I’m feeling particularly chipper this Monday morning because I, a Minnesota native and Iowa graduate, had the most stress-free October weekend I can remember in quite some time. I’m very glad the parents for the Hawkeyes and Vikings shared calendars amongst themselves and mutually agreed to take a vacation to the Wisconsin Dells together.
While this weekend didn’t offer a marquee matchup between conference brethren, we still got to stick our heads through the black holes that occupy the upper midwest, through Appalachia.
This past weekend was straight heat, where if you throwaway one bastard child of an outlier, you had an average margin of victory of around three touchdowns in the other four games, which is unfortunate, because I’m not sure if Iowa will score three touchdowns in total the rest of the year.
1. Ohio State (6-1, 4-0)
The Buckeyes are humming right now, which is hilarious and also maddening as they’ve righted the ship in what looked like a season of absolute chaos just a few weeks ago. The Buckeyes would absolutely eat Oregon alive if they squared off right now, and they are currently 17 1⁄2 point favorites over Penn State this weekend, which fucking rules.
2. & 3. The State of Michigan (14-0, 8-0)
I see no use in separately ranking Michigan and Michigan State as the battle for the Upper Peninsula looms. The Spartans enjoyed a bye, while I throughly enjoyed watching Michigan play with its food in an eventual four-score win over Northwestern that was a three-point game at half. I absolutely hate that Iowa-Wisconsin is at the same time as this one because there’s nothing I love more than watching a hyena and a black mamba fight over the corpse of a wildebeest.
4. Iowa (6-1, 3-1)
Listen, do I think Iowa belongs in this upper echelon of Big Ten-ness? Not really. For every reason Wisconsin gave me to believe that Iowa will win in Madison this weekend (Graham Mertz went 5-8 for 52 yards, Iowa won’t allow 300 yards rushing) I was also given counters to why the Badgers will come out ahead (David Bell: 6 catches for 33 yards).
Neither of these teams will die, and expect another mind-numbing showcase of the new overtime rules in full effect in Madison.
5. Minnesota (5-2, 3-1)
I guess we gotta talk about the Gophers, who’d be looking somewhat dangerous were it not for the hilarious loss to Bowling Green. It’s not like whomping Maryland earns you any sort of trophies, but winning handily with your third and fourth string running backs, Tanner Morgan, and the entire Minnesota defense is a feat that must be acknowledged all by itself.
6. Wisconsin (4-3, 2-2)
I’m gonna be so fucking mad when we lose to this team.
7. Illinois (3-5, 2-3)
We just need to take the time here to acknowledge Illinois played a perfect football game against an imperfect team, rendering us Eskimo Brothers with these FIB’s for the season. Nearly 400 yards of rushing and almost 40 yards of passing was enough to beat Penn State, an absolute joke of a team with a joke of a fanbase and a pisspants attitude about life.
8. Nebraska (3-5, 1-4)
Nebraska had a bye, handing them the second-biggest victory on the weekend.
9. Purdue (4-3, 2-2)
Unlike Penn State, Purdue beat Iowa. Which again, will be even more frustrating as Iowa throughly struggles with Wisconsin for at least 60 minutes in a few days.
10. Penn State (5-2, 2-2)
Penn State, the bottom feeder of the Big Ten’s ACC division, only gets to be this high because everyone else stinks. I have no more words really for this program as of now, because if I did, that’d mean I’d have to spend my days inhaling nitrous and not paying alimony.
Remember how for the last two weeks all we heard from Penn State fans was about Iowa would’ve gotten stomped if not for an injured Sean Clifford?
And I promise* this’ll be the last time you see me posting screenshots from BSD because:
11. Maryland (4-3, 1-3)
I saw a Tweet or a sign on TV that said something to the effect of “Maryland has store brand Tua,” and yeah, that’s about right.
12. Northwestern (3-4, 1-3)
They get points for keeping it close for a half with Michigan, which means Iowa-Northwestern will be an absolute nail-biter next weekend.
13. Rutgers (3-4, 1-4)
14. Indiana (2-5, 0-4)
Ya just gotta feel really bad for Indiana here, which likely boasted the most talented team in school history that had the bad luck of getting broken over Iowa’s knee in week one. The best Cincinnati team of all time reset all those broken bones two weeks later, and the Hoosiers haven’t been able to come up for air since. There’s still winnable games left on the schedule, but at what cost? Michael Penix Jr. died for this, and that makes me incredibly sad.
*My only rule in life is that current Ben will never make a promise future Ben can’t keep.