Going into Week Five of the 2010 College Football Season, there were six ranked Big Ten teams and coming out of it there are just five. You kind of figured Penn State didn't have much of a prayer against Iowa in Iowa City, but the slate of games this week turned out to be a lot more exciting than anyone bargained for. Nail biters in Champaign, Bloomington, Minnesota, and (to a lesser extent) East Lansing. We took in a lot of football this weekend, here's what we got out of it.
#2 Ohio State 24 at Illinios 13 - Did I call it or what?
This one has the potential to be a lot closer than it should. There's just something screwy about a game like this.
This was a lot closer than it was supposed to be. Whatever crazy ass voodoo Zook is practicing these days seems to be payig off against ranked teams. Illinois was competitive yet again against an Ohio State team that should've carpet bombed them. To top it off, Terrelle Pryor looked incredibly pedestrian after a 66 yard touchdown run. I realize saying the later after saying the former seems to negate my point, but bare with me. Pryor got banged up, only passed for 76 yards on 16 attempts. Even though he raked in a pair of TD's he also threw a pick, all while looking totally confused as to what type of pass coverage Illinois was throwing at him. Ohio State only managed to gain above 50 more yards than Illinois and Pryor was the only Buckeye capable of running the ball consistently. Daniel Herron racked up 95 yards on 21 carries, but the Bucks' inability to generate a real running game may be an Achilles heel going forward. But getting back to Pryor, he may be a special athlete, but he had a rough game on Saturday and if he's injured to the point that he can't run this buckeye offense may be in for a really rough ride over the next few weeks.
#11 Wisconsin 24 at #24 Michigan State 34- DAMN YOU CHEESEHEADS! I PICKED YOU TO WIN THE CONFERENCE AND YOU GO OUT AND SUCK LIKE THAT!? Just for that I'm traveling to Middleton Wisconsin and stealing all the Capital Brewery Beer in the state and taking it home with me. That is your punishment. I waffled on this one saying the Badgers would win by four, [b]ut this could easily go the other way. Actually, punishment is a pretty good description of what went on in East Lansing. The Badgers were as inept as Lindsay Lohan's defense team. MSU outgained the Badgers by over 150 yards, held the ball for 13 more minutes, and couldn't win the game despite picking up three MSU turnovers. The game proved two things. First, Wisconsin is a lot more mediocre than I originally thought. Second, Michigan State is a pretty damn good ball team. The Spartans dominated every phase of the game, even the running game where MSU's stable of backs completely outshone last season's Big Ten offensive player of the year. The only thing that the Spartans can't be happy about after waxing the #11 team in the country is the turnovers. Kirk Cousins got picked twice and there was a fumble. This against was has turned out to be a rather pedestrian Wisconsin defense. The Spartans are going to have to do a much better job securing the ball if they're truly ready to take a spot in the conference's upper echelon.
#22 Penn State 3 at #17 Iowa 24 - Everyone saw this coming. I said ten points or so, so I was technically wrong, but I did say that the Hawkeyes would roll. And they did. This game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates. The Penn State Rushing game is non-existent at this point and being forced to run into one of the premier run stuffing defenses in the country didn't help anything. As a result, young Robert Bolden threw the ball 37 times for 212 yards and a 5.7 average. That's awful. Bolden hasn't shied away from chucking the ball 40+ yards but no ones coming down with the ball. With Penn State's hypothetical Offensive Line, I don't see Penn State's fortunes improving much this season. They'll win 7 or 8 games, but this isn't a great team right now. Iowa, however, is looking pretty good. They thumped a recent rival at home and get a bye to prepare for Michigan. They might even get their defensive coordinator Norm Parker back. Things are looking up for Iowa, but they've got a stiff test waiting for them after the bye.
#19 Michigan 42 at Indiana 35- The Maloxxgame of the week. Once again Hoosier fans' hearts were ripped out of their still beating chests and held aloft for them to see before they expired. Such is life when you play Denard Robinson and Michigan's hypothetical defense. the latter gives you hope, the former takes it away from you and bashes your head in with it. Even though Indiana couldn't pull this one out, after watching them, I think they're a bowl team. Indiana's offense is easily the second best offense in the Conference and arguably one of the better offenses in the country. Indiana lost because of Denard Robinson, not because they couldn't score enough points. I said it numerous times, Indiana scared the ever living ---t out of me before last week's game and they did nothing to dissuade me that my fear was unjustified. This is a really good team and is going to surprise someone. And if Ohio State isn't careful, it could be them this week.
Northwestern 29 at Minnesota 28 - Last week I said:
I think Northwestern wins this one by three as Brewster rallies the troops for the "how is God's name was that game that close" game of the week.
It wasn't three points but I was right on the money. this game had no business being close, but the cardiac Cats made it close by turning the ball over THREE TIMES inside the redzone. Three times. Once is inexcusable. Sheesh. The Cats move to 5-0 yet remain unranked, kinda for obvious reasons. Wisconsin is actually jealous of how easy Northwestern's OOC schedule was. If the Cats can limit their turnovers, this team has a chance to win ten games this year. I'm not kidding. Look at their schedule. Iowa can't beat them to save their life, Penn State's in a shambles right now, and they miss OSU and Michigan. I'm not saying it will happen, just yet, but man. Whether they're a great five and oh team or not is immaterial right now, because they ARE 5-0. On the flip side, Brewster is soooooo fired. That is all.
Bye - Purdue - They're still injured. They're still unable to put points on the board. they still have the best defensive player in the conference in Ryan Kerrigan. Unless they suddenly get healthy, it's still going to be a long season in West Lafayette.