Skip to content

The Road to Indianapolis – Week Two

October 8, 2012

 

 

Plenty of movement and info to be gleaned from this weekend’s Big Ten Games.

Here’s a brief recap of each game and what it means for the Road to Indy

Penn State 39 Northwestern 28

Shockingly, Penn State has somehow avoided turning into a full out dumpster fire and sits at 2-0 in the conference and 4-2 overall.  None of that matters because they can’t play for the Big Ten title or in a bowl game for four years, but they can at least enjoy playing spoiler to other teams Big Ten title hopes.  That’s exactly what they did on Saturday, ruining Northwestern’s perfect season.  If the Wildcats were going to make a run at the Legends division title, they needed to figure out a way to be unbeaten before heading to East Lansing and Ann Arbor in back to back weeks in November.  It’s highly unlikely they can recover from this loss to win the division.

Wisconsin 31 Illinois 14

Wisconsin’s workman like win over Illinois puts them atop the Leaders division among teams eligible for postseason play.  And it sets up a matchup next weekend with Purdue that basically is for the Leaders division title, with both Illinois and Indiana looking like doormats this season.  Wisconsin still has plenty of issues on both sides of the ball, but they are definitely improving and I still like them to come out of the Leaders division.  Illinois looks awful and though I’m sure they’ll squeak out one win I’m not expecting, the ceiling for them is probably 3 Big Ten wins total.

Michigan State 31 Indiana 27

Though I didn’t post it here, I had opined all of last week that Indiana could give MSU trouble, and they did.  The Hoosiers know how to put up points quickly and MSU’s offense is still getting on track.  Indiana twice had a 17 point lead in this game but couldn’t hold on as MSU pitched a shutout in the 2nd half.  The Spartans again relied on Le’veon Bell, who carried it 37 times for 121 yards.   Andrew Maxwell looked better at QB, but since it was against Indiana and their horrible pass defense, its tough to judge if he really is improving.  One note on MSU – Leveon Bell already has 171 carries this year.  Last year he had 182 carries over the entire season, so don’t be surprised to see some injuries and/or decreased carries for him going forward.  A loss to Indiana would’ve ended MSU’s Legends division hopes in all likelihood.  They escaped with a win, but will need to play better the next two weeks (Iowa and @Michigan) if they don’t want to start conference play 1-3.

Ohio State 63 Nebraska 38

Year One of Urban Meyer in Columbus seems to be going great.  The Buckeyes are 6-0 and well on their way to a division championship.  Or would be if they weren’t ineligible for postseason play this year.  The Buckeyes are well on their way to a 10 win season or better, but like Penn State only have relevance because they can ruin someone else’s title hopes.  Last week they hurt MSU’s chances, and this week it was Nebraska.  Ohio State scored a TD off of a punt return and an interception, and benefitted from 4 Cornhusker turnovers.  But they still put up 500 yards of offense on their way to 63 points.  Nebraska may have a Top 10 offense, but they have serious concerns on the defensive side of things.  Even playing at OSU at night, losing by 25 is a problem if you can put up 38 points.  Like MSU, Nebraska’s margin for error is now next to nothing, and will probably need to sweep the Spartans and Michigan if they plan to play in Indianapolis.

Michigan 44 Purdue 13

The bye week helped Michigan prepare for what now appears to be an overrated Purdue team.  Michigan scored early and often on the Boilermakers and were stingy on defense in their own right, only giving up 213 yards of total offense.   With MSU and Nebraska both now behind the Wolverines in the loss column, they are probably the favorites for the Big Ten Legends division title, though a trip to Lincoln later this year looms large.  As for Purdue, this was a tough loss for a team that many were picking to win the Big Ten Leaders division.  That’s still a possibility, but the Boilermakers MUST beat Wisconsin this Saturday to do so.

LEGENDS STANDINGS

IOWA 1-0

MICHIGAN 1-0

NORTHWESTERN 1-1

MICHIGAN STATE 1-1

NEBRASKA 1-1

MINNESOTA 0-1

LEADERS STANDINGS

OHIO STATE* 2-0

PENN STATE* 2-0

WISCONSIN 1-1

PURDUE 0-1

INDIANA 0-2

ILLINOIS 0-2

UPDATED BIG TEN TITLE GAME PREDICTION: Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: