After two forgettable weekends for the B1G, last week was a welcome reminder that the B1G can, in fact, win nonconference games. Just as everyone predicted before the season started, Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana are leading the charge. Wait - what?
The good news is the entire conference - except for Michigan - won. The even better news is Michigan lost. (ttfp who? My laser-guided rage cannon is pointed at Ann Arbor, if you couldn't tell).
Here's how Rutgers fits into the conference landscape after four weeks.
1. Michigan State - Sparty won by 467,315 points over a directional team from Michigan. Ok, so it was 73-14 over Eastern Michigan. The reigning champs made it rain. Next up: Home against Wyoming.
2. Wisconsin - 68-17 over Bowling Green. Melvin Gordon rushed for 253 yards and FIVE touchdowns. Wisconsin has played a really bad against LSU. Other than that, they have looked very good. Next up: South Florida in Madison.
3. Nebraska - Nice win over the Canes in primetime to go to 4-0. Ameer Abdullah is a monster out of the backfield for the Huskers, and he wore them down to the tune of 229 yards and 2 TDs. Because Miami is still Miami, there were fights during the game, the Canes drew 5 personal foul penalties in the second half, and as ESPN reports, the normally polite-to-a-fault Nebraska crowd booed as Miami left the field and only the coaches and team captains shook hands after the game. Up next: Illinois in Lincoln.
4. Ohio State - The Buckeyes are still on good team probation as far as I'm concerned. They were off last week, but that loss to Virginia Tech is still very troubling, especially because the Hokies lost their next two games to East Carolina and Georgia Tech. Get it together Buckeyes. Up next: hosting Cincinnati, who is always tough and always keyed up to play in the Shoe.
5. ttfp - Hard to argue with 4-0, even if a lot of their wins were squeakers. They thrashed UMass, one of the worst teams in the MAC, and their Defense looks legit. Up next: Northwestern in State College.
t-6 Rutgers - Kyle Flood had his guys ready to play after a devastating loss, and Rutgers handled a very solid Navy team that gave Ohio State fits a few weeks earlier. Losing Paul James is a brutal loss, but the Knights are in good position at 3-1 as they look to finish off the non-conference slate. Up Next: Tulane.
t-6 Maryland - Maryland pounded the rotten fruits in that half-empty deflated circus tent in Syracuse, 34-20. Cuse put up 589 total yards on offense, but the Terps won by two scores, and the game didn't look close for much of it. I love to go to nunesmagician.com after Syracuse loses for a hefty dosage of schadenfreude. For those of you who have moved on from our former enemies to the north, they remain as delusional and arrogant as ever, and they are in constant search of ways to convince themselves they are still a good team who can win 8 games. Up next: Maryland plays at Indiana, and Syracuse has Notre Dame in Metlife Stadium. Don't forget, Syracuse is New York's college team, so I'm sure that will be packed with OraHAHAHAHAHA can't even finish.
t-6 Indiana - Good news: beat Mizzou, of the almighty SEC, in Columbia, Missouri. Bad news: the week before, the Hoosiers lost to Bowling Green, previously mentioned as cannon fodder for Wisconsin. Indiana is a tough team to figure out, but they get a thumb on the scale for arguably the conference's best out-of-conference win. Up next: hosting Maryland, so expect a 12-6 field goal contest. Or maybe they will hog up ALL THE TOUCHDOWNS IN THE CONFERENCE.
9. Iowa - Beat Pitt in a close one, so that was good. BTW, notice a theme? Most of our former conference-mates - Cuse, Pitt, WVU, Miami, Virginia Tech got smoked last weekend. Iowa still lost to Iowa State, and still looked shaky through much of the non-con slate. Another difficult team to figure out. Up Next: @ Purdue.
10. Minnesota - Beat a lousy San Jose State team at home this week. Last week, got smoked by TCU. Good run game, not so good in other facets of the game. Up Next: @ Michigan, in a battle of disappointing varmint-mascoted clubs.
11. Illinois - Nearly lost to Texas State at home, survived 42-35. Illinois is 3-1, but they might be done winning for the year. They still get to play Purdue and Northwestern, so maybe they win one or both of those, but this does not look like a good football team. Up Next: @ Nebraska.
12. Michigan - Rutgers needs to beat Michigan on October 4, no two ways about it.
If When we do that, MICHIGAN WILL BE DRAGGING DOWN OUR STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE. Never thought I would write that sentence, but this is not a good football team despite their talent stockpiles. They just paid Utah a million dollars to come to the Big House and throat-punch them, 26-10. The wheels are coming off for the Wolverines, and coaching change rumors are burning hot. Up Next: hosting Minnesota.
13. Purdue - beat Southern Illinois 35-13. The Boilers played decently, and took advantage of two Southern Illinois turnovers to jump out to an early two-TD lead. Up Next: Iowa in West Lafayette.
14. Northwestern - beat Western Illinois to notch their first victory of the year. Up next: @ ttfp, followed by Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska.