Around the Big Ten (Football): Week 7
The Big Ten has become a stronger conference in the last few weeks by rankings and remains at the top of the college football world.
The Big Ten is responsible for half of the top-10 with five teams holding steady. Penn State and Ohio State both have one loss while Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State are undefeated.
Each of these teams still have a plausible path to the College Football Playoff. Four notable contests from this past week will be discussed.
Ohio State vs. Maryland
The Buckeyes suffered an early loss when they hosted the Oregon Ducks. However, Ohio State has dominated almost all its opponents since the loss to Oregon.
Ohio State’s most recent victim, Maryland, took a steady and consistent beating. The Buckeyes won 66-17 and played like a team talented enough to compete with the best in the conference and country. Granted, Maryland is not a star-studded team, but the margin of victory reflected the way the Buckeye offense operated with ease.
Michigan State vs. Rutgers
The Spartans do not have a ton to rave about in their last victory, but it extends the winning streak. Michigan State earned a solid 31-13 victory over Big Ten opponent Rutgers.
The Spartans have yet to face another team on their level regarding ranking. Michigan State should continue winning until it goes up against another top dog in Big Ten.
The team’s game versus Michigan should reflect the squad’s true power in the conference and nationally.
Michigan vs. Nebraska
Michigan had a bit of a scare in its battle with Nebraska. The Wolverines beat the Cornhuskers 32-29, which is the second game this season that sparked concern.
Michigan managed to escape its matchup with Rutgers two weeks prior, winning 20-13. Michigan got the win over Nebraska, but it was not pretty.
Similar to Michigan State, Michigan has not played a team on its level. The game between Michigan and Michigan State should reveal more about the strength of each team.
Iowa vs. Penn State
The Hawkeyes trailed most of the game against the Nittany Lions, but figured out a way to finish a close game. Iowa defeated a sloppy Penn State, 23-20. Penn State committed way too many false start penalties to expect an easy win.
Kinnick Stadium was a hostile environment and Iowa took advantage of Penn State’s mistakes and field position. Ta’Quan Roberson got a good deal of needed in-game experience despite struggling.
The loss is unfortunate, but may be a blessing in disguise.
Firstly, Penn State still controls its own destiny. If the Nittany Lions win out, they will compete for the Big Ten championship. A win against Ohio State would mean more than this Iowa loss does.
Secondly, Roberson gained invaluable experience by seeing first-hand what it is like to play quarterback at the highest level. It was a rocky start, but with confidence and experience Roberson will develop for the Nittany Lions.
Upcoming contest to watch – Michigan State vs. Indiana
The contest between Michigan State and Indiana might be a good result to remember.
Depending on how the Spartans fare, one could predict by comparison the team’s power. Michigan State’s win or loss could be compared to Penn State’s win over Indiana. Simply comparing teams against common opponents will not guarantee a correct prediction, but it would not be an unfair analysis.
Neil Conley is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.