In the end, as many had expected, it was of no concern that Ohio coach Ohio Urban Meyer was suspended for the first three games – at least as far as Buckeyes' earnings-loss record was concerned. With his 40-28 win over No. 15 TCU in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night, Ohio State showed his resilience and determination against his first truly challenging opponent, and made a statement that it should be taken seriously in the College Football Playoff race ,
The rest of the Big Ten … not so much.
Michigan lost to Notre Dame in the first week and Saturday had 13 penalties for 137 yards in a win against SMU. Penn State needed overtime to beat Appalachian State in its opener, but is still 3-0 and looks awesome! – against nobody. Michigan State blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter last week and lost at Arizona State. Nebraska lost to Troy at home. Maryland has lost at home to Temple. Northwestern lost to Akron at home. Rutgers lost in Kansas. Oh, and Wisconsin lost to BYU at home on Saturday (yes, the same squad who lost to Cal) in the biggest surprise of the season so far.
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Despite what's embarrassingly wrong for the Big Ten, it still has a real playoff contender and one of the country's best-looking teams in Ohio State – and the Buckeyes did it with reigning head coach Ryan Day – Non Meyer. In the 3-0 Ohio State is the only team in the Big Ten with three things that will continue to impress the 13-member selection committee: a neutral victory over a scored opponent, convincing victories and an A in the so-called eye test.
It's a good thing, because after Wisconsin's defeat to BYU was the last thing the league needed on Saturday night to highlight Nick Bosa and the horse-chestnuts to go down.
With 41 seconds behind and a chance to send the game into extra time, Wisconsin's fifth-year senior kicker Rafael Gaglianone's field goal attempt far left cement a shocking 24-21 BYU victory and sent the playoff hopes of the Badgers crashing.
"It was disappointing to disappoint the team," said Gaglianone, "but I will not let anyone define me – or define this season."
A game will not – but a loss could.
Wisconsin, a team that, despite its continued success, has repeatedly struggled for national respect, has yet to move forward after the embarrassing home game on Saturday. Wisconsin was a 23.5-point favorite against BYU and had a 93.1-percent chance of winning, according to the ESPN Football Power Index, but could not overcome a deficit in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin was the third big ten team to lose as a double-digit favorite on Saturday (along with Maryland minus 16 and Nebraska minus 10.5).
Last year, even when Wisconsin was undefeated, The selection committee kept it out of the top four in favor of some one-loss teams due to a weak schedule for much of the ranking, and the Badgers defeated BYU 40-6. "I still like this team," said Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst in his post-game press conference. "I like them and who they are, here we are, and I trust that the group will make the decision to move on.
"We're 2-1, and we're starting Big Ten against Iowa, and that's a rivalry and all that. We'll continue to find out about these guys, but I like this group, and I'm confident that answer, but we have to We have to put that into action. "
Wisconsin travels to Iowa on Saturday, one of five remaining Big Ten road games, along with Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue. Iowa embarrassed Ohio State last year, the Buckeyes defeated 55-24 in a game that basically kept them out of the playoff last year despite winning the Big Ten. In 2016, Iowa then proposed no. 3 Michigan, another ink blot on a playoff resume.
Wisconsin certainly can not afford another.
Wisconsin's only other nonconference wins are against Western Kentucky and New Mexico, which does not do anything for his playoff résumé. It is little more than a slow golf stroke.
"Playing in Big Ten we know these games count," Wisconsin senior runs back Taiwan Deal said. "We still have the Big Ten championship ahead of us, that will be our goal."
The rest of the Big Ten should cheer on the Badgers because it will only help the winner of the East and the Conference Championship game as a whole to present two high-level opponents. If Wisconsin continues to stumble, it will devalue a win against the Badgers. Ohio State beat Wisconsin last year and it was not enough.
Last year, however, the horse chestnuts lost their tent conference game against Oklahoma.
Ohio State's win over TCU is one of the most impressive nonconference victories of the season, along with Clemsson's true street win at Texas A & M. The selection committee will note Buckeyes' two defensive touchdowns, especially given the loss of Bosa after injury , It's a better nonconference victory than Georgia or Alabama.
"We've been trying to create games that are both challenging and interesting, be it in non-conferences or playing nine games or playing the best teams we can play in the Bowl season," said Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany in the media of the Conference Days in July. "It's not for everyone, some people would rather play fewer conference games or FCS, but we believe in the strength of the schedule because we're trying to do a variety of things.
"That does not mean everyone is playing together [autonomous 5] Opponents every week in the non-conference, but you can see, there is real effort to create plans that are as strong as someone in the country. "
However, it does not always work that way. Wisconsin's non-conference schedule – Western Kentucky, New Mexico and BYU – should be a breeze.
"It hurts every time you lose," said Wisconsin Senior Security D & # 39; Cota Dixon. "All the preparation you did with the guys you worked with all week, but it's even worse to see that reaction on the faces of the guys who have to accept a loss, it's not necessarily the loss itself, but the opportunity we let go, but it's fuel and we'll get better of it. "