Well we made it. Big Ten Bonus Round is here. And we made it to the end of the season totally unsca....wait what’s that? The Big Ten is getting it’s ass kicked by COVID? There are already two games off for this week as well?
Well, thankfully we made it to the end of the season. Congrats to Penn State and Rutgers as the only two teams in the conference to play all nine games...assuming neither one of their games for this weekend gets cancelled by Friday.
Here is how I see both the East and West divisions breaking down and then at the bottom I’ll rank all 14 teams in one list.
Big Ten West:
#1 Northwestern Wildcats
Northwestern defeated Illinois to keep possession of the hat for another year. They also got Lovie Smith fired. Congrats Wildcats, you present is a date with an Ohio State team that knows it needs to absolutely obliterate you to make sure the CFP committee notices. Have fun with that.
It wasn’t pretty but Iowa cemented the #2 spot in the west with a 28-7 win over the Badgers. Their gift was going to be a blowout win over Michigan before Bowl season, but the game has been already cancelled due to the Wolverines COVID woes. So Iowa can sit back and hope Indiana gets into the NY6 Bowls which will send the Hawkeyes to Orlando or Tampa rather than a bowl named after a white condiment.
Minnesota laughed all the way home from Lincoln after a win over the Huskers down 33 players. Suddenly the Gophers are potentially in a bowl spot in this weird year. As a bonus, they get a chance to win the Axe back for the second time in three years, and somehow at this point in the season this isn’t a totally unreasonable expectation.
The Badger offense is absolutely atrocious at the moment. Which means just like every year for the last 17 save for 2018 they suddenly will figure it out just in time to play the Gophers on Saturday.
LOL. That’s all that needs to be said. Thanks for bringing football back for last weekend Nebraska. Enjoy losing to Rutgers to end your season at 2-5.
Illinois lost both the hat and the best representative of Minnesota recruiting in the state of Illinois this past weekend. The Illini will end the year at Penn State against the suddenly scorching hot Nittany Lions. If somehow the Illini wanted to do Minnesota a favor to get them to a better bowl game, it would be appreciated.
Purdue was in fact a COVID stoppage from losing six games in a row to end the year. After losing the Old Oaken Bucket game last week, it once again was cancelled for the second straight week due to COVID in both Purdue and Indiana’s program. Enjoy the offseason.
Big Ten East
Ohio State got the gift from the Big Ten of a rules change and will take on Northwestern this week after not getting to beat Michigan by 50 last week. Now they can save all that angst up for the Wildcats.
Indiana will now look ahead to Bowl season after having to cancel the Old Oaken Bucket game for the second week in a row. But...it might be enough to keep them in contention for the NY6 bowl games and earn the Big Ten an extra bowl slot. If not, it might be the Gophers who lose out.
Don’t look now but the Lions finally got things figured out after an atrocious 0-5 start. They have now won three in a row, should stomp Illinois to make it four and will somehow claw themselves back into a bowl game.
Rutgers knocks off Maryland and potentially jumps the Terps into a bowl game? They probably need to beat Nebraska first this week, so it’s probably going to happen.
Maryland has some injury and COVID issues to work through but will play Sparty to see who can win that all important 5/6 battle for the east.
Blown out by Penn State and their marquis win on the season over the Wolverines looks worse and worse every day. One last game against Maryland for bragging rights.
Three games in a row gone for the Wolverines. Competing with Arizona State for the most COVID games missed is not how you wanted to end the year Michigan.
Rankings 1-14 (Last Week)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (1)
- Indiana Hoosiers (2)
- Northwestern Wildcats (3)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (4)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (10)
- Minnesota Golden Gophers (8)
- Wisconsin Badgers (5)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (12)
- Maryland Terrapins (7)
- Michigan State Spartans (6)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (9)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (11)
- Purdue Boilermakers (12)
- Michigan Wolverines (14)