Week seven of the season is in the books, and I think we have, for once, a pretty good idea for how the conference looks and the way things may shake out for the rest of the year.
This is of course college football we’re talking about here, and no one knows anything at all, probably. Here is how we see the conference following the weekend’s games. I actually feel good about some of these!
- Ohio State 6-0, 3-0: I was at that Ohio State-Wisconsin game, and it was really special. The Buckeyes needed J.T. Barrett to have arguably the best game of his career to come out with a win, but I mean taking what is likely a playoff team into overtime is no small feat. Keep your schedule free for when Ohio State and Michigan square off.
2. Michigan 6-0, 3-0: Michigan had the week off, and the Wolverines don’t really have another tough game until they play … Iowa (?!) in three weeks. If the Hawkeyes can get it together, that sure would be something else. Let’s just see what the Hawks can do this week against …
3. Wisconsin 4-2, 1-2: Wisconsin could very well be the best two-loss team in the nation. I sort of expected the Badgers to get blown out, but I am glad that game was close. I wonder where Wisconsin’s run of consecutive games against Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska rank in toughest four-game slates in college football history. I’m pretty nervous for when Bucky comes to Iowa City this weekend. The Hawkeyes will have their hands full.
4. Nebraska 6-0, 3-0: I think we can all agree that Nebraska is a little overrated with signature wins over a troubled Oregon squad and an average Indiana team, but 6-0 is 6-0, and here they are. They still have Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State and the schedule, so I fully expect the Huskers to return to reality pretty soon here.
5. Indiana 3-3, 1-2: At first I had Northwestern in this slot, but I just couldn’t stomach that so here’s Indiana. The Hoosiers played Nebraska close, thanks in large part to Tommy Armstrong returning to Tommy Armstrong form. Indiana has four very winnable games in front of them in Northwestern, Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State. Bowl eligibility for Indiana. Love it.
6. Northwestern 3-3, 2-1: You beat a crap Michigan State team, Northwestern. Congrats. Have fun in your next three games against Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
7. Iowa 5-2, 3-1: And here come the Hawkeyes, fresh of a signature win over Purdue. You know you did something right when the other team is forced to fire its coach immediately after getting hosed by you. The Purdue game was a nice little tune-up for Wisconsin next week, where we’ll truly know where the future lays for these Hawkeyes.
8. Penn State 4-2, 3-1: And this is where things get gross. The Nittany Lions are coming off a bye, and have Ohio State at home this week. After that they could very well win their remaining games of the season against Purdue, Iowa, Indiana, Rutgers and Michigan State, but I doubt that.
9. Minnesota 4-2, 1-2: Minnesota is just fine. That’s all I really have to say about the Goofers. They still have to play Wisconsin and Nebraska, and I don’t see wins happening there. Another year of mediocre Minnesota football like clockwork.
10. Maryland 4-2, 1-2: So the #SpecialSeason for Maryland is officially over after losing to Minnesota’s second-string QB, right?
11. Illinois 2-4, 1-2: Well the Illini did beat Rutgers by more than Iowa did …
12. Michigan State 2-4, 0-3: Oh no, Sparty. With the exception of Rutgers, it’s very possible Michigan State doesn’t win another game on its schedule. Everyone saw that coming.
13. Purdue 3-3, 1-2: I really did want to put Purdue last on here for what Iowa did to the Boilers, but I’m keeping them at 13 simply because the chance for Purdue to get Les Miles is terrifying.
14. Rutgers 2-5, 0-4: This will not change. Those are all the words I’m affording to Rutgers football.