Help Me, Wisconsin. You're My Only Hope: Big Ten Football Week 10 Review

After last week’s 39-38 thriller in Columbus, Ohio State catapulted themselves in the Big Ten east standings as well as the first College Football Playoff rankings – coming in at 6th. Though there would be work left to inject themselves into the top 4, the hardest challenge seemed to be behind them as they prepared to travel Iowa City Saturday.

Penn State was left reeling, but with some hope left to regain its footing in the east with the Buckeyes still needing to play both Michigan and Michigan State. If they too could prevent capitulation Saturday afternoon, a fourth straight CFP Playoff berth seemed assured for the conference.

The Buckeyes would wave adieu to their playoff hopes, while a storm washed away the Nittany Lions’ dreams Saturday leaving only Wisconsin as a realistic representative for the Big Ten and a college football first highlighted a wacky week 10 in the Big Ten.

What the Hell Was THAT

Iowa 55 Ohio State 24

With 3:05 left to play in the third quarter, Iowa set up for a field goal that would put them seemingly put them up 34-17. Then, Kirk Ferentz ventured into the upside down. Calling a play called “Pole Cat”, Iowa lined up with six men to the left while holder Colten Rastetter lined up in the shotgun.(?) Tight end Noah Fant came in motion, long snapper Tyler Kluver snapped the ball, slipped past the Ohio State defense and caught a Rastetter pass before tripping down to the two yard line.

Quarterback Nathan Stanley would find tight end TJ Hockenson on the next play in the back of the endzone to put Iowa up 38-17 in a play the felt like would be the final nail in the coffin that was Ohio State’s trip to Iowa City.

Iowa would finish off the Buckeyes 55-24 in a shocking display of ineptitude by an Urban Meyer coached team.

Things started off poorly for the Buckeyes as JT Barrett was picked off on the first play of the game by Amani Hooker who would take it back for the opening touchdown of the game. Iowa and Ohio State would trade punches until Iowa rattled off 31 straight points. Just a week ago Barrett had forced himself into Heisman consideration by going 33-39 for 329 yards and four touchdowns. “I’ve never had a kid play perfect, but damn he was close tonight,” Meyer said. It was the perfect tease for Ohio State fans to finally believe that Barrett had turned his final corner. Coming into Saturday, Barrett had only thrown one interception the entire season. Saturday, he had four. 

A lot can be said about a let down from Ohio State, but the truth is that Iowa had played damn near perfect. Iowa had planned on using their linebackers to isolate Ohio State’s linebackers and they did just that. Hockenson and Fant combined for nine receptions for 125 yards and four touchdowns.

What does this mean for Ohio State? It’s pretty simple: they still control their own destiny if they win out as far as making the Big Ten Championship. CFP Playoff chances? Donezo.

For Iowa, exuberance flowed through Kinnick Stadium as a sea of black rushed the field just after the final whistle. But something can be said for past frustrations. Iowa has seen another year of “what if?” results. A loss on the final play against Penn State, a Nathan Stanley whiff against Michigan State and an abysmal half against Northwestern sit between them and an undefeated slate.

Rainy Day Blue

Michigan State 27 Penn State 24

It was all there for Penn State to take. Iowa-Ohio State ended before Penn State-Michigan State ended. There were worries of a let down for the Nittany Lions after the emotionally aforementioned loss last week to Ohio State. All Penn State had to do was finish off the Spartans. But for the second week in a row Saquon Barkley was held to under 100 yards rushing and the offense sputtered on a day that lasted just under seven hours. Michael Geiger kicked a game winner that would knock Ohio State out of the CFP and Big Ten race. This time, it was Matt Coghlin. Coghlin kicked from 34 yards out to unofficially un-invite Penn State from the College Football Playoff and all but cancelled a date in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship.

Penn State was leading 14-7 in the second quarter when lighting forced a weather delay of about 3 1/2 hours. The game started locally at 11:05. Just as Coghlin’s kick descended just through the uprights, the clock just past six.

Whether or not the weather had an effect on Penn State is a moot point. Quarterback Trace McSorely was mundane with 381 passing yards on 26/47 passing attempts. He threw for 3 touchdowns but was picked off another 3. The aforementioned Barkley had another week marginal rushing. Over the past two weeks he’s only rushed for 107 yards on 35 attempts.

Much like Ohio State-Iowa, the performance of the hosts cannot be downplayed. Sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns, a welcome sign for the development of a sophomore quarterback.

What’s next for Penn State? They don’t hold the tiebreaker on both teams ahead of them. Peace out Big Ten hopes.

Michigan State? Win next week in Columbus and everything’s right there for ya?

The reality of the situation that Wisconsin is probably the only realistic hope for the Big Ten to secure a spot in the College Football Playoffs. With Alabama and Georgia likely both making it into the final four pending one of them slipping up along the way, only two spots will remain. Note: Notre Dame and Miami are undefeated and meeting this weekend. Oklahoma and Clemson both sit higher than any Big Ten Team with just three regular season games left to go.


Northwestern took out Nebraska in overtime 31-24 in Lincoln Saturday securing the Wildcats third consecutive overtime victory- they had previously beaten Iowa 17-10 and Michigan State 39-31. They’re the first team in FBS history to accomplish such a feat. It appears Northwestern is putting on their late-season show. Stop losing to Duke and Illinois State, Cats.


Little Brown Juggin’ – Michigan beat Minnesota 33-10 to secure its 75th Little Brown Jug. They’re only played 103 times! Dear Lord this isn’t a rivalry.

Canonized – Purdue beat Illinois 29-10 because Illinois is bad. Purdue gets a cannon for it.

It’s Ovah – Wisconsin seemingly wrapped up the Big Ten west by smacking Indiana 45-17. A win in their final three games clinches the west.

You’re Still Here? Maryland 24 Rutgers 31.



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