Big Ten Recap Week 7

By poguemahone on October 17, 2010 at 1:00p

There wasn't a whole lot of Big Ten action this week, as Penn State and Northwestern took their bye weeks and Indiana finished off its non-conference schedule against Arkansas State. Michigan State and Iowa solidified their positions as the Big Ten's 1A and 1B by beating Illinois and Michigan respectively, while the wheels finally fell completely off the Tim Brewster wagon in West Lafayette. You know what happened in Madison, as much as you and I would like to forget all about it.

Michigan State 26, Illinois 6

It was frequently ugly, but the Spartans persevered against a feisty Illini team that held their potent ground attack to 84 yards. Turnovers proved to be the Zooker's undoing, as Michigan State pressured Nathan Scheelhaase into three interceptions, two of which led directly to ten Michigan State points. Kirk Cousins picked up the slack for the non-existent Michigan State rushing game, throwing for 214 yards and a touchdown (on massively busted coverage, FWIW) with no picks. Both teams had drives marred by penalties, and together they racked up 13 penalties for 139 yards. Still, the Spartans are 7-0 for the first time since the LBJ Administration, and that's impressive. State travels to Northwestern next week for their first game outside the state of Michigan, and Ron Zook's team gets struggling Indiana at home.

Purdue 28, Minnesota 17

In a surprising (?) turn of events, Danny Hope's Purdue Boilermakers will be undefeated in conference play when they head into Ohio Stadium next week. Despite convincing losses to mediocre (at best) Notre Dame and Toledo outfits, and injuries to their top wide receiver, running back, and quarterback, they rebounded to shock Northwestern last week, and took care of business against easily the Big Ten's worst team on Saturday. The Boilers rushed for 209 yards and 3 TDs, all by QB Rob Henry, while Ryan Kerrigan and the defense suffocated the impotent Gopher O for three quarters, before allowing two late touchdowns with the game well in hand. Tim Brewster? Fired. The hopeless Gophers get slightly-less-hopeless Penn State at home next week, while the Boilers travel to what will surely be a hostile, if disheartened, Horseshoe next week.

Indiana 36, Arkansas State 34

Last Saturday's game may have been fun in so many ways yesterday was not, but it's time to face facts: Indiana remains Indiana, a team without any semblance of a defense, and with an offense that will clam up at the first sign of defensive athleticism. Arkansas State has precisely none of that athleticism, and it showed: Hoosier QB Ben Chappell threw for 381 yards and 4 touchdowns, three of which came in the second half, to boost Indiana over the 2-5 Red Wolves of Arkansas State. The Hoosiers also found a running game after going without one for the first five games of the season, as Trea Burgess totaled 101 yards on 19 carries. However, it was Burgess' late fumble that gave the Red Wolves a short field for their last touchdown of the game, which resulted in a much clearer picture of the back-and-forth nature of the game. Indiana is bad. Indiana is, barring multiple miracles, not a bowl team. They'll square off against one of the conference's better defenses in Champaign next week, and it probably won't be pretty.

Iowa 38, Michigan 28

It looked like Iowa was going to coast out of Ann Arbor with another easy win for a visiting team in the Big House... and then Denard Robinson went down. The Hawkeyes had pushed their lead to 21-7 when Robinson came up gimpy after a 12-yard run early in the third quarter. Tate Forcier came into the game and earned himself some measure of redemption over the course of the second half, passing the Wolverines back into the game, getting his team within 7 points late in the fourth to make it 35-28. Michigan had the chance to force a punt on the ensuing drive, but Iowa converted a 3rd-and-8 with a 26-yard pass to Adam Robinson - the star of the game with 61 yards receiving on top of 144 yards rushing - to essentially ice the game. After draining the clock some more, the Hawkeyes kicked a field goal to make it 38-28. Forcier was intercepted for the second time on the next drive and the Hawkeyes escaped with a win. The ego of the Hawkeye D has to be a bit battered, though: they surrendered two rushing touchdowns when they hadn't given up one all year, allowed well over 500 yards of offense, and at one point, watched the Wolverines score touchdowns on three straight possessions in the second half. They'll take the win for now, I'm sure. The Hawks are at home against rejuvenated Wisconsin next week, while Michigan has a bye before traveling to Happy Valley.


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RedQueenRace's picture

"Despite convincing losses to mediocre (at best) Notre Dame..."

Is that the mediocre-at-best team that lost in OT on the road to the team that took apart the team that steamrolled us?

poguemahone's picture


Edit: Oh, Notre Dame? Yes, Notre Dame is mediocre. They have beaten Western Michigan, Purdue, BC and Pitt

tomcollins's picture

Notre Dame is as good as any team we have beaten.  Miami is pretty close in strength to them.

poguemahone's picture

When did this turn into a referendum on Ohio State?

Oh, and Miami would beat ND by four touchdowns.

tomcollins's picture

The same Miami that got worked by Florida State?

If you want to offer me +28 with Notre Dame against Miami in a potential matchup, I would put my house on it.  Get serious.  Even Stanford couldn't pull that off.

Sagarin has Miami has a 7 point favorite over Notre Dame in a neutral game right now.  The idea that the line would be any more than 9 or 10 points is completely ridiculous.  Thank you for trolling, come again.

poguemahone's picture

And the line said Ohio State would win by four points last night. How'd that work out? Bettors are not always accurate. 

