Each week, I will review the previous week for the rest of the conference and do a preview for the week ahead—highlighting a few games and what to look for.
So week two was not as successful as week one for the Big Ten Conference. However, there were still a couple of positives to take way from this past weekend. Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa all handled business. Minnesota and Nebraska took steps forward with big wins of their own, and the Indiana defense put it together for a second consecutive game. On the other side of the spectrum, Penn State lost a wild game to Pitt, Northwestern is now 0-2 with a loss to FCS Illinois State and Darrell Hazell’s time at Purdue seem to be running short after a lackluster performance against Cincinnati.
With that, here’s five things you need to know about week two in the B1G:
1. The Ohio State defense has outscored their opponents. The Buckeye defense has three touchdowns this season while while their opponents have scored ZERO. “Oh, but it was against Bowling Green and Tulsa.” True, but those two teams were in the top 20 in scoring offenses last year. This Ohio State defense is for real.
2. While Penn State lost on Saturday, Saquon Barkley was not the one to blame. He carried the offense with FIVE TOUCHDOWNS! He had 147 all purpose yards and, like I said, FIVE TOUCHDOWNS.
3. Remember how Northwestern lost last week? Well, here they are losing in another wacky way. Considering the way Northwestern won games last year, maybe this was due:
4. Remember when Wilton Speight had his first pass of the season intercepted? Well ever since that moment, he has a resounding 70% completion ratio for 457 yards and 7 touchdowns. That is how you respond to adversity. As a result, the Wolverines have beaten Hawaii and UCF by a combined score of 114-17.
5. Rutgers won a football game! (Ignore the fact it was against Howard)
Now to look ahead to a couple games for week two in the Big Ten. (Note: Michigan is always a watch)
1. Michigan State at Notre Dame, 7:30 NBC: Listen I hate Michigan State as much as the next Michigan fan, but I have a clear rooting interest for the Spartans this weekend. As you may know, I can’t stand Notre Dame, and everyone in South Bend has been looking forward to this game all offseason. We are truly going to see if Michigan State is legit this year. Michigan State is coming off a bye so they better be well-prepared and well-rested. This has the making to be the game of the week. For one week this year, I hope to see a #V4MSU.
2. Ohio State At Oklahoma, 7:30 FOX: If the first game doesn’t suffice, then this game will gladly work as a back-up. We will see if Ohio State is ready for the bright lights of primetime. Those young guys could get big eyes, or they could come ready to fight. OU was embarrassed by Houston in week one, so they’ll be fired up and ready to show they’re still the team to beat in the Big 12. If you haven’t seen, a team in Texas is off to a surprising start, so this OU’s chance to steal back the spotlight. Get ready folks, this one is huge.
3. Oregon at Nebraska, 3:30 ABC: If the thought of watching Brady Hoke coach Oregon’s defense isn’t enticing enough, can I also interest you in Mike Riley coaching against his old Civil War rivals? I know this game isn’t that enticing, especially with Michigan being on at the same time and CBS hosting Alabama vs. Ole Miss on, but a Nebraska win means it might be a three-way fight for the West crown. (Maybe 4 if Minnesota keeps rolling) This could be the signature win Mike Riley needs at Nebraska to get the ball rolling with some momentum.
4. North Dakota State at Iowa, noon ESPN2: The 5-time FCS national champs invade Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes. Iowa should win, and honestly win comfortably, but NDSU will be prepared and you never know what could happen. This will be one to keep your eyes on.
Hopefully you all listened to me and got things done last weekend, because this week has plenty of great games. Get ready, conference season is a week away…