Wisconsin

Big Ten Week 1 Rankings & Quick Takes


What happened in all the Week 1 Big Ten games? Where are all the teams ranked, and what’s the quick take on each game? Check out the Big Ten rankings and analysis.


Big Ten Week 1 Rankings, Predictions & Quick Takes

How are the Big Ten predictions so far? SU: 12-2, ATS: 6-4

1. Ohio State

Final Score: Ohio State 77, Bowling Green 10
Prediction: Ohio State 45, Bowling Green 16, OSU -27.5, o/u: 62.5
Up Next: Tulsa

Quick Take: That worked out just fine – that’s how you start a season. J.T. Barrett got the bad play out of the way early with a pick six, and that was it for the problems on both sides of the ball. How sharp was Barrett? 21-of-31 for 349 yards and six scores and that one pick, and he ran for 30 yards and a touchdown as the O looked far sharper and far better than it ever did early on last year. This might be a young team, but it’s awfully talented and awfully fast. Bowling Green’s high-octane offense didn’t go anywhere, and the defense couldn’t handle anything the Buckeyes tried to do.

2. Michigan (1-0)

Final Score: Michigan 63, Hawaii 3
Prediction: Michigan 48, Hawaii 6, Michigan -40.5, o/u: 54.5
Up Next: UCF

Quick Take: Don’t discount the importance of living up to expectations. Tennessee was supposed to come out and look great. Oklahoma started the season in the top three and got its doors ripped off by Houston. Michigan might have started with an ugly with a pick, but everything else worked perfectly. It wasn’t just Wilton Speight who took target practices after the initial mistake – John O’Korn and Shane Morris combined to complete all seven of their passes. The running game worked no matter who was carrying the ball – the line was absolutely dominant. The defense controlled third downs – Hawaii converted just one – the lone score came late, and in all, it turned out to be everything Michigan could’ve wanted.

3. Wisconsin (1-0)

Final Score: Wisconsin 16, LSU 14
Prediction: LSU 23, Wisconsin 17, LSU -9.5, o/u: 44.5
Up Next: Akron

Quick Take: The Badgers aren’t going to complain about a win over a team that might just have the most talent in college football, but they can also look back at a game like this and realize how many opportunities that they missed. From interceptions, to problems in the red zone, to a third quarter meltdown that looked like it would turn the momentum around for good, this wasn’t a perfect game. But Bart Houston didn’t play like a quarterback starting in the toughest of situations, Corey Clement ran with a purpose, and the defense was brilliant when it had to be. Wisconsin just beat a national title-level team – now do it again in a few weeks against Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all in a row.
Wisconsin stuns LSU: 5 Things That Matter

4. Michigan State (1-0)

Final Score: Michigan State 28, Furman 13
Prediction: Michigan State 52, Furman 3
Up Next: at Notre Dame

Quick Take: It might seem okay to blow this off as Week 1 for a team with a ton of key replacements taking over, but Michigan State was sharp as a tack on its opening scoring drive. The defense was fine throughout – DT Malik McDowell was camped out in the Paladin backfield – but the offense played it close to the vest and never really opened it up after the great first drive. Tyler O’Connor threw for 190 yards and three touchdowns and was solid, and LJ Scott ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, but it’s almost as if MSU didn’t want to show Notre Dame anything. Even so, Furman was within a score in the fourth quarter – that’s not okay.

5. Iowa (1-0)

Final Score: Iowa 45, Miami University 21
Prediction: Iowa 44, Miami University 9, Iowa -27.5
Up Next: Iowa State

Quick Take: Uhhhhh, defense? The offense put the game away in the first quarter, but the Hawkeye defense struggled too much to keep the short-range Miami passing game from dinking and dunking its way down the field. Chalk it up to the season opener, but the Hawkeyes weren’t sharp defensively with Iowa State coming up next. Fortunately, the 1-2 pop of Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels carried the day combining for 204 yards and four scores on just 22 carries.

6. Penn State (1-0)

Final Score: Penn State 33, Kent State 13
Prediction: Penn State 31, Kent State 6, Penn State -21
Up Next: at Pitt

Quick Take: This is a good, strong Kent State defense – even at a MAC level – and it was going to be a bit of a fight for the offense to get going. Saquon Barkley had to battle a bit, but he ran for 105 yards to steady the offense, and while it wasn’t always smooth, Trace McSorley was okay running the ball and hitting on a few decent long plays. Former Fordham head coach/now offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead might have had a bit of a rocky start, but everything started to work. It’s going to take a while before it’s a smoothly-running attack, and it’ll get tested by the Pitt D.

7. Minnesota (1-0)

Final Score: Minnesota 30, Oregon State 23
Prediction: Minnesota 27, Oregon State 20, Minnesota -13, o/u: 51
Up Next: Indiana State

Quick Take: It was hardly a pretty performance for the Gophers with snapping problems, three targeting penalties, and way too many rocky moments before Mitch Leidner took over with his legs as well as his arm, but the team took over in the second half when it had to and won the fourth quarter. It’s still going to be a work in progress, but the ultra-aggressive defensive front was great at getting behind the line. Leidner had time and wasn’t sacked.
– Minnesota beats Oregon State: 5 Things That Matter

8. Nebraska (1-0)

Final Score: Nebraska 43, Fresno State 10
Prediction: Nebraska 40, Fresno State 23, Nebraska -28
Up Next: Wyoming

Quick Take: In an emotional game honoring the late Sam Foltz, the running game did whatever it wanted to with Devine Ozigbo doing the most work with 103 yards and two scores on just 17 carries, but it was the defensive front that owned the game. Fresno State’s running game had nowhere to go as the D took control until the O finally woke up. The big problem? Tommy Armstrong struggled. He ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, but he only completed 5-of-10 passes as the O relied on the ground game that wore down the Bulldogs.

9. Indiana (1-0)

Final Score: Indiana 34, FIU 13
Prediction: Indiana 38, FIU 20, Indiana -9.5, o/u: 61
Up Next: Ball State

Quick Take: Indiana will take it any time the defense rises up and turns out being the positive difference. The Hoosiers came up with a safety and two pick-sixes to go along with a strange day from the offense. It’ll worked great, but the big yards didn’t always translate into points. Considering it was a strange road game, and with a few suspensions early on, the Hoosiers can’t be upset with Richard Lagow completing 18-of-27 passes for 240 yards and a score, and with 135 yards from Devine Redding. Indiana overall did a better job than the final score might indicate.

10. Maryland (1-0)

Final Score: Maryland 52, Howard 13
Prediction: Maryland 58, Howard 0
Up Next: at FIU

Quick Take: It was a nearly perfect opener. Maryland needed time to work out the kinks under new head coach D.J. Durkin, and it needed to get the passing game going, but Perry Hills didn’t have to do much completing 14-of-19 passes for 126 yards. It was the ground game that got it done averaging over seven yards per carry with six different players scoring a touchdown. Best of all for the Terps? No turnovers.

11. Northwestern (0-1)

Final Score: Western Michigan 22, Northwestern 21
Prediction: Northwestern 27, Western Michigan 23, NW -5.5
Up Next: Illinois State

Quick Take: This was exactly the type of game that last year’s Northwestern team lived off of. It was a tight battle that came down to getting the right breaks and making the key plays, but instead, Western Michigan got the fourth down touchdown. It controlled the clock keeping the ball for over 39 minutes. Northwestern is the one that fumbled at the wrong time in the final moments when all it needed was a field goal. Those things just didn’t happen last year, but Justin Jackson and the ground game worked, and Clayton Thorson threw well completing 15-of-22 passes for 196 yards. WMU might be the best team in the MAC, but that’s little solace.

12. Illinois (1-0)

Final Score: Illinois 52, Murray State 3
Prediction: Illinois 50, Murray State 10
Up Next: North Carolina

Quick Take: It was an easy layup – like it was supposed to – in Lovie Smith’s first game as the defense destroyed the Murray State running game and Wes Lunt rolled with the offense. Lunt threw three touchdown passes, Kendrick Foster raced for two scores and 118 yards on four carries, and everything clicked from the start. It was just what the team needed to get everything rolling and get Smith an easy game to work off of. If the D can live in the backfield against North Carolina, too, it’ll be interesting next week.

13. Rutgers (0-1)

Final Score: Washington 48, Rutgers 13
Prediction: Washington 34, Rutgers 16, UW -26, o/u: 55
Up Next: Howard

Quick Take: There will be better days. Washington has an elite defense and a good enough team overall to take the Pac-12 North, and Rutgers gave it whole slew of breaks. The Scarlet Knights turned it over three times, allowed a kickoff return and a punt return for a score, and failed to do anything of note offensively until the fourth quarter when it was way, way too late. The Rutgers D was okay after a horrible first quarter, and it did a nice job of getting off the field after getting down big, but it didn’t matter – it was blowout time.

14. Purdue (1-0)

Final Score: Purdue 45, Eastern Kentucky 24
Prediction: Purdue 31, Eastern Kentucky 13
Up Next: Cincinnati

Quick Take: It might not have been perfect, and there’s still a ton of work to do, but Purdue got the win off some key early interceptions and the O took advantage. The offense was almost perfectly balanced, but it also sputtered too much until the fourth quarter – at least when it came to putting up points. Markell Jones was brilliant running for 145 yards and a score, and David Blough was fine with a decent passing day, but he’s going to have to put up bigger numbers and be even sharper – he completed 25-of-43 passes for 245 yards and a score with a pick – next week against Cincinnati.