Is Ohio State the class of the Big Ten? It certainly seems that way with the Buckeyes jumping out to a 6-0 start following their smashing win against Nebraska this past weekend. Urban Meyer has the Buckeyes thinking big once agin, but a postseason ban will mean the fun really starts next season. Regardless, Ohio State is opening some eyes now, and they are scary.
Here is a quick look at how I graded three of the Big Ten Leaders Division teams midway through their season. You can view the full mid-term evaluation for teams that have reached the midway point of their season in the Big Ten on Examiner.com.
Record: 6-0, 2-0 Big Ten
This is the best team in the Big Ten right now. The passing game leaves a lot to be desired but quarterback Braxton Miller can hurt opposing teams with his legs, helping lead the Buckeyes to having the 10th best rush attack this season (108th in passing). But of a team can force him to beat them with the pass though, Ohio State may be vulnerable. The Urban Meyer era is off to a loud start in a year the Buckeyes are prohibited from playing in the postseason, but the message has been received loud and clear that these Buckeyes will be a force to reckon with.
Record: 4-2, 2-0 Big Ten
Things looked bad after two weeks with losses to Ohio and Virginia, but Bill O’Brien and the senior leadership on the Nittany Lions have changed the course of the season and gained national respect in doing so. The defense has allowed just 16.0 points per game and if not for a special teams meltdown Penn State would have at least five wins right now. But the fact is the special teams is a huge concern for the Nittany Lions and the offense is still young and questionable heading in to the second half.
Record: 4-2, 1-1 Big Ten
Perhaps the most disappointing team in the Big Ten this season, the Wisconsin Badgers are somehow sitting at 4-2. The addition of quarterback Danny O’Brien has not gone quite as planned with some shuffling under center for the nation’s 101st ranked pass offense, and the running game is ranked just 91st with a banged up preseason Heisman favorite Monte Ball. Wisconsin is a missed Utah State field goal from a 3-3 record and wins against FCS Northern Iowa and UTEP at home were far from convincing.
Wisconsin plays at Purdue this weekend, hosts Michigan State at the end of October and ends the season at home against Ohio State and then at Penn State. Is it still a good day to be a Badger?
Want to know what I think of Nebraska, Illinois, Northwestern and Michigan State? View the full mid-term grades available so far.
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