Football report cards: How will season play out?

Before the second half of the season starts, let’s take a snapshot of the Big Ten at the halfway mark. Following is my team-by-team report card with award winners for each squad as well as projected won-loss totals, among other juicy tidbits.

Where do you agree? Were do you think I’m wrong? Is your team going to be eligible for a bowl? Have a look at my assessments, watch the top ten plays from last week in the video in this post, and then let’s move forward with Saturday’s games.

And don’t forget our Week 8 predictions, my Week 8 previews, and my Week 8 best bets.

Illinois (3-2, 0-1)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2286 (83)
Passing Yards: 1407 (63)
Rushing Yards: 879 (82)
Points per game: 36.0 (31)
Yards per game: 457.2 (35)
Touchdowns: 22 (50)
Field Goals: 5 (82)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2249 (42)
Passing Yards: 1272 (38)
Rushing Yards: 977 (63)
Points per game: 27.6 (67)
Yards per game: 449.8 (93)
Touchdowns: 17 (44)
Field Goals: 7 (67)

MVP: QB Nathan Scheelhaase

Top newcomer: ATH Aaron Bailey, TFr.

Best game: Miami (Ohio), 50-14

Worst game: at Nebraska, 39-19

Top game left: Northwestern, Nov. 30

Big question: Will a leaky defense gain a footing?

Mid-term grade: B-

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • Wisconsin L
  • Michigan State L
  • At Penn State L
  • At Indiana L
  • Ohio State L
  • At Purdue W
  • Northwestern L

Final record: 4-8 overall; 1-7 Big Ten

***

[ MORE: Enter the Buffalo Wild Wings Trip to the Football Championship Sweepstakes ]

***

Indiana (3-3, 1-1)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 3026 (19)
Passing Yards: 1989 (12)
Rushing Yards: 1037 (65)
Points per game: 41.7 (14)
Yards per game: 504.3 (16)
Touchdowns: 33 (9)
Field Goals: 3 (102)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2736 (89)
Passing Yards: 1437 (67)
Rushing Yards: 1299 (97)
Points per game: 32.8 (92)
Yards per game: 456.0 (97)
Touchdowns: 22 (83)
Field Goals: 5 (30)

MVP: WR Cody Latimer

Top newcomer: LB T.J. Simmons, TFr.

Best game: Penn State, 44-24

Worst game: Navy, 41-35

Top game left: Purdue, Nov. 30

Big question: Can the offense keep covering for a leaky defense?

Mid-term grade: B

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • At Michigan L
  • Minnesota W
  • Illinois W
  • At Wisconsin L
  • At Ohio State L
  • Purdue W

Final record: 6-6 overall; 4-4 Big Ten

***

[ MORE: Follow Big Ten Network on Instagram! | Tom Dienhart, too! ]

***

Iowa (4-2, 1-1)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2501 (61)
Passing Yards: 1256 (81)
Rushing Yards: 1245 (34)
Points per game: 29.7 (60)
Yards per game: 416.8 (59)
Touchdowns: 17 (83)
Field Goals: 8 (32)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 1740 (8)
Passing Yards: 1209 (26)
Rushing Yards: 531 (6)
Points per game: 16.8 (10)
Yards per game: 290.0 (7)
Touchdowns: 10 (9)
Field Goals: 8 (80)

MVP: LB James Morris

Top newcomer: WR Damond Powell, JC

Best game: at Minnesota, 23-7

Worst game: Michigan State, 26-14

Top game left: at Nebraska, Nov. 29

Big question: Will the passing game continue to develop?

Mid-term grade: B+

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • At Ohio State L
  • Northwestern W
  • Wisconsin L
  • At Purdue W
  • Michigan L
  • At Nebraska L

Final record: 6-6 overall; 3-5 Big Ten

***

[ MORE: BTN.com's Tom Dienhart's latest answers to your football questions ]

***

Michigan (5-1 overall, 1-1 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2374 (72)
Passing Yards: 1335 (70)
Rushing Yards: 1039 (64)
Points per game: 39.0 (20)
Yards per game: 395.7 (71)
Touchdowns: 27 (28)
Field Goals: 8 (33)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 1915 (16)
Passing Yards: 1378 (59)
Rushing Yards: 537 (7)
Points per game: 23.3 (39)
Yards per game: 319.2 (10)
Touchdowns: 12 (13)
Field Goals: 12 (113)

MVP: Devin Gardner

Top newcomer: WR Jehu Chesson, RFr.

