 Michigan (7-2, 3-2 Legends); LW, 4
Last week: lost at Iowa 24-16
And the weird thing is, Michigan in defeat actually looked better than its two prime rivals in victory. A defeat at Kinnick is hardly cause for hefty concern, though Denard Robinson has been reduced to an exciting player for the eyes yet poisonous for a faint-at-heart coaching staff.
Next: at Illinois, 2:30 p.m. ESPN
6) RV Iowa (6-3, 3-2 Legends); LW, 7
Last week: won vs. No. 13 Michigan 24-16
Like, how much do those Iowa State and Minnesota losses hurt now? The Cyclones loss lingered far too long, stripping Iowa of any chance soon after in University Park. And no, seriously, the Minnesota loss? Iowa could have been looking at Penn State's position of a quiet 8-1. Only in the Hawkeyes' case, their schedule is far less daunting leading up to Turkey Day.
Next: vs. No. 13 Michigan State, 11 a.m. ESPN2
7) RV Ohio State (6-3, 3-2 Leaders); LW, 6
Last week: won vs. Indiana 34-20
Just like Michigan State, an uninspiring victor. And oh, look, they're bowl-eligible now. Still seems like Outback Bowl material.
Next: at Purdue, 11 a.m. BTN
8) Northwestern (4-5, 2-4 Legends); LW, 9
Last week: won at No. 9 Nebraska 28-25
Dan Colter looks like he'd be a fun partner with whom to do all of the following: play football. Watch football in the stands. Watch football on television. Attend a mixed martial arts match. Thumb wrestle. Play Mario Kart. Attend book club.
Next: vs. Rice, 11 a.m. BTN
9) Minnesota (2-7, 1-4 Legends); LW, 11
Last week: lost at No. 15 Michigan State 31-24
MarQueis Gray is maturing, and he's just a tough matchup. If that completion percentage was higher than just over half his throws, Minnesota would be closer to winning half its games.
Next: vs. No. 16 Wisconsin, 2:30 p.m. BTN
10) Illinois (6-3, 2-3 Leaders); LW, 10
Last week: Idle
Can't imagine the bye week was a fun one for Ron Zook's boys. Even though it was the State schools' turn to look poor, the Illini badly need a strong performance against the visiting Wolverines, especially with having two weeks to prepare for the aforementioned Robinson.
Next: vs. No. 22 Michigan, 2:30 p.m. ESPN
11) Purdue (4-5, 2-3 Leaders); LW, 8
Last week: lost at No. 19 Wisconsin 62-17
Three spots too harsh a knockdown? Perhaps not. Somebody had to be the sacrificial lamb who dared enter Camp Randall against a proud team wanting to take out the cheese grater on somebody out of frustration. But let's face facts: Purdue's just bad.
Next: vs. Ohio State, 11 a.m. BTN
12) Indiana (1-9, 0-6 Leaders); LW, 12
Last week: lost at Ohio State 34-20
After the bye - which, by the way, is favored by three touchdowns over the hapless Hoosiers - Indiana has one last chance to play spoiler and/or make a statement in East Lansing. A lost season either way under Kevin Wilson.
Next: Nov. 19 at Michigan State
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