The Report Card: Week Twelve Analysis of the Power 5 Conferences
2. Big Ten
Key Wins: 7 Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue
Good Day: 0 none
Key Losses: 7 Rutgers, Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, Maryland, Minnesota, Iowa
Wisconsin used its strong run game and a stifling run defense to take down #24 Michigan 24-10 in Madison. The Badgers (11-0) outgained the Wolverines 182-58 on the ground to remain undefeated and in the conversation for a playoff spot. Freshman Jonathan Taylor led the way for Wisconsin with 132 rushing yards. The Badgers will meet #9 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game in two weeks. The Buckeyes (9-2) earned their place in the championship game by crushing Illinois 52-14 at the Horseshoe.
Indiana won its second straight league contest with a commanding 41-0 shutout of Rutgers in Bloomington. The Hoosiers (5-6) got 267 of their 503 yards of total offense on the ground, and the defense held the Scarlet Knights to 190 yards on the day. Tom Allen and his Hoosiers are seeking a fifth straight win over Purdue this Saturday in order to go bowling for a third consecutive year. Purdue made this season’s matchup with Indiana a winner-take-all contest by stunning Iowa 24-15 in Iowa City to improve to 5-6. The Boilermakers and Hoosiers are now playing for state bragging rights, the Old Oaken Bucket, and a bowl bid!
Northwestern (8-3) won its sixth consecutive game by blanking Minnesota 39-0 in Evanston. Justin Jackson ran for 166 yards to pace the Wildcats. Michigan State (8-3) relied on its rushing attack to top Maryland 17-7 in the snow in East Lansing. LJ Scott ran for 147 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans. Saquon Barkley rushed for 158 yards and 3 TDs to lead Penn State (9-2) past Nebraska 56-44 in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions tallied 609 yards of total offense on the day.
In the playoff conversation: Wisconsin, Ohio State
Jeff is a college sports fanatic who was able to recognize many D1 team logos by kindergarten. Growing up, Jeff played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track/cross country. Jeff’s love for college sports was expanded while running track/cross country at Indiana University, where he earned a General Education degree and attended every sporting event possible when not running for the Hoosiers. A proud parent and husband, Jeff resides in Oxford. His wife is an Ole Miss graduate, and Jeff has a year of post-graduate studies at Ole Miss under his belt. Jeff and his family can be found at just about any Ole Miss sporting event throughout the year. Jeff follows the idea of God, Family/Friends, and Football as a way of life. Writing about Ole Miss sports plays to Jeff’s love affair with collegiate athletics perfectly!