Michigan Football: What we learned about Big Ten in Week 7

Syndication: HawkCentral
Syndication: HawkCentral /

Michigan football was on bye this week but the rest of the Big Ten wasn’t and here’s what we learned about the league in Week 7.

Before gearing up for its final six games of the season, Michigan football had its bye this week, so the Wolverines were absent from the college football scene.

And it was another crazy scene as there were upsets across the board this week starting with unranked Purdue taking down second-ranked Iowa. Few expected that to happen, but Iowa has been living on its defense and David Bell was having none of it.

That talented wideout went for over 200 yards and the Hawkeyes offense was exposed and it managed just seven points.

While everyone is talking about Iowa’s fall from grace, the storyline people are missing is Purdue. The Boilermakers are now 4-2 on the season and tied for first in the Big Ten West. Plus they have the tiebreaker over Iowa — meaning this team has a legit shot to get to Indy.

But so does Minnesota. The Gophers beat Nebraska, even without its top two running backs, and Minnesota, which beat Purdue is also tied for first — well technically, the Gophers and Boilers are a half-game back in the win column by everyone has one loss.

Michigan State survives a scare

In addition to Michigan football having a bye week, so did Penn State and Ohio State. But the other top-10 team in the Big Ten didn’t and Michigan State had to work to get out of Bloomington with a win.

Indiana was ranked in the top 25 to start the season, but the Hoosiers are without their starting quarterback. They are still a solid team and gave MSU all it could handle.

The Hoosiers have now lost to Cincinnati, Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan State. So even though Indiana is just 2-4, it has played four top-10 teams already this season, and the schedule doesn’t get easier next week with Ohio State.

All six remaining teams on the schedule are at least .500 or better right now in terms of overall record, which means getting back to a bowl is going to be an uphill climb for the Hoosiers.

In other notable action, Northwestern, Michigan football’s opponent next Saturday, defeated Rutgers 21-7 for its first conference win. It’s also a reminder that the Wildcats aren’t going to be an easy win for the Wolverines. Pat Fitzgerald’s team never quits.

Wisconsin also struggled with Army but won 20-14. That should serve as a reminder to Big Ten teams NOT to schedule the service academy teams. It’s hard to prepare for their offenses and the games always end up being close — just ask Ohio State or Michigan football.

But in the big picture, the win by Michigan State kept things status quo in the Big Ten East. The Spartans are tied with Michigan Football and Ohio State for first, with Penn State one game back.

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So in both divisions, the race for first place is wide open and as we get set for the second half of the Big Ten football schedule, we couldn’t ask for anything more.