Big Ten Team Season Grades: West
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
Illinois Season Grade: B-
The Fighting Illini got to a bowl game. It all ended with a thud on a three-game losing streak – with an ugly loss to Northwestern and a Redbox Bowl loss to Cal – but wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State made it fun. Again, just getting to a bowl made the run a success, even if it was a losing season.
Iowa Season Grade: B+
Three losses by a total of 14 points to Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State were the only negatives to an otherwise outstanding year. The Hawkeyes won ten games, beat Minnesota, won several close battles, and ripped up USC in the Holiday Bowl.
Minnesota Season Grade: A-
It was supposed to be a good season, but this? 11 wins, a shot at the Big Ten Championship game with GameDay coming to Minneapolis for the Wisconsin game, and an Outback Bowl win over Auburn. The 9-0 start with a win over Penn State set the tone, and even with two losses in the last three regular season games, it was one of the best seasons in the program’s history. The loss to the Badgers was the only real disappointment.
Nebraska Season Grade: C-
This was supposed to be when the program made a big turnaround, and it didn’t happen in a second straight dud under Scott Frost. The Huskers started out 4-2, but lost five of their last six games to miss out on a bowl. Illinois was the only win over a team that went bowling.
Northwestern Season Grade: D-
Coming off a trip to the Big Ten Championship, and with expectations high with a whole lot of talent returning, the year couldn’t have been more of a dud. The offense was a total disaster – scoring 15 points or fewer seven times in the first eight games – with a late burst not quite enough. A regular-season ending win over Illinois was the only thing to keep the grade from going any lower.
Purdue Season Grade: C-
To be fair, the season failed to live up to expectations after a slew of key injuries. The offense powered through to win two of the last four games, but it was too late after a 2-6 start. There weren’t any wins over teams that finished with a winning record – there were too many inconsistencies.
Wisconsin Season Grade: A-
There was the puzzling late loss to Illinois, but two of the other three losses came to an elite Ohio State team. The Badgers were able to come through against Minnesota on the road, destroyed Michigan, and got to the Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl. The turnovers in the loss to Oregon soured the ending, but there was a whole lot of fun – and throw in the first half of the Big Ten title loss to the Buckeyes – along the way.
NEXT: Big 12 Team Season Grades