Big Ten Team Season Grades: East
Big Ten Season Grade: D
The league got through it, but it was awful. There were too many bad games, too many injuries, too many opt-outs, and too many issues. The quality wasn’t good, and overall it was just … awful.
Ohio State was able to get to the national championship, but it took a whole slew of hoops to jump through just to get it to the Big Ten Championship and to be in a position for the CFP.
It was a fun year for Northwestern and Indiana, and Iowa was solid, but Wisconsin was awful – at least offensively – Penn State was awful, Michigan was awful, Michigan State was awful, Nebraska was awful, and Minnesota and Illinois took a step back.
2019 Final Grade: B+
Indiana 2020 Season Grade: A-
The Hoosiers became the second-or-third best team in the Big Ten, beat Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin, and pushed Ohio State harder than anyone but Alabama. It’s Indiana football – it was a marvelous season right up until losing to a mediocre Ole Miss team in the Outback Bowl.
Maryland 2020 Season Grade: B-
Considering it looked like 2020 was going to be a total disaster following the 43-3 loss to Northwestern in the opener, a shocking comeback win over Minnesota and a win over Penn State changed all of that. The team might have finished 2-3, but after Week 1, it showed promise and potential for 2021.
Michigan 2020 Season Grade: D+
Michigan went 2-4 and it didn’t even play – and lose to – Ohio State. It’s acceptable – it really is – to lose to the elite teams, but the program doesn’t lose to the mediocre under Jim Harbaugh. It lost to the mediocre this year.
Michigan State 2020 Season Grade: C-
2-5 will never be okay at Michigan State, but in the first season under Mel Tucker there was a win over Michigan, and a win over Big Ten West champion Northwestern. The offense didn’t show up against Iowa and Indiana, and the gajillion turnovers against Rutgers weren’t okay, but call 2020 a dry run for the new coaching staff.
Ohio State 2020 Season Grade: A
The Buckeyes fought their way through all the drama on and off the field to win the Big Ten Championship, beat Clemson in the College Football Playoff, and suffered their only loss to Alabama in the national championship. Yeah, Ohio State is supposed to win it all every year, but this was an incredible campaign even with the rough end.
Penn State 2020 Season Grade: C-
The Nittany Lions caught a bad break in the opener against Indiana, but they kept on losing in the worst start in over 100 years of the football program. However, give them credit for fighting back with four straight wins – all by double digits – to close strong.
Rutgers 2020 Season Grade: B
Greg Schiano won three games in his first season. Would anyone have been shocked if it was a winless campaign dropping every game by double-digits? If you told Scarlet Knight fans before the season that their team would beat Michigan State, Purdue and Maryland, and would take Michigan into overtime, and be competitive throughout, they’d have taken it in a heartbeat.