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Big Ten at Ten 9.18.12: Recapping the Weekend and Looking Ahead

Hey Everyone, I apologize for us not getting links out yesterday. Mike had legitimate business because his job is important and forces him to actually go to court and work on cases and such, and while I thought I could fill in (if you haven't noticed we alternate days on these things) the reality was that yesterday was the morning meeting day from hell. Still, that does not mean we can't play a little catch up and talk about the crazy weekend... and by crazy, I mean the weekend where the Big Ten looked okay against terrible competition and less than stellar against mediocre to good competition. There are more pieces coming up on that, though, so let's just do a quick rundown and look ahead.

Illinois defeats Charleston Southern 44-0

Reilly O'Toole filled in for Nathan Scheelhaase quite well over the weekend. Now, the reality is we have no idea what this game says except that Charleston Southern is not a very good team. With losses against the Citadel and the Jacksonville Dolphins, we can just be happy they got mauled by the Illini. Up next is Louisiana Tech who has manhandled Houston and Rice. There is no early line to be found on this game.

Indiana loses to Ball State 41-39

I won't belabor the point, but one second by the officials... It's always one second. Nice comeback, but getting in a hole against a team that has your number is never a good idea. Indiana gets to prepare for Northwestern with a bye week.

Iowa defeats Northern Iowa 27-16

Hey, they won with a Fullback taking pretty much all the carries, so let's just say this is progress? And by progress, I mean they won and didn't need any last second blocked kicks. Seriously, though, at times the offense looked downright competent and while UNI is still FCS, they are an upper tier FCS so no making fun of Iowa, until their offense sucks again and then we can laugh. Up next is Central Michigan.

Michigan defeats UMass by a lot

This game was ugly. UMass was outmatched at every position and it showed. Good for Michigan for winning big, but UMass might be the worst team in FBS football. The more interesting thing of note is looking towards Notre Dame. Can Michigan score points to defeat the Irish? Can their defense stop this suddenly decent Irish offense? Lot's of intrigue. I cannot wait for the Wolverines to win and for the Michigan fans to come back out of hiding and inform Michigan State fans who is still king of the conference (and by 'cannot wait' I mean, 'definitely don't look forward to').

Michigan State loses to Notre Dame 20-3

I turned this game off in the 3rd quarter when I pretty much realized Michigan State was not going to be scoring any more points. Call that lame by me, but I hate watching Notre Dame win. Sparty needs to figure out a contingency plan for stacking the box and covering those short outs and fast. Notre Dame looked good, but the Spartans were exposed on offense and that could bite them later. Once again, the Big Ten is wide open. MSU looks to take some frustrations out on Eastern Michigan.

Minnesota defeats Western Michigan 28-23

It wasn't always pretty, but the Gophers get it done. Considering there was an injury to Marqueis Gray forcing Max Shortell into the game, you gotta think this was a huge confidence builder. WMU isn't terrible in comparison to some of the competition the B1G played this week and the Gophers are 3-0. Minnesota looks to go 4-0 against a chippy Syracuse team looking for their first FBS win next week.

Nebraska defeats Arkansas State 42-13

Most important stat of the game is that Nebraska's defense did not allow Arkansas State score an offensive Touchdown. They also held them to half of their average yards and the Nebraska offense hummed. Right now Martinez looks comfortable at home and iffy on the road, but only three games in so who knows. Nebraska gets to pummel a bad FCS Idaho State next week.

Northwestern defeats Boston College 22-13

I watched a little bit of this game, but not enough to talk about it in depth. I am impressed by the Wildcats ability to win right now, but the competition level will step up soon enough. Don't look now, but Northwestern could be 7-0 going into the game at home vs. Nebraska. Will this be the turning point for the recent Northwestern slide? Good bowls here we come? Not sure, but this week it's South Dakota which should be an easy win.

Ohio State defeats Cal 35-28

We won't call it luck so much as we'll call it good fortune... Seriously, though. This was a mediocre Cal team at the 'Shoe. Props to pulling out the first Pac 12 defeat for the conference, but Urban has got to tighten this ship up. There is now a carrot at the end of the stick in the form of a Division Title, so scorched earth and all that jazz. Ohio State has a tuneup against a bad UAB team this weekend.

Penn State defeats Navy 34-7

BOB WINS!!! BOB WINS!!! BOB WINS!!! Good for the Nittany Lions. Lots of frustration was worked out on Saturday and while Navy didn't field a good team, at all, a win is a win. The offense looked competent and the defense was feisty. Hopefully they can build on this. Next week is a Temple team coming off of a loss to Maryland. This is a winnable game.

Purdue defeats Eastern Michigan 54-16

So Purdue looks like the front runner for the Leaders. Weird. They look fast, though. I like the way they have taken care of business against teams they outmatch and honestly, they looked good against the Irish. Next week they play a sneaky decent Marshall team that pushed Ohio to the brink, which is no small feat. We'll see how that works out.

Wisconsin defeats Utah State 16-14

Okay Wisconsin, we've documented it a lot, but you are not a very good team right now. You got lucky twice and lost once, and now you have an easy UTEP game. Take care of business and get ready because the Nebraska game (along with the entire B1G schedule) is looming large.

Team Links (Abbreviated because I'm busy)