Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 4 PASS/FAIL Report: Big 10

Big 10


PASS: Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Indiana, Penn State, Iowa

Ohio State wasn’t exactly overwhelmingly dominant against Western Michigan in a 38-12 win, but the Buckeyes are still winning. At this point, it’s important to note that OSU is heading into Big 10 play, where games may be more challenging than a non con slate that included Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Hawaii, and a highly average Virginia Tech team.

Michigan State, as good as they can often be, also had an iffy non con season, and are now heading into Big 10 play where the environment will be tougher on a weekly basis. The win over Oregon still resonates, but the rest of their slate so far has many wondering if they can stay focused.

Wisconsin is just getting by, but is coming off a shutout win over Hawaii, 28-0, in which they were missing Corey Clement at RB. The Badgers will be severely tested from here on out with conference play kicking off.

One has to give Rutgers credit for not crumpling this week in a 27-14 win over hapless Kansas. Kyle Flood is still out one more week, but just winning against anyone right now with the program n the state that it’s in is a miracle.

I have to hand it to Indiana at this point, as they are an ugly 4-0 right now. If the Hoosiers can straighten out their QB issues, they may actually have something going, but they get Ohio State this week, and that’s where the wall can come crashing down.

Penn State didn’t look perfect, but they handled a trap game at home with San Diego State 37-21. The Lions have largely struggled this season, but there’s no time like to now to put something together.

Nobody figured Iowa to be 4-0 at this point, but they are after a 62-16 drubbing of North Texas. The Hawkeyes, of all teams in the West, actually look most like the team to beat in a watered down division heading into conference play.

FAIL: Northwestern, Purdue, Nebraska, Maryland, Minnesota, Illinois

Sure, Northwestern beat Ball State 24-19, but that score is what I am worried about. The Wildcats are winning on pure defensive intensity right now, but the offense is largely a mess from top to bottom. The Cats may be the most overrated team in the conference heading into league play.

If you think that Darrell Hazell should still be the coach at Purdue next season, than I have no idea what you have been watching. The Boilers had a largely winnable non con schedule, but are still just 1-3 after losing to Bowling Green 35-28. They may not get any better than this in league play.

Nebraska is a mess as well, and the Huskers don’t seem to be adjusting to Mike Riley’s system all too well right now. The Huskers, coming off a head scratching loss to Miami, should have overpowered Southern Miss early, but somehow allowed the Eagles to hang around all day in a 36-28 Nebraska win. I wouldn’t bet all my chickens on the Huskers right now in any area.

Maryland has now been blasted by West Virginia, and was also blasted out of town by Bowling Green. Randy Edsell just found his way onto the Hot Seat this week, and it may get far worse as the season moves on.

I really was a believer in Minnesota as the season kicked off, but they have been one of my most disappointing teams in the nation thus far. Sure they are 3-1, but what is killing me is that they are averaging just 19.25 points per game, and they are barely beating teams they should be wrecking in Kent State, Ohio, and Colorado State.

After cruising through their first two games, Illinois has been all the dud the last two weeks in a blowout loss to North Carolina and a narrow home win over Middle Tennessee this week, a 27-25 win that was a missed FG away from being a loss. The gas gained from Tim Beckman’s firing looks like it is running out fast.

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