The Big Ten and Its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Weekend
By Cullen Jekel
Man, oh man, what a horrible weekend for the Big Ten.
On Saturday, September 15th, 2018, thirteen of the fourteen teams that make up the Big Ten (because math) took the field. Of those thirteen teams, only one–Ohio State–faced a ranked opponent.
And yet the the Big Ten went 6-7, with seven losses to unranked opponents and six of those losses coming at home.
Now, let’s give credit where credit is due: the Buckeyes took care of #15 TCU in Dallas and #19 Michigan stomped SMU, while #11 Penn State dismantled Kent State. Indiana also trounced Ball State, Minnesota beat Miami (Oh.), and Iowa took care of UNI.
But, man: the losses were horrible. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Maryland lost to Temple, 35-14.
This was a home loss for the Terrapins, who were a surprising 2-0 before this game. The Owls, meanwhile, were 0-2 with losses to such powerhouses as Villanova and Buffalo. This loss brings Maryland crashing back to earth after a great start under interim head coach Matt Canada.
Rutgers lost to Kansas, 55-14.
On the bright side, Rutgers did not lose to Kansas in New Jersey–the game took place in Lawrence, Kansas. That’s it on the bright side.
They gave up 55 points to the Jayhawks! That’s a basketball school! Kansas’ head coach had a career record of 4-34 before this game! This is the school’s first winning streak under his tenure!
Good thing the Big Ten poached Rutgers to get that New York market.
Nebraska lost to Troy, 24-19.
This happened in Lincoln. It was Scott Frost’s second game as head coach of the Cornhuskers. He lost the other one, too, but at least that was to another Power Five school (Colorado).
The Curse of Solich lives on.
Illinois lost to South Florida, 24-18.
The Fighting Illini were 2-0 entering this match-up in Chicago, though those games were against Kent State and Western Illinois. Illinois led this one 19-7 before collapsing in the fourth quarter. The Lovie Smith project is still going poorly, though should end soon.
#6 Wisconsin lost to BYU, 24-21.
This one hurts the most as Wisconsin was a) ranked in the Top 10, and b) the best looking team in the Big Ten West. Now the West looks like a complete joke. Tough blow for the division, tougher blower for the conference, seeing its second-best team lose at home to an unranked program.
Purdue lost to Missouri, 40-37.
Playing at Purdue, QB David Blough set a school record for passing yards with 572–and the Boilermakers still lost, this time as time expired on a field goal by Mizzou’s Tucker McCann.
After going 7-6 with a bowl win in coach Jeff Brohm’s first year at the program, the Boilermakers have now fallen to 0-3 in Year Two.
Northwestern lost to Akron, 39-34.
Really, only two things have to be said about this game. One, it was played in Evanston, Illinois. Two, it was Akron’s first win against a Big Ten team since 1894.
That pretty much sums up the entire Big Ten’s performance so far this season.