Big 10 Report: Week 7


Overview:

Over the weekend we got a good gauge on who the contenders are going to be for the Big 10 title. As I see it right now I would say that Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa have the best shot of coming home with the Big 10 crown. However, this weekend’s matchup of Ohio State vs Wisconsin could change a lot if Wisconsin could manage an upset.

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) passes to a receiver during their NCAA football game against Indiana in Columbus, Ohio, October 9, 2010.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Michigan State avoided their first loss last week by containing the extremely dangerous Denard Robinson. They have proven that they have all the parts necessary to end the season at the top of the Big 10. Their running attack is 2nd to none in the conference and they will continue to count on it heavily.

Two teams had devastating losses and they would be Penn State and Northwestern. Both teams didn’t have a legitimate shot at finishing atop the conference but these loss have a lot of questions swirling round each team. Penn State was expected to have a down year but nobody expected them to lose to Illinois at home. And while it’s not a major upset many expected Northwestern to handle a struggling Purdue team.

Lastly, is this the fall of the Wolverines? They started last season off very similar to this season and they ended the season very poorly. The Michigan State defense exposed the blue print to slow down Denard Robinson, and I am sure the rest of the Big 10 took notice.

Standout Players:

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans looks to pass the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers on September 26, 2009 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

To me the standout players come from 1 team in particular and that is Michigan State. Edwin Baker may very well be the top running back in the Big 10 and he continues to help this Michigan State team claim victories. Kirk Cousins has been a rock at the quarterback position, he is a very clutch player and is capable of leading his team when it matter most. I really couldn’t pinpoint just one player so I think you have to recognize the entire Illinois team for their dominating performance against Penn State in Happy Valley, not many teams are able to win in Beaver Stadium.

Looking Ahead:

The top game is Ohio State vs Wisconsin and we should know a lot more about both teams after Saturday’s game. In one hand a victory for Ohio State brings them a lot closer to playing for a National Title and Wisconsin is trying to get back into the Big 10 Championship discussion. Another game that I will be keeping a close watch on is the Illinois vs Michigan State game where the Spartans look to avoid a letdown after their big in vs Michigan. I also wouldn’t sleep on the Iowa vs Michigan game because the Wolverines will be thrusty for revenge as they attempt to get back on the winning track.

Written by Jon Dove.  Follow him on Twitter @NFLMocks.

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