Best game: Notre Dame, 41-30

Worst game: Akron, 28-24

Top game left: Ohio State, Nov. 30

Big question: Can the offense get on track?

Mid-term grade: B-

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • Indiana W
  • At Michigan State L
  • Nebraska L
  • At Northwestern W
  • At Iowa W
  • Ohio State L

Final record: 8-4 overall; 4-4 Big Ten

***

Michigan State (5-1 overall, 2-0 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2248 (87)
Passing Yards: 1127 (97)
Rushing Yards: 1121 (50)
Points per game: 30.5 (52)
Yards per game: 374.7 (84)
Touchdowns: 18 (72)
Field Goals: 10 (16)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 1371 (1)
Passing Yards: 1022 (6)
Rushing Yards: 349 (1)
Points per game: 15.8 (7)
Yards per game: 228.5 (1)
Touchdowns: 12 (14)
Field Goals: 4 (13)

MVP: LB Denicos Allen

Top newcomer: OT Jack Conklin, RFr.

Best game: at Iowa, 26-14

Worst game: at Notre Dame, 17-13

Top game left: at Nebraska, Nov. 16

Big question: Can the offense keep rolling?

Mid-term grade: B+

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • Purdue W
  • At Illinois W
  • Michigan W
  • At Nebraska L
  • At Northwestern W
  • Minnesota W

Final record: 10-2 overall (7-1 Big Ten)

***

Minnesota (4-2 overall, 0-2 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 1996 (101)
Passing Yards: 701 (112)
Rushing Yards: 1295 (28)
Points per game: 31.2 (48)
Yards per game: 332.7 (101)
Touchdowns: 19 (66)
Field Goals: 7 (47)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2303 (46)
Passing Yards: 1533 (83)
Rushing Yards: 770 (27)
Points per game: 24.2 (43)
Yards per game: 383.8 (46)
Touchdowns: 18 (55)
Field Goals: 5 (31)

MVP: DT Ra’Shede Hageman

Top newcomer: LB Damien Wilson, JC

Best game: San Jose State, 43-24

Worst game: Iowa, 23-7

Top game left: Wisconsin, Nov. 23

Big question: When will Jerry Kill be back?

Mid-term grade: C

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • At Northwestern L
  • Nebraska L
  • At Indiana L
  • Penn State L
  • Wisconsin L
  • At Michigan State L

Final record: 4-8 overall, 0-8 Big Ten

***

Nebraska (5-1 overall, 2-0 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2941 (23)
Passing Yards: 1232 (85)
Rushing Yards: 1709 (8)
Points per game: 42.7 (11)
Yards per game: 490.2 (20)
Touchdowns: 32 (10)
Field Goals: 4 (94)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2443 (62)
Passing Yards: 1498 (75)
Rushing Yards: 945 (58)
Points per game: 22.3 (33)
Yards per game: 407.2 (68)
Touchdowns: 16 (36)
Field Goals: 7 (66)

MVP: RB Ameer Abdullah

Top newcomer: DE Randy Gregory, JC

Best game: Illinois, 39-19

Worst game: UCLA, 41-21

Top game left: Michigan State, Nov. 16

Big question: Has the defense really turned a corner?

Mid-term grade: B

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • At Minnesota W
  • Northwestern W
  • At Michigan W
  • Michigan State W
  • At Penn State L
  • Iowa W

Final record: 10-2 overall, 7-1 Big Ten

***

Northwestern (4-2 overall, 0-2 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2611 (50)
Passing Yards: 1475 (57)
Rushing Yards: 1136 (46)
Points per game: 33.5 (41)
Yards per game: 435.2 (49)
Touchdowns: 20 (59)
Field Goals: 11 (8)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2685 (85)
Passing Yards: 1679 (96)
Rushing Yards: 1006 (68)
Points per game: 28.3 (73)
Yards per game: 447.5 (91)
Touchdowns: 20 (68)
Field Goals: 6 (50)

MVP: DE Tyler Scott

Top newcomer: G Ian Park, RFr.

Best game: at Cal, 44-30

Worst game: at Wisconsin, 35-6

Top game left: Michigan State, Nov. 23

Big question: Can the defense play at a championship-caliber?

