Big Ten football has been getting the stink eye from the AP lately, as if they were little more than a pesky interruption to that organization’s incessant fawning over the SEC (though this report in the Daily Texan manages to get it right). That didn’t stop the Big Ten from having a big day this Saturday, with Big Ten teams winning 12 of their 13 games, including a major upset of 18th-ranked SEC powerhouse Missouri by perennial basement-dwelling Indiana U. When this writer saw that Indiana was beating Mizzou, he had to double check and make he hadn’t slept through football season and wakened to see an early basketball score — a sport in which we expect Indiana to win occasionally.
Of course, most of the games weren’t quite that impressive. Like most major conference teams before they start their in-conference schedule, most of the Big Ten football teams played second tier or division two schools and romped wildly on them, giving the smaller schools some national airplay and their own freshmen a chance to get some game time experience. For example, the Michigan State Spartans routed Eastern Michigan 73 to 14. Wisconsin shook off the early illusion that they were in a real football game to rack up a 68 to 17 score over Bowling Green. Minnesota beat San Jose State 24 to 7.
All in all, there were only two Big Ten football teams that didn’t add one to the W column this week. The Ohio State University Buckeyes didn’t play this week and the University of Michigan Wolverines embarrassed themselves against Utah, losing 26 to 10 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the score would suggest.
Other Big Ten football scores this week were:
- Iowa over Pitt 24 to 20
- Purdue over Southern Illinois 35 to 13
- Northwestern over Western Illinois 24 to 7
- Maryland over Syracuse 34 to 20
- Rutgers over Navy 31 to 24
- Penn State over U Mass 48 to 7
- Nebraska over Miami (FL) 41 to 31
The Big Ten football conference schedule starts next week for Northwestern, Penn State, Iowa, Purdue, Maryland, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, and Nebraska. Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wisconsin start their conference games the following week.
If Big Ten football can follow up this week with another strong week in their out of conference games, it will be hard for the AP to ignore an Indiana team that beat Missouri or a Rutgers team that beat Washington State (who took their game with number 2 ranked Oregon Ducks down to the wire) in the top 25 polling.
Which Big Ten football teams do you think should be getting more love in the AP poll?