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Nugz: B1G Edition - Is Iowa the real deal?

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If you were looking for clarity midway through the season, you need to find another conference.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Without further ado...

Illinois vs Iowa

There are three undefeated teams in the Big Ten, and Iowa is one of them. Iowa could go 12-0 (Ty Duffy, The Big Lead). Take a moment to ponder the incredulity of this fact. Then consider that Iowa's 6-0 record is mostly the result of good ol' fashioned Big Ten #MANBALL. The Hawkeyes are solid on defense and behind Jordan Canzeri (who carried the ball 43 times against Illinois), they're racking up the rushing yards and giving possibly injured quarterback C.J. Beathard some breathing room.

Beathard's injury is mostly the stuff of rumor, but the Hawkeyes' victory over Illinois was Pyrrhic. Iowa lost star defensive end Drew Ott to injury (Sam Cooper, Dr. Saturday). Ott has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

And what about the other team? Well, Illinois been little more than a footnote in years past, but this is not that Illinois. The Illini were slow out of the game, but fought back valiantly. Although the effort fell short and Illinois lost to Iowa 29-20, they found so many positives in the process. The defense stood tall, twice standing up Iowa at the goal line and sacking Beathard four times. Wes Lunt shredded the Iowa secondary for 317 yards through the air, although the rest of the offense was just short of terrible, with the exception of Geronimo Allison, who led the team with eight receptions for 142 yards.

Indiana vs Penn State

The Hoosiers are still lamenting that loss to Ohio State, and could not put together another valiant effort against a tough opponent. Indiana fell apart against Penn State and lost 29-7.  Quarterback Zander Diamont, playing in relief of injured starter Nate Sudfeld, was himself injured later in the game.

Indiana began with its first 4-0 run in nearly three decades, but that early promise is beginning to wither. There's still time for Indiana to get healthy and make a push though.

Maryland vs Ohio State

Ohio State struggled to put the Terps away for much of the game, and then found a rhythm and poured on the points. The offensive fireworks were due in part to a red zone package that puts quarterback J.T. Barrett in the game and lets him do his thing.

For his part, Maryland quarterback Perry Hills showed his athleticism running for 170 yards and two scores. But he also had two interceptions late that sealed his team's fate.

Oh, and Randy Edsall was fired. Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley is now the interim head coach and the first black coach in school history.

Michigan vs Northwestern

The not-so-hotly-anticipated M00N turned out to be very short-lived. Jehu Chesson housed the opening kickoff, and Michigan never looked back, pasting Northwestern to the tune of 38-0, and really, it wasn't even that close.

Northwestern's offense, already something of a liability, could not get untracked against Michigan. Justin Jackson was held to just 25 yards, and the Wildcats managed only 38 total yards on the ground despite previously leading the league with an average of nearly 250 rush yards per game.

This is Michigan's third consecutive shutout of the season. Shockingly, the defense may not even have reached its full potential yet. If you're not scared, Big Ten, it's because you're not paying attention.

Anyway, it's officially Hate Week in Ann Arbor this week as Michigan gets ready to take on Most Hated Rival Michigan State. ESPN's College Gameday will make its first trip to the Big House since way, way back in 2013.

Michigan State vs Rutgers

SPARTY NOOOOOO. The Spartans are 6-0 but it's an awkward and uncertain 6-0.

Rutgers actually led well into the second quarter, then trailed and then evened the score at 24-24 before Michigan State finally went ahead 31-24. A late rally by the Scarlet Knights ended when quarterback Chris Laviano inexplicably spiked the ball on 4th down.

But who cares about all that? IT'S HATE WEEK!

Meanwhile, what's going on at Rutgers? Things seem to be settling down somewhat. Leonte Carroo returned to the team last week and performed well in the heartbreaking loss. Head coach Kyle Flood is also back.

Wisconsin vs Nebraska

At first, Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone was the goat. A few minutes later, he was a hero, kicking the game-winning field goal in the Badgers 23-21 win over Nebraska and taking home some corporate nightmare of a trophy. This was the first game-winning kick for the school since a narrow win over Northwestern in 1997.

Joel Stave played well enough, going 24-of-50 with 322 yards and a touchdown pass, and Dare Ogunbowale, in relief for the injured Taiwan Deal, rushed for 117 yards.

Nebraska, meanwhile, is off to its worst start in almost 50 years. The Huskers have now dropped four games by a total of 11 points, and all the losses came in the final minutes of the game, and some of that is on the vaunted Blackshirts.

The folks at Maize N Brew think Nebraska football is death. They are wrong. It is ALL THE LULZ.

The law of averages suggests Nebraska will eventually be on the right side of the scoreline in these close games, but let's hope it's not this weekend. After all, there is so much on the line for Nebraska against Minnesota: a chance to right the ship, pride, and of course, the best trophy in the Big Ten!

Broken Chair Trophy