Mid-term grade: B-

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • Minnesota W
  • At Iowa L
  • At Nebraska L
  • Michigan L
  • Michigan State L
  • At Illinois W

Final record: 6-6 overall, 2-6 Big Ten

***

Ohio State (6-0 overall, 2-0 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2957 (22)
Passing Yards: 1273 (77)
Rushing Yards: 1684 (10)
Points per game: 46.8 (6)
Yards per game: 492.8 (19)
Touchdowns: 36 (4)
Field Goals: 5 (83)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 1957 (17)
Passing Yards: 1440 (68)
Rushing Yards: 517 (4)
Points per game: 19.2 (20)
Yards per game: 326.2 (11)
Touchdowns: 13 (20)
Field Goals: 6 (51)

MVP: LB Ryan Shazier

Top newcomer: DE Joey Bosa, TFr.

Best game: at Northwestern, 40-30

Worst game: Buffalo, 40-20

Top game left: at Michigan, Nov. 30

Big question: Can the Buckeyes deal with the mounting pressure?

Mid-term grade: A-

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • Iowa W
  • Penn State W
  • At Purdue W
  • At Illinois W
  • Indiana W
  • At Michigan W

Final record: 12-0 overall, 8-0 Big Ten

***

Penn State (4-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2645 (47)
Passing Yards: 1702 (26)
Rushing Yards: 943 (72)
Points per game: 33.3 (42)
Yards per game: 440.8 (47)
Touchdowns: 24 (41)
Field Goals: 11 (9)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2015 (21)
Passing Yards: 1309 (45)
Rushing Yards: 706 (16)
Points per game: 23.7 (41)
Yards per game: 335.8 (13)
Touchdowns: 14 (25)
Field Goals: 9 (90)

MVP: WR Allen Robinson

Top newcomer: QB Christian Hackenberg, TFr.

Best game: Michigan, 43-40 4 OT

Worst game: at Indiana, 44-24

Top remaining game: Nebraska, Nov. 23

Big question: Will the defense develop more playmaking ability?

Mid-term grade: B

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • At Ohio State L
  • Illinois W
  • At Minnesota W
  • Purdue W
  • Nebraska W
  • At Wisconsin L

Final record: 8-4 overall, 5-3 Big Ten

***

Purdue (1-5 overall, 0-2 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 1724 (110)
Passing Yards: 1257 (80)
Rushing Yards: 467 (110)
Points per game: 15.3 (110)
Yards per game: 287.3 (112)
Touchdowns: 10 (111)
Field Goals: 5 (84)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 2503 (72)
Passing Yards: 1336 (50)
Rushing Yards: 1167 (83)
Points per game: 37.8 (107)
Yards per game: 417.2 (74)
Touchdowns: 26 (98)
Field Goals: 5 (32)

MVP: P Cody Webster

Top newcomer: WR DeAngelo Yancey,

Best game: Indiana State, 20-14

Worst game: Northern Illinois, 55-24

Top game left: at Indiana, Nov. 30

Big question: Is QB Danny Etling really the future?

Mid-term grade: D-

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • At Michigan State L
  • Ohio State L
  • Iowa L
  • At Penn State L
  • Illinois L
  • At Indiana L

Final record: 1-11 overall, 0-8 Big Ten

***

Wisconsin (4-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten)

Offense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 3117 (12)
Passing Yards: 1328 (71)
Rushing Yards: 1789 (5)
Points per game: 37.2 (26)
Yards per game: 519.5 (9)
Touchdowns: 29 (19)
Field Goals: 5 (85)
Defense (FBS Rank)
Yards: 1604 (4)
Passing Yards: 1063 (10)
Rushing Yards: 541 (8)
Points per game: 13.2 (4)
Yards per game: 267.3 (4)
Touchdowns: 9 (4)
Field Goals: 6 (52)

MVP: RB Melvin Gordon

Top newcomer: CB Sojourn Shelton, TFr.

Best game: Northwestern, 35-6

Worst game: at Arizona State, 32-30

Top game left: at Iowa, Nov. 2

Big question: Will the receiving corps develop more weapons?

Mid-term grade: B+

Remaining schedule prediction:

  • At Illinois W
  • At Iowa W
  • BYU W
  • Indiana W
  • At Minnesota W
  • Penn State W

Final record: 10-2 overall, 7-1 Big Ten

***

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.

11 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (11 Comments)
Mark on 10/18/2013 @ 1:33pm EDT Said:

You have Nebraska losing to Penn State and then you have Penn State losing to Nebraska.

Tony D on 10/18/2013 @ 1:37pm EDT Said:

This doesn’t make sense. You predict that Nebraska will lose to Penn State but then predict that Penn State will lose to Nebraