Welcome to the 2021 Off Tackle Empire Performance Reviews—now that the college football season is officially over*, it’s time to recap what exactly we made of the 2021 Big Ten football slate.
Teams like Michigan State surprised the conference with an 8-game win streak before Purdue and Ohio State brought them back to earth, while Michigan overcame a loss to the Spartans and finally won The Game to advance to the Big Ten Championship, where they beat Iowa.
Of course, it wasn’t all high-flying football: big-name programs like Penn State and Nebraska struggled (though the latter made a bowl), while Wisconsin and Minnesota were plagued by maddening inconsistency.
Maryland made a bowl! We’re still not sure how. Rutgers got a pity invite, too, after a 5-7 season with a high APR earned them a spot in the Gator Bowl. Never mind what happened next. Illinois grew up under Bret Bielema but still failed to make a bowl game. And at the bottom, two of the better stories from the 2020 season—Indiana and Northwestern—both bottomed out in 2021, failing to build on their momentum of 2020.
Got all that? Every day** we’ll have a team-by-team
postmortem retrospective performance review and look ahead to next season.
Thanks for making Off Tackle Empire one of your places to talk Big Ten football.