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Big 10 All Tightened Up

College Men

Big 10 All Tightened Up

Allison Bradfield photo.

What's going on in the Big 10? 

It's still completely up in the air.

Wisconsin started really well with wins over Michigan State and Minnesota, but the Badgers were surprised this past weekend by Illinois, 17-15.

Illinois center Luke Pavlakis scored with 13 minutes to bring the Illini up from 15-12 down to 17-15 up. Wisconsin No. 8 Jack Russell scored two tries and prop Jonathan Higgins scored one try. But Illinois kept close with a try from fullback Louis Chrisos and one from No. 8 Lonnie Buchanan.

Pavlakis converted one of those and that proved to be the difference.

Meanwhile, Ohio State is looking a little stronger despite the loss to Indiana a week before. This week the Buckeyes bounced back and slammed Minnesota 73-7. Flanker Ben Richards, hooker Derek Hess, center Andrew Baldado, lock Josef O'Brien, lock Nolan Skelly, and prop Luke Downs all scored in the first half as Ohio State spread the wealth. 

Flyhalf Conor Forrestal, Downs for his second, No. 8 Nate Heister, fllack Josh Leidich, and wing Vince Carso scored in the second half.

Michigan State got tries from lock Scott Bankes, fullback Evan Shoup, flanker Albert Asta, and scrumhalf Jacob Wright all touched down in a 20-10 win for the Spartans over Purdue. That's right, four tries, no conversions. With that game and the Illinois-Wisconsin game, you've got 12 tries and one conversion.

So all of this leaves the conference very tight. Three teams—OSU, Wisconsin, and Michigan State—are locked at 2-1 with the same number of bonus points. Indiana is 2-0, while Michigan is 1-0 having had the Michigan State game called off (they are looking at a mid-October date to re-play that).

Big 10 Standings W L T PF PA PD BT BL PTS
Ohio State 2 1 0 135 53 82 2 1 11
Wisconsin 2 1 0 78 64 14 2 1 11
Michigan State 2 1 0 69 66 3 3 0 11
Indiana 2 0 0 71 47 24 2 0 10
Illinois 1 2 0 68 84 -16 1 1 6
Michigan 1 0 0 43 14 29 1 0 5
Minnesota 1 3 0 73 168 -95 1 0 5
Purdue 0 3 0 50 91 -41 0 0 0

 


What this means is that just about every game has enormous meaning. At least five, maybe even six, teams could legitimately think they're in with a shot at the top two, and therefore the final. 

What if Illinois upsets Ohio State on October 19? What if Indiana slips up against Wisconsin this coming weekend? What if Michigan State runs the table? Anything could happen.

Big 10 2019 schedule (note Michigan vs Michigan State is likely to be rescheduled)

9/14/19 Michigan St 25-24 Illinois Big 10
9/14/19 Purdue 21-29 Minnesota Big 10
         
9/21/19 Illinois 27-44 Indiana Big 10
9/21/19 Michigan 43-14 Minnesota Big 10
9/21/19 Michigan St 24-32 Wisconsin Big 10
9/21/19 Ohio State 42-19 Purdue Big 10
         
9/27/19 Ohio State 20-27 Indiana Big 10
9/27/19 Michigan Ppd Michigan St Big 10
9/28/19 Wisconsin 31-23 Minnesota Big 10
         
10/5/19 Illinois 17-15 Wisconsin Big 10
10/5/19 Michigan St 20-10 Purdue Big 10
10/5/19 Minnesota 7-73 Ohio State Big 10
         
10/11/19 Michigan at Ohio State Big 10
10/12/19 Purdue at Illinois Big 10
10/12/19 Wisconsin at Indiana Big 10
10/12/19 Minnesota at Michigan State Big 10
         
10/19/19 Illinois at Ohio State Big 10
10/19/19 Indiana at Michigan St Big 10
10/19/19 Wisconsin at Michigan Big 10
         
10/26/19 Minnesota at Illinois Big 10
10/26/19 Purdue at Indiana Big 10
10/26/19 Ohio State at Wisconsin Big 10
         
11/2/19 Indiana at Michigan Big 10
11/2/19 Michigan St at Ohio State Big 10
11/2/19 Purdue at Wisconsin Big 10
         
11/9/19 Playoffs