Wisconsin

Big Ten Rankings & Quick Takes After Week 5


What happened in all the Week 5 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 5 Rankings & Quick Takes

How are the Big Ten predictions so far? SU: 37-15, ATS: 28-13-2

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1. Ohio State (4-0)

Final Score: Ohio State 58, Rutgers 0
Prediction: Ohio State 41, Rutgers 10, OSU -38.5
Up Next: Indiana

Quick Take: There’s no stopping the Buckeyes. Rutgers might not be anything special, but considering Oklahoma really might be pretty good – at least the offense was against TCU – and with the dominant performance from both sides of the ball this week, there’s no letting up. Outside of a pick, J.T. Barrett was nearly perfect, hitting 21-of-29 passes with four scores. Mike Weber was nearly perfect, running for 144 yards and a score on just 14 carries. And the defense was absolutely perfect, allowing just 33 passing yards and allowing just three completions.

2. Michigan (5-0)

Final Score: Michigan 14, Wisconsin 7
Prediction: Michigan 26, Wisconsin 17, UM -10
Up Next: at Rutgers

Quick Take: The kicking game needs work – a LOT of work – but the defense pitched a gem against the Badger running game and came up with three picks against a team that doesn’t make mistakes. Wilton Speight played a sharp game under intense and immense  pressure, and after seemingly setting it up all afternoon, he came up with the one big throw he had to make to Amara Darboh to pull ahead and stay there. This was the first big test. Forget about the score, the Wolverines passes with flying colors – when they didn’t have to kick the ball.

3. Wisconsin (4-1)

Final Score: Michigan 14, Wisconsin 7
Prediction: Michigan 26, Wisconsin 17, UM -10
Up Next: Ohio State

Quick Take: The Badgers need a receiver. The running game still doesn’t have any room to move, partly because Michigan’s run defense is really that good, and partly because there just isn’t any pop against defenses that don’t think Alex Hornibrook is up to the task. As bad as things were offensively, the D gave up the one big play, and that was it – the Badgers still almost pulled it out.

4. Nebraska (5-0)

Final Score: Nebraska 31, Illinois 16
Prediction: Nebraska 41, Illinois 23, Nebraska -21
Up Next: at Indiana (Oct. 15)

Quick Take: 10-of-14 on third downs. It wasn’t always crisp and clean, and it wasn’t the easiest of games for three quarters, but the Huskers were able to wear down the Illini with drive after drive thanks to an almost perfectly balanced offense. Nebraska held the ball for 38 minutes by converting 10-of-14 third down chances with Tommy Armstrong coming up with yet another great game, and Terrell Newby running for 140 yards and two scores.

5. Maryland (4-0)

Final Score: Maryland 50, Purdue 7
Prediction: Maryland 27, Purdue 17, Maryland -10.5
Up Next: at Penn State

Quick Take: That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do against a struggling Purdue team. Maryland not only won with ease, but it ran at will with Ty Johnson ripping off 204 yards and two scores on just seven carries. Yes, the Terps finally turned the ball over and committed 11 penalties – Perry Hills threw a pick – but when you run for 400 yards and four scores while allowing just ten rushing yards in a 43-point win, there’s no complaining.

6. Penn State (3-2)

Final Score: Penn State 29, Minnesota 26 OT
Prediction: Minnesota 34, Penn State 30, Penn State -3
Up Next: Maryland

Quick Take: Trace McSorley is terrific. The depleted linebacking corps and rocky defense struggled, the running game sputtered – outside of the game-winning run from Saquon Barkley – and this was Minnesota’s game for the taking, but McSorley showed what he’s such a fantastic baller, throwing for 335 yards, running for 73 more, and coming up with a potential season-changing/defining win with his drive to set up the field goal to send the game into overtime and set up Barkley’s run.

7. Minnesota (3-1)

Final Score: Penn State 29, Minnesota 26 OT
Prediction: Minnesota 34, Penn State 30, Penn State -3
Up Next: Iowa

Quick Take: Minnesota gagged this away. It came up with the late field goal, and all it needed was one late stop, and couldn’t do it. All it needed was to hold up and force a field goal, and couldn’t do it. There were chances to put this away and pull off a big road win, and couldn’t do it. Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks each ran for over 100 yards, and Mitch Leidner threw well, but … they couldn’t do it. Considering the easy schedule ahead, this is going to sting.

