Around the Big Ten: Week 2
Hello again friends,
Weird things happen in week 1. It’s kind of a law. The Big Ten fell victim to the weirdness of week 1 in a big way. Penn State lost to Temple. Illinois scored 52 points on a team. Northwestern beat Stanford. Nebraska lost on a Hail Mary. College football is weird.
We don’t really know anything about anyone after just one week. Stanford may be awful. They may be good. We don’t know because we don’t have a sample size. So keep that in mind when you look ahead to week 2. In theory, we should know a whole lot more about the Big Ten after this week. In reality, everyone is playing scrubs, so we won’t know anything more.
This has not been a good intro.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH
Oregon State @ Michigan, 11:00 AM (ABC)
Jim Harbaugh has actually never won his opening game as a college coach. And Utah is probably a pretty solid team. Week 1 confirmed worries about this squad.
They can’t score.
They can’t run, and they can’t throw.
Fortunately, Oregon State is kind of awful. Bill Connelly ranked them 88th in his preseason rankings. That’s just one spot above South Alabama. That’s not good.
Harbaugh and Co. should get off the schneid this week.
Western Illinois @ Illinois, 11:00 AM (BTN)
There was always potential for Illinois football to be a completely reasonable team on offense. Sure Kent State is an awful, terrible, no good, very, very bad football team, but not a lot of teams can hang 52 in one contest. I’m fairly certain that NU couldn’t hang 52 on Kent State.
Don’t watch this game, but enjoy Wes Lunt putting up silly pre-Big Ten stats before he has to play real teams. He might be the best QB in the Big Ten West. It ain’t saying much, but it is something.
Bowling Green @ Maryland, 11:00 AM (BTN)
Another Big Ten team playing a squad that is FBS in name only. At this point, you’re probably already realizing just how bad the slate of games this week. This is, in all likelihood, the best game of the 11:00 time slot. The days of 9-game conference schedules can’t come fast enough.
Buffalo @ Penn State, 11:00 AM (ESPN2)
Oh, Penn State.
At some point, we need to discuss whether Christian Hackenberg did something to just make his offensive line hate him. Because at some moment in time during last week’s debacle against Temple, the offensive line switched from being bad to being malicious. You all know the stats by now. 10 sacks. One against a 2-man pressure. People are beginning to doubt James Franklin’s ability to coach the talent he brings to town. Buffalo is terrible, significantly worse than the Temple team that stomped Penn State last week. File this one under “games that people will think we can learn from but we really can’t.”
Indiana State @ Purdue, 11:00 AM (ESPN NEWS)
Purdue just lost to Marshall. By 10. In a game they weren’t even favored to win. There is no hope in the entirety of West Lafayette, and there probably shouldn’t be. If Indiana can be in a dogfight with an FCS team, there’s no reason to expect Purdue to run away with this game either.
Purdue’s BTN traditions commercial is Darrell Hazell playing with a train. The only thing wrong with it is that the train isn’t on fire and there aren’t people jumping off the train, and the train isn’t on a collision course, and the train isn’t transporting vast quantities of manure.
Purdue is bad.
Miami (OH) @ Wisconsin, 11:00 AM (ESPNU)
I actually think Wisconsin had one of the better performances of any Big Ten team last week. There was no chance that they were going to beat Alabama, but Joel Stave showed that he might be a decent QB, which is a shock. It’d be good for them to get Corey Clement going, but there shouldn’t be any doubt that the Badgers are the favorites in what is a bad Big Ten West.
Hawaii @ #1 Ohio State, 2:30 PM (BTN)
So Ohio State looked pretty shaky in the first half against Virginia Te—
OH MY GOD HE KILLED EM ALL ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.
Thus begins the weekly “holy cow, Ohio State is a frighteningly good team” section. Seriously, how many Heisman quality players do they have? Braxton Miller has reminded everyone that he is one of the most electric players in college football. Zeke Elliot is a stud and can get 100 yards on like 3 carries because he’s that good. Cardale Jones is a Panzer tank with nitrous boosters. Oh and they had a ton of players suspended in week 1. There isn’t a more fun team in college football, and there isn’t a better college football team either.
Washington State @ Rutgers, 2:30 PM (ESPNU)
Oh, Washington State just lost to FCS Portland State, let’s see how their fanbase is handling it.
Alright, let’s move on.
Minnesota @ Colorado State, 2:30 PM (CBSSN)
Colorado State is a pretty decent squad that should give Minnesota a pretty decent test. But let’s talk about last week.
Number one, I think we can say with certainty that TCU isn’t/wasn’t the second best team in the country. They looked very sloppy and decidedly beneath the tier of, say, Ohio State. Minnesota didn’t look good either, and by Minnesota, I mean Mitch Leidner. He can’t throw a spiral, and the fact that he doesn’t have David Cobb nor Maxx Williams is a problem. Their defense is solid and will keep them in games, but that offense is bad bad bad bad bad.
Iowa @ Iowa State, 3:45 (FOX)
This game has a pretty fitting nickname that isn’t exactly safe for work. But yeah, this game is going to be incredibly awful and because of that you should watch it. Cy-Hawk trophy on the line, Iowan pride, other stuff that I guess makes it a rivalry. It won’t be a good game, but it will be a fun teaser for the big night game.
#7 Oregon @ #5 Michigan State, 7:00 PM (ABC)
I’m not a real big believer in Oregon, but I never have been, and I’ve often been wrong.
But Vernon Adams, fun as he may be, is no Marcus Mariota, and Oregon 2015 is no Oregon 2014.
I really do like Michigan State. Sure they don’t have Langford or half their defense from last season, but they do have Connor Cook and Mark D’Antonio. I’m not sure either team is College Football Playoff level, but this will be an undeniably big resume builder for whoever wins.
South Alabama @ Nebraska, 7:00 PM (BTN)
FIU @ Indiana, 7:00 PM (BTN)
Let’s check in on Indiana’s SB Nation site.
— Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) September 5, 2015
— Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) September 5, 2015
Everything seems fine.