Welcome back Gopher Football! The gnomes missed you. Despite the fact that they beat the Gophers in our most recent game, the gnomes felt they had to move Iowa to the infamous first spot in the recap. The gnomes would like to congratulate Iowa for losing to BYE WEEK via multiple illegal shenanigans from Hawkeye players. It's important to remember that even Indiana didn't lose to BYE WEEK this season. And if Indiana can do it...
Iowa: 3-2 (1-0)
Stay out of trouble. The #1 rule when facing BYE WEEK. #IOWAFAIL. Black Heart Gold Pants summarizes Micah Hyde's drinking DERP:
It's hard to say for certain what impact this might have on Hyde's status with the football team. On one hand, this is his first run-in with the law at Iowa and public intoxication is an exceedingly minor offense. (The "interference with official acts" could be more serious, depending on the details there.) On the other hand, he's a senior and a team captain, so he's held to a higher standard than most players. My guess? He's suspended for the Michigan State game next week, back for the Penn State game the following week.
Captain? Not anymore. Suspended? Not so much (not saying he should be...BHGP isn't wrong to call this relatively minor). What about the other hooligans?
Hamilton and Clark are both probably looking at something around a one-game suspension each. On the bright side, the loss of either Hamilton or Clark doesn't figure to have nearly as much impact as the loss of Hyde would on the football team.
I'd guess they aren't suspended either. Again, not that they should be. No, the shame for Iowa is losing to BYE WEEK by forgetting the fundamentals. If you're going to be drunk and stupid, do it in your own place.
Up next? On the road at Spartan Stadium. 11am on ESPN.
Now back to your regular alphabetical roundup...
Illinois: 2-4 (0-2)
Oh Illinois. You teased us with an unlikely upset of Wisconsin that no one ever truly believed would come true. Then you got stomped on in the 4th quarter to deliver your fans another disappointing loss that makes them wonder if things wouldn't have been better under Ron Zook. RON ZOOK. This guy.
C'mon Illinois...really? To add insult to injury, Tim Beckman managed to commit a secondary violation on the sideline by taking a dip of some Skoal. Classy Tim. At least our overmatched Timmy stuck with chili.
A Lion Eye? In the face of some horrible crap play (which he documents here) he managed to stay positive about the WI game. That's hard to do.
That’s how I watch an Illini game. Respect each other, show that you have each other’s backs, and we’re good. Coaches are another story (more on that later), but as for the players, I just want to see effort and togetherness. Which is exactly the opposite of what we saw during the Louisiana Tech and Penn State games. Bickering on the sideline during LaTech. Morbid, quiet sideline during Penn State. Nothing anywhere close to the Proper State Of Mind.
But yesterday it was different. Yesterday I saw fight. Yesterday I saw togetherness. Sure, we crumbled in the fourth quarter, and we have a lot to fix, and there are still some serious coaching flaws that need to be corrected, and we’re probably not going bowling. But I saw a team that was fired up on the sideline. And I saw players going hard on the field. And after the last two dreadful weeks, that was very encouraging.
In honor of playing hard, the gnomes want to give Illinois some special recognition. Congratulations Illini, you are the first to receive the coveted WIN!FIGHT!TRY! Award for Chili Heating Excellence.
Up next? Illinois will be losing at The Big House. For some reason this is a 2:30 game on ABC.
Indiana: 2-3 (0-2)
Y U NO BEAT MSU AFTER DRAWING ME IN WITH YOUR LEAD HOOZIERZ? Especially after Michigan State gifted you like 4,000 penalty yards. You even executed the best surprise onside kick I've seen in some time (seriously, it rocked). But no... /SAD TROMBONE
The Crimson Quarry laments:
While there were no turnovers in the game, IU's 17-0 early lead and 27-14 halftime lead were aided by a bunch of Michigan State personal foul penalties. One of them was a bit touchy, but most of them were ridiculous, including a mugging of punter Mitchell Voss that forced him out of the game with an injury. Unfortunately, and it felt this way at the time, IU didn't take full advantage of the Spartan implosion. Nevertheless, IU was very good offensively in the first half. Coming in to the game, Michigan State had allowed no more than 20 points in a game. IU bested that number by halftime. The IU defense also played very well, holding MSU to only 12 yards on the Spartans' first three possessions. Even in the third quarter, when IU's offense was doing nothing, the defense preserved the lead, allowing only 79 yards and a field goal in the third quarter. Unfortunately, the inability to put anything on the board in the second half caught up with IU, and the Spartans took their first and only lead with under 7 minutes remaining.
Up next? At home against Ohio State in a night game that promises to be a bloodbath. 7pm on BTN.
Michigan State: 4-2 (1-1)
You should have lost to INDIANA. You cheated your way to 8 penalties for 115 yards. Just...no.
The Only Colors is just happy that the Spartans got a win.
A win's a win, even if it didn't come as easy as expected. MSU faced deficits of 17-0 in the first quarter and 27-14 at halftime, but rallied for a 31-27 win at Indiana.
MSU dominated the second half, outgaining the Hoosiers 244-37 in yards, but the hole was nearly too deep to climb out of. Some players stepped up, some got burned and some left the game due to injury. Many believe a Legends division title to just be a pipe dream now, but in a conference that doesn't have a team ranked in the coaches poll, any win is a big win.
Up next? Iowa visits Spartan Stadium. Kind of interested to see how this one plays out. 11am on ESPN.
Michigan: 3-2 (1-0)
Well then. That's the Michigan team that I hope DOES NOT show up at TCFBS in November. By virtue of the rest of the conference being cheaters or sucky, Michigans pasting of Purdue also vaults them into the spot as this week's trendy pick for the Rose Bowl.
Maize n Brew isn't overjoyed (they were 2-2 coming into the game after all) but thinks it was a good win:
There were certainly things to worry about. The offensive line failed to open holes in the run game, often relying on Denard Robinson's brilliance to create rushing yards out of creases that light could barely sneak through. The combination of Will Hagerup's huge leg and the coaches' insistence on sticking with the old fashioned two-gunner formation is going to yield a big return sooner rather than later. But nit picking glosses over the fact that for the vast majority of the game, Michigan did whatever it needed -- and wanted -- to do to get a win against Purdue in West Lafayette.
Indiana Illinois comes to Ann Arbor. 2:30pm on AB
Nebraska: 4-2 (1-1)
One of the worst losses in Nebraska history. The kind of defensive performance that made Nebraska fans think about KEVIN COSGROVE. Bad T-Mart showing up and arm punting INT's all over the place. All on national TV. Yea...not a happy time for a bye week in Lincoln.
Corn Nation tries to keep folks from burning the house down while noting that, well, things aren't great right now:
Husker fans should be frustrated and disappointed by the state of Nebraska football at the halfway point of the 2012 season. Some will call for somebody to be held "accountable" for what has happened. That's the wrong attitude to take. Holding someone accountable means you are looking for someone to punish. Nebraska doesn't need to find someone to be held responsible for what happened last night, Nebraska needs someone to take responsibility to fix the problems that exist. So in this edition of the report card, I'm hoping to look a little bit at how Nebraska needs to move forward.
The bad news is that at this point, I don't see any magic solutions that will transform the 2012 season; the problems that ail Husker football go deeper than that. These problems need more than just a band-aid. They also don't require a complete gutting of the program either. There are some major deficiencies in the program that must be addressed after the season.
Up next? A very sad and angry BYE WEEK matchup.
Northwestern: 5-1 (1-1)
Ok, that was a heartbreaker for Wildcat fans. Up 11 at the start of the 4th, they were outscored 22-0 in the final quarter. McMoxie continued to be a Cat Killer and PSU dominated down the stretch. Also, all of our retinas were scarred by this very ginger moment:
Sippin' On Purple stays positive in the lede, but goes on to note just how crappy that 4th quarter was:
You have to win that game, up by two scores in the fourth quarter. Instead, Northwestern's defense got absolutely eviscerated in the last quarter. Zach Zwinek got about three or four yards after first contact every carry, and Matt McGloin dinked-and-dunked Northwestern to a fitting death. I don't think he threw the ball downfield more than ten yards once in the final quarter, but Northwestern couldn't stop it. There was no pressure, and while the coverage was alright, having five guys short, Northwestern couldn't keep all of them from getting the ball.
Up next? You might have heard that they are coming to Minnesota. 11am on ESPN2.
Ohio State: 6-0 (2-0)
How much do OSU fans hate Gene Smith right now? A whole bunch. Urban Meyer seems to be working out though, no?
Land Grant Holy Land doesn't mince words in an article promo titled as "The Great Nebraska Depantsing of 2012":
I'm going to forgo the normal pattern of of the SMR, because when you depants a ranked team on national television, it's hard to nitpick. I mean seriously, we liked to bitch and moan after the 56-10 destruction of Miami in the season opener, but it was Miami, and it was the season opener.
This was something entirely different. If Jim Tressel's win over Michigan in 2001 was a program changing win for Ohio State then, I would argue that this was was the same program changing win for Ohio State now. This was as complete a team win that I can remember, from all facets of the game. And they also failed miserably at some point in the game as well.
Yet they still won by 25 points.
Up next? They ritually sacrifice Indiana. 7pm on BTN.
Penn State: 4-2 (2-0)
Well, so much for crashing and burning. PSU is on quite a tear right now and their soulless leader McMoxie is looking like an actual QB.
After Venric Mark's 75-yard punt return put Northwestern ahead 17 - 28 with just over 3 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, BOB and the boys flipped a mental switch, and started raining hay-makers. They received the kickoff and went 82 yards on 18 plays over six minutes for a touchdown. Zach Zwinak carried seven times and caught three passes on the drive. And BOB set himself up to be a scapegoat, eschewing the 25-yard field goal on 4th and 4 which would have reduced the deficit to eight - a single possession. Instead, he asked Matt McGloin to make a play - and McGloin did, buying time in the pocket, and hitting Allen Robinson for the touchdown. Then BOB asked for another play, as Zordich found the end zone on the 2-point conversion to cut the Northwestern lead to just three, at 25 - 28.
Up next? PSU is the other conference team to face off against BYE WEEK.
Purdue: 3-2 (0-1)
Well. That wasn't pretty. Purdue was a team that was hoping to prove it was in a position to take (not back into) the
Leaders East division title. Yea...no. I mean, they could easily still get it. But it people won't be crediting them with taking anything.
Hammer & Rails is pretty pissed.
This is really getting annoying.
There are very few "Marquee" home games that Purdue gets. Because of our lack of lights there is only one game, maybe two, every season that people circle on the calendar as big games. I know this because I met two alums today that rarely come to games but they came to campus today and were at Harry's before the game because it was a marquee game that drew a lot of interest.
This was not only true for Purdue fans. The national media was looking at this as an "okay Purdue, if you're really a Big Ten title contender, win this," game. In that regard, we failed.
Miserably.Since Danny Hope took over as coach it seems as if every major chance to make some noise has resulted in a catastrophic failure almost from the first snap.
Up next? The most important game of Purdue's season, as Wisconsin comes to town. 11am on BTN.
Wisconsin: 4-2 (1-1)
Things have stabilized in Madison. The Badgers still aren't playing well, but they didn't lose. Their offensive performance is WAY behind where it used to be and the defense is still...well, not great. But they are winning again and Bucky's 5th Quarter knows that all that matters.
A frustrating first three quarters gave way to a comfortable win, as the Wisconsin Badgers won their Big Ten home opener to put them in the drivers' seat in the Leaders Division.
No, being in the drivers' seat in the Leaders Division is hardly something to write home about, but given the Badgers' collapse last week and their shaky start on Saturday, it sure is a nice change of scenery. The Illinois Fighting Illini kept things surprisingly interesting for most of the game, but UW's offense sparked to life in the 4th quarter as they turned a 7-7 halftime tie into a 31-14 win.
Up next? Big game at Purdue. 11am on BTN.