Like everything else in 2020, the Big Ten is just a little … off.
Northwestern, a schedule that was 3-9 last season, is now undefeated and likely three wins away from facing Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields – a Heisman Trophy prospect who had yet to throw an interception this season – threw three on Saturday afternoon in the 42-35 victory of the Buckeyes vs. Indiana’s No.9. And Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz – who had not intercepted his career – also had three on Saturday (and one fumble), which is four of the Badgers’ five turnovers in a 17-7 loss to the 19th. Northwestern.
These two back-to-back conference games have revealed that while the Buckeyes are still the team to beat in the Big Ten, the Wildcats may well be able to beat them. Both teams still have three regular season games on the schedule and should be big favorites in both.
As the college football playoff selection committee meets in person Monday in Grapevine, Texas to prepare for its first of five standings, Ohio state is 4-0 and is still on track for a place in the top four, but it’s clear the Buckeyes’ refuge has yet to hit their stride. That makes sense, considering there are only four games in the season, one game has been called off and he’s playing in the middle of a pandemic.
The question is when – and if – they will put it all together.