8. Indiana (3-1)

Final Score: Indiana 24, Michigan State 21
Prediction: Michigan State 34, Indiana 23, MSU -6.5
Up Next: at Ohio State

Quick Take: Check out Indiana coming up with a big defensive performance. Check out Indiana coming through in the clutch. Check out Indiana pulling out a win over Michigan State to make a big statement in the Big Ten chase. Okay, so that’s going overboard, but now the Hoosiers know they can hang with the good teams when they’re not turning the ball over a bazillion times like they did against Wake Forest. Instead of giving the ball away, Richard Lagow threw for 276 yards and two scores and caught a touchdown pass.

9. Michigan State (2-1)

Final Score: Indiana 24, Michigan State 21 OT
Prediction: Michigan State 34, Indiana 23, MSU -6.5
Up Next: BYU

Quick Take: Michigan State, really? Where’s the tough ground game? Where’s the stifling defense? This is a team built to come through in the fourth quarter and in the clutch, and instead it was Indiana’s defense that got the job done. WR R.J. Shelton was terrific, and Tyler O’Connor was solid, but the 11 penalties and the defensive issues on third downs were too much to overcome. There’s still time to salvage something out of this year, but the Spartans just lost two games they couldn’t. They had a favorable schedule, and they blew it.

10. Northwestern (2-3)

Final Score: Northwestern 38, Iowa 31
Prediction: Iowa 27, Northwestern 16, Iowa -13
Up Next: at Michigan State (Oct. 15)

Quick Take: Maybe the Wildcats just needed a change of scenery. The defensive front cranked up the pressure at a 2015 level for one of the first times all season long, getting to C.J. Beathard time and again with Ifeadi Odenigbo dominating with four sacks. The offense finally worked with Justin Jackson finally being able to break free with 171 yards and a score to go along with Clayton Thorson’s three touchdown passes to Austin Carr. It’s not an overstatement to call this a season-saver – now there’s hope.

11. Iowa (3-2)

Final Score: Northwestern 38, Iowa 31
Prediction: Iowa 27, Northwestern 16, Iowa -13
Up Next: at Minnesota

Quick Take: The lines once again aren’t getting the job done. The offensive front almost got C.J. Beathard killed – allowing six sacks – while the defensive line got gouged. The Hawkeyes were able to get back into the game with an impressive scoring run, but just when it seemed like they had control of the game, they didn’t. This is supposed to be the easy part of the slate, and they’re struggling way too much and now have to go on the road to face Minnesota and Purdue – neither one is a given at this point.

12. Rutgers (2-3)

Final Score: Ohio State 58, Rutgers 0
Prediction: Ohio State 41, Rutgers 10, OSU -38.5
Up Next: Michigan

Quick Take: Just blow this off and move on. It’s not like the depleted receiving corps was the difference, but not having any weapons didn’t help the cause for Chris Laviano, who had no prayer against the aggressive Buckeye defensive front. The passing game completed 3-of-16 passes, the running game added 83 yards, and it was ugly all the way around. Oh great – Michigan is next.

13. Illinois (1-3)

Final Score: Nebraska 31, Illinois 16
Prediction: Nebraska 41, Illinois 23, Nebraska -21
Up Next: Purdue

Quick Take: It might have been a loss, but Illinois showed a sign of life defensively – at least for three quarters and on the first two downs. Even though the Tigers were able to tear off some nice runs, they didn’t stick with the ground game. Wes Lunt was just okay – he wasn’t able to loosen things up – mainly because the Illini never had the ball. Illinois had it for just 22 minutes because the D couldn’t get off the field on third downs.

14. Purdue (2-2)

Final Score: Maryland 50, Purdue 7
Prediction: Maryland 27, Purdue 17, Maryland -10.5
Up Next: at Illinois

Quick Take: It’s not just that Purdue lost a Big Ten game on the road that’ll make Darrell Hazell’s hot seat unbearably flaming, it’s the 50-7 loss with no real hope of every being in the game. The lone score came in garbage time, the running game was held to ten yards, and the defense wasn’t even close up front against the Terp ground attack. The Boilermakers weren’t even competitive.