I am glad this happened during the bye week. Boilerslim was nice enough to deliver a case of Yuengling from Atlanta when he came through Indy in the spring. Yesterday, I saw there were four left in the fridge. Unfortunately, months buried in my fridge had turned them pretty bad. I took one of the team, sacrificed them one by one while watching the afternoon and evening games, and now the bad mojo of non-fresh Yuengling is out of the system for Purdue. Fresh Yuengling will be retrieved when I go to Penn State in a few weeks.
In the meantime, the rest of the league (sans Northwestern) was active this week, along with all of our non-conference opponents. Here is what went down around the conference:
Michigan State 45, Central Michigan 7 - The common theme of the early games was the Big Ten winning in a rout. The Spartans got a comfortable win before heading to Columbus next week. They were up 31-0 at the half after a 24-0 spurt in the second quarter. This game also helped assure that there was only one MAC of Big Ten upset this year, that being Ball State over Indiana, although calling Indiana Big Ten is a stretch at this point.
Michigan 28, San Diego State 7 - Can you feel the collapse coming? I made a comment on Twitter today about Tom Brady being a true Michigan Man like Denard Robinson when he threw four picks against the Bills. The Michigan basketball student section responded that I had no room to talk right now because of our quarterback situation. Michigan's defensive woes are not totally settled and once someone figures out that their only offense is Robinson running around they're going to be shocked. Robinson only threw for 88 yards and had two more interceptions yesterday.
Penn State 34, Eastern Michigan 6 - We learned that Eastern Michigan's offense really, really sucks against Big Ten teams. There is still no clear winner between Matthew McGloin and Robert Bolden. Penn State got its first four passing touchdowns of the season, and with Temple stomping of Maryland their win over the Owls looks better. The Nittany Lions have a bye next week against Indiana. If the Hoosiers couldn't move on the worst defense in Division I and couldn't stop one of the worst offenses imagine how good Penn State will look this week?
Iowa 45, Louisiana-Monroe 17 - move over Ricky Stanzi. James Vandenberg, a.k.a., the Mandenberg, is the new pin-up boy of Our Most Hated Rival. That's not a surprise since God hates Iowa running backs as much as he hates Purdue ACLs. They call him Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God, and he has already claimed Mika'il McCall this season. Marcus Coker may be next, and I would guess that he will succumb to beri-beri before the season is over. Scurvy is also a possibility. The Hawkeyes are still 3-1 and in a solid position for another 8 win year.
Ohio State 37, Colorado 17 - Let's all clam down before anointing Braxton Miller as the reincarnation of Terrelle Pryor and calling the Buckeyes back. They just beat one of the worst road BCS teams in the country. I don't know what is worse: the Big Ten bloggers' feed being clogged with emo OSU blogs after a loss, or overconfident OSU blogs after a win.
Wisconsin 59, South Dakota 10 - They haven't really played anyone yet, but the Badgers still terrify me. Unlike everyone else in the conference they have had no trouble whatsoever in the non-conference season. It looks like their toughest game could be late in the season at Illinois too. They have the defense that shouldn't give up more than 20 in any given week and an offense that looks like it will be hard to hold under 30.
Illinois 23, Western Michigan 20 - The Fighting Illini are 4-0 for the first time in 60 years. That's quite a stretch without a solid start to a season. I would wager that every other team in the league, even Indiana, has had at least two 4-0 starts in that time. If I am wrong, please let me know. As Joe over at Hail to the Orange says, it wasn't pretty, but he'll take it. I wish we could be saying the same right now about Rice.
Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14 - Practice time is over for the Cornhuskers. It gets very real in six days when they have their Big Ten opener in Madison, followed by their first conference home game against Ohio State. That's quite a gauntlet for the new guy, and I promise we're not hazing them. Corn Nation is concerned that Nebraska has let teams hang around so far instead of really putting them away. That may be true, but 4-0 is 4-0.
North Dakota State 37, Minnesota 24 - Oh Boy. I knew this was possible, but the Golden Gophers have now lost to three FCS schools in five seasons and had two close calls in 2006 and 2009. I was watching the Off Tackle Empire Open Thread yesterday and it was populated by angry Minnesota fans swilling brown liquor and cursing the name of Tim Brewster. They are actually longing for Glen Mason because say what you will about him in big games, he had a very Tiller-like career in consistently getting them to bowl games. It's getting bad in Minneapolis, so bad that they feel sorry for Miami (OH) fans because they actually lost to Minnesota. Ouch! It's a good thing Indiana and Minnesota do not play this season. It could be the worst Big Ten game ever.
North Texas 24, Indiana 21 - I saved the best for last because I think this was the most embarrassing loss for a Big Ten team this year. Yes, North Dakota State is FCS, but at least they are rated 8th and have a hell of a team. North Texas came in giving up 41 points or more in all three previous games and had one of the worst offenses in the country to boot. By early in the second quarter they had already passed their average yardage per game and they were shutting Indiana out into the fourth quarter. It would have been worse had two early drives not ended in fumbles. Terry Hutchens and the IU Star already call it one of the most embarrassing losses in IU history. Hutchens even questions if Kevin Wilson has lost the team after four games. It was so bad that it took a North Texas defender stopping to put on his shoe for Indiana to score its final touchdown (I watched the replay. This happened). I am as ardent of a Purdue supporter as there is, but this is bad even for Indiana and I kinda feel a little sorry for them.
Troy 38, Middle Tennessee State 35 - The Blue Raiders gave up 415 yards passing and almost 600 yards to a Sun Belt team. Thank God we blocked that field goal now.
Baylor 56, Rice 31 - 673 yards and 306 yards rushing from the Bears in this one. 306 on the ground. And Ralph Bolden had only five carries in the first three quarters why? I will now light myself on fire.
Tennessee Tech 38, Southeast Missouri State 31 - At least the Redhawks had a much better week and found the end zone a few times. Dontay Gay scored on a four yard run with 2:38 left to win this back and forth game.
Notre Dame 15, Pittsburgh 12 - The Fighting Irish didn't go to Michael Floyd much, but Pitt showed the blueprint in how we will lose if it is a close game Saturday night. Tyler Eifert was deadly over the middle and grabbed the game-winning TD and two-point conversion. If I am Notre Dame I through to Eifert over the middle on every play because we will not stop it. If you saw ND's final drive you saw exactly what will happen if we continue to refuse to cover the middle of the field.