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Around the fourth week of Big Ten games: Pecking order clear at halfway point

The bad teams stayed bad.

Wisconsin v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We are now officially at the midway point of the 2020 Big Ten football season in what has been a painful year for some blue bloods. On the flip side, some of the bottom feeders in the conference from last season are at or near the top of the standings.

We know what happened in Ann Arbor over the weekend. Let’s take a look at the rest of the conference.

Nebraska 30, Penn State 23

Had a feeling that Nebraska was going to grab a win in this game against a hapless Penn State team and that ultimately came to pass. The Nittany Lions’ fall this season is even more stunning than Michigan’s as they at least returned much of a team that went 11-2 last season. They are an absolute disaster and nobody is looking forward to that game in a few weeks in Ann Arbor.

Nebraska, the plucky outspoken nuisance out west, continues to play hard and compete. If nothing else, hats off to them for that.

No. 10 Indiana 24, Michigan State 0

Indiana has made a living early this season beating up on putrid football teams with wins over Penn State, Rutgers, Michigan and now MSU. They have broken at least two of those opponents (PSU, U-M), but now they get a seat at the big boys table with a game against Ohio State on Saturday.

As far as MSU goes, the win over Michigan looks more and more frustrating with each passing week. There’s a really good chance that was a game between the two worst teams in the Big Ten.

Illinois 23, Rutgers 20

Rutgers fights, but still is so, so bad. Illinois is still so, so bad. Despite this, it was a competitive and somewhat entertaining game.

Rutgers plays hard and wants to get you into a rock fight. Heading into this weekend, I’m not so sure Michigan is equipped to play in that type of game. We will wait and see, but very few people are looking forward to this weekend like they would in the past.

No. 23 Northwestern 27, Purdue 20

Northwestern stays alive and undefeated again just in time for a showdown with Wisconsin this weekend. It’s been clear that they are the two best teams in the West division, but we just have not seen the Badgers play a ton (and then we saw too much of them over the weekend).

The hope was that a new offensive coordinator and grad transfer QB in Peyton Ramsey would be able to reverse the fortunes from last season. So far, so good.

No. 13 Wisconsin 49, Michigan 11

There’s nothing more to be said about this game that hasn’t already. Total joke, changes must be made, etc.

Note: Ohio State and Maryland did not play this weekend after a COVID positives with the Terrapins.

2020 Big Ten Standings so far

West East
West East
No. 19 Northwestern (4-0) No. 9 Indiana (4-0)
No. 10 Wisconsin (2-0) No. 3 Ohio State (3-0)
Purdue (2-1) Maryland (2-1)
Iowa (2-2) Rutgers (1-3)
Nebraska (1-2) Michigan State (1-3)
Minnesota (1-3) Michigan (1-3)
Illinois (1-3) Penn State (0-4)