What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Fans of this conference are all too familiar with this situation. One upset tosses the standings into a potential collision between at least four teams, leading to the usual punditry about tie-breakers and “if team x beats team y” scenarios. How fitting was it that the catalyst upset for the 2009 Train Wreck was brought to you by the team with a train in it logo?
Purdue 26, Ohio State 18
Current Boilermaker quarterback Joey Elliot got a text message from the last Purdue signal-caller to beat the ranked Buckeyes. Elliot said Drew Brees had a simple message for him: “Hey, go out there and shock the world, have fun. I’ll be watching.” Apparently, he heeded the words of the Boiler legend, leading Purdue to its biggest upset in years. Elliot welcomed Ohio State to Ross-Ade by tossing 281 yards and two touchdowns as the Boilermakers dominated (yes, I said dominated) No. 7 Ohio State 26-18.
Really, the game was not as close as the score suggested. One could construct an argument that Terrelle Pryor gave the game away with his two interceptions and two lost fumbles; there is no denying this was another ugly Saturday for the Buckeye offense. Last week’s offensive sputter-fest against Wisconsin allowed for Ohio State’s defense and special teams to bail out Pryor. But this week, Purdue capitalized by winning the turnover battle; turning Ohio State miscues into points.
Not only does this game help create the aforementioned logjam in the standings, but it also likely brings about the end of some exceptionally noxious stats held by the Ohio State Penitentiary University.
“Yeah, it hurts,” said Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor. “Right now, we’ve just got to be worried about the Big Ten because the national championship is gone.”
Juice Williams took that 2007 Illinois team past tOSUPU and on to Pasadena. Even though this Purdue team had lost five straight coming in to this game, and even though they will struggle to make a bowl game, there is still Hope in West Lafayette. Purdue fans had clearly started to give up on this team; half the crowd at Ross-Ade was dressed in Ohio State red. But they may have tossed in the towel too soon.
Even in those five losses, Purdue nearly upset a Top Ten-caliber Oregon, and Notre Dame needed a last-minute touchdown to vanquish the Boilers. But against Ohio State, the Boilermakers pulled off their first win over a ranked team since 2003. In fact, in what may become first-year coach Danny Hope’s first signature win, the Boilermakers scored their first win against a ranked Ohio State squad since 2000.
Penn State 20, Minnesota 0
Nothing says global warming quite like a homecoming game in Happy Valley dressed in six inches of snow. So there was no doubt in your mind about the authenticity of the snow, the geniuses at ESPN thought the 45% of American households slated to view this sloppy muck-fest should get some quality footage of Holly Rowe shoveling snow during her report on College GameDay.
Frankly, the shovel duty was more interesting than the game; and the vaunted PSU student section must have agreed as vast numbers of them stayed home. But to be fair, who wants to see what may be the worst team in the Big Eleven Ten not currently in Indiana.
Michigan State 24, Northwestern 14
One could have a spirited debate over who is the best team amongst the conference contenders at this point. However, even in the heat of that battle there would be agreement; it ain’t the Spartans. With three straight losses in their first four games, it would have been easy to give Michigan State up for dead. To be honest, it still is.
Beating Northwestern only means that the Spartans are back to the level of beating teams they are supposed beat. Michigan State clearly should have beaten Central Michigan, and had superior talent to Notre Dame, but couldn’t get the job done in either case. This doesn’t bode well for a team that still has to beat Iowa and Penn State if they have dreams of roses.
Iowa 20, Wisconsin 10
In what could have been dubbed “The Battle of the Surprise Contenders,” The Hawkeyes knocked the Badgers out of the ranks of teams with only one conference loss. In the process, Iowa has somehow moved to 7-0 and continues to look like the front-runner for the conference championship and a BCS bowl berth, especially in light of Ohio State’s gag-job in West Lafayette.
Once again, Iowa found itself behind in the second half on the road against a conference contender. The Hawkeyes already showed they have brass ones having rallied from a 10-0 deficit at Penn State. Now, they brush the Badgers aside on a 10-yard touchdown run by Adam Robinson early in the fourth quarter, and the Hawkeye defense did the rest, holding the Badgers scoreless in the second half.
Where does this leave the race in the Big Eleven Ten? Well, lets’ examine the contenders at this point in the season.
Iowa: Still undefeated and already beat Penn State; still has road games at Michigan State and Ohio State
Goes to Pasadena If: They only lose once the rest of the way, but not to Michigan State
Doesn’t Go to Pasadena If: They lose twice, or if they lose once and Michigan State wins out
Michigan State: Has only one conference loss, and has a favorable schedule; the only real test coming when Penn State visits East Lansing.
Goes to Pasadena If: The Spartans win all their remaining games, and Iowa loses
Doesn’t Go to Pasadena If: They lose again or Iowa wins out
Ohio State: Two losses, but only one in conference; has yet to face Iowa or Penn State.
Goes to Pasadena If: The Buckeyes beat Iowa and Penn State, Michigan State loses in-conference again, and Iowa loses twice.
Doesn’t Go to Pasadena If: They lose again or Iowa loses only once (not to Ohio State)
Penn State: Already a loss to Iowa, has yet to face Michigan State or Ohio State
Goes to Pasadena If: The Nittany Lions beat Michigan State and Ohio State, and Iowa loses twice.
Doesn’t Go to Pasadena If: They lose again, Ohio State doesn’t lose again, Michigan State doesn’t lose again or Iowa loses only once to anybody
Of course, this will all change as the back half of the season plays out, but no matter what, Saturday’s events in West Lafayette will play a large role in who goes to Pasadena.