Look, I get that you're frustrated, and you want to point out everything negative you can right now, but stop hating on the Buckeyes and starting cheering again. I think we get enough haterade daily from Mark May et al, and I'm sicking of seeing it from our own fanbase.

tomcollins's picture

The line is sometimes wrong, but not by 3 touchdowns.  If there was a rematch in the same place, it swings to Wisconsin -3 at most.  While not perfect, find me a better way at predicting the future.  If there were, Vegas would be broke.  You think they build those hotels by being wrong?

It's not about hating on the Buckeyes.  It's about finding a way to learn something instead of just going "Oh well, we lost.  Guess shit happens!"  We must figure out if there is anything to improve and learn from it.  And if there is, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

The sad thing is, Mark May is right.  We are just too blind to see it.  And until we did, we can never learn anything and never improve.  We'll keep making terrible in game decisions (punting 4th and 10 late, terrible playcalling at the goal line, playing to go to halftime down 18 rather than being at least somewhat aggressive giving us a shot to score before the half), playing like complete pansies on 4th down, having completely ineffective offensive and defensive lines, and just awful special teams.  We are the most overrated team of the last decade.  We skate by on a super weak schedule with a lot of wins against a lot of nobodies.  And we delude ourselves into thinking beating them is good enough.

So if you think people who want to improve the team and get better in the future so we can finally shut Mark May up are the biggest problem, maybe you should just suggest the Big 10 remove itself from the BCS, play each other for 11 games, and just crown a champ.  Because beating up on chumps is so awesome.

JakeBuckeye's picture

You're the type of guy that when Tressel wins a big game against a Big Ten opponent, you'll just retort by saying that the Big Ten is weak and disregard it as a big game. But when we lose in a big game against a Big Ten opponent, it counts against us in our big game track record.

Your memory is also short. This very calendar year we beat the now number one team in the country by two possessions on a neutral field.

The saddest part is is that one day, Tressel will retire. Around that same time a lot of his staff will leave. More likely than not, we won't get a coaching staff that can be successful right off of the bat and that can have continued success like Tressel and his staff has had. That's when your really going to look back and call yourself an idiot, and unfortunatley I won't be happy to say I told you so.

tomcollins's picture

For the most part, yes, the Big Ten is weak.  Remember when we beat #2 Michigan?  Turns out they sucked and got dismantled by USC and we got crushed.  Big Ten wins just don't mean much in the last decade.  How many other Big Ten teams have finished in the top 5 since 2002 (hint: 1 - Penn State in 2005, who beat us).  The Big Ten is a soft conference.  At best 4th best for the last 5 years.  1 title contender, a few decent teams, and a lot of cupcakes.  Might as well call us the WAC East.  

And I wouldn't consider the Wisconsin game a "big" game, which makes it hurt more.  Losing it by getting our teeth kicked in sucks bad.  If we lose close, its sad, but the way it went down, it was just depressing.  It was a completely awful effort.  

The Oregon game perplexes me.  I thought we were back, the monkey was off our back.  Oregon made enough mistakes, but we played that game smart and strong.  Pryor looked confident and comfortable.  Then reality sets back in and all the negatives of the past 5 years are back in one game.  Oregon this year is better than last year, and we are worse than last year.  How does this happen?  But hey, even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.  You bet Oregon, I raise you Texas, Texas, Penn State, USC, USC, LSU, and Florida.

Yes, it will be a sad day when we lose Bollman and Heacock, two geniuses of the game that no one else was ever smart enough to hire.  I love Tressel, but being upset that any of his assistants will be gone by him retiring is hilarious.  Tressel + real assistants is a killer combo (if you take the playcalling from Tressel in any game against a top 25 team).

I hope the transition is smooth (when it happens), we get some new blood that can elevate us from a Big Ten contender to a MNC contender, but with the current crop of assistants, the Big Ten title and a MNC beating (barring some kind of miracle like the Miami game) is the ceiling.

Kurt's picture

Wasn't it two years ago we had to really pony up and pay Fickell more and give him the title 'assistant dc' to not lose him to Notre Dame?!  Unbelieveable.  Teams look right past Heacock to Fickell.. 

If we could get Tressel+real coordinators we'd be winning the Texas, Florida, LSU, USC blablabla....

I recall Bobby Knight once said, "the worst indicator of how well your team is playing is to look at the score."  All of these Buckeye fans claiming that 10 wins per year is perfectly fine are simply looking at the score board and being complacent with a mediocre status quo.  Those fans who are looking beyond the statistic of those 10 wins are noticing how we're winning and losing and noting that our team could be doing much more with what it has at its disposal.

buckeyedude's picture

Amen brotha!



RedQueenRace's picture

This isn't a referendum on the Bucks.  But we don't need to be denigrating other programs that have competed well against competition similar to that which beat us.

Miami by 4 TDs over ND?  All I can do is smh.

KenK's picture

Transitive reasoning, always the mark of laziness. Thanks for stopping by...

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

RedQueenRace's picture

If Notre Dame can take MSU to OT at East Lansing, calling them mediocre is foolish after what has transpired on the field and smacks of the OSU elitism that our fan base is accused of.

Thanks for indirectly helping to support that , genius.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Well, there is a positive to this Wisky loss, and that's that it really helps the Big Ten as a whole.

This is probably buckeye stubornness, but I still think that this buckeye team is the best in the Big Ten. That's what sucks the most about this entire weekend, its that our destiny isn't even in our own hands.