Big Ten Team Season Grades: East
2019 Team Season Grades
ACC Atlantic | Coastal
AAC East | West | Big Ten East | West
Big 12 | C-USA East | West
Independents | MAC East | West
MW Mountain | West | Pac-12 North | South
SEC East | West | Sun Belt East | West
Big Ten Season Grade: B+
There were some down teams – Nebraska was a dud, Maryland and Rutgers were a disaster, and Northwestern was colossal clunker – but overall it was a fun year for the league. Ohio State was amazing and got to the College Football Playoff – the Big Ten finally got its champion back in the tournament – Wisconsin and Penn State got big bowl games, Indiana and Illinois went bowling, and Iowa and Michigan were solid. Throw in the fun of Minnesota’s being season, and it was a strong year for the league.
Indiana Season Grade: B
The Hoosiers got to a bowl game?! It might have been a painful loss to Tennessee in the Gator, but at least they got there thanks to a 7-1 start. They might not have beaten anyone who was all that great – there weren’t any wins over teams that went bowling – but they beat Purdue.
Maryland Season Grade: D
This might take a little while under new head coach Mike Locksley. It looked like the offense was going to be something special with 142 points in the first two games – and a 63-20 win over Syracuse – and that was it. The seven-game losing streak to close out the season was a disaster. The team got worse as the season went on.
Michigan Season Grade: B
It’s hard to get too mad about a season with four losses to four outstanding teams – Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. Another loss to the Buckeyes stings, but Jim Harbaugh was able to push a bit past the can’t-win-big-games-thing a little bit with a blowout win over Notre Dame and a rivalry victory over Michigan State.
Michigan State Season Grade: C+
The offense didn’t come up with the season hoped for, and neither did the team. On the plus side, the Spartans won their final three games of the season. On the negative, they needed to close out with two regular season wins just to get bowl eligible. They lost to Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan by a combined score of 144-27, but they won the Pinstripe Bowl over Wake Forest.
Ohio State Season Grade: A
The campaign might have ended with a disappointment, but it was still a tremendous first year under Ryan Day. The Buckeyes rocked Michigan, won the Big Ten Championship, and were outstanding on the way to a 13-0 record and the No. 2 seed in the final College Football Playoff rankings. They might have lost to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl, but it was a terrific battle that came down to the final pass.
Penn State Season Grade: A-
It might not have been a Big Ten Championship season, but it was still fantastic. There weren’t too many grand expectations, but the Nittany Lions managed to come up with a terrific season with a New Year’s Six bowl appearance and a Cotton Bowl win over Memphis. They started out 8-0 before losing at Minnesota, and the only other misfire was at Ohio State.
Rutgers Season Grade: D
Ugh. The Scarlet Knights scored 92 points in the two wins over UMass and Liberty, and just 67 in the other ten games, all losses. There was a midseason firing of head coach Chris Ash, the offense managed seven points or fewer in seven games, and it was rough battle after rough battle just to finish out the year. However, as bad as things were, the season wasn’t that far off of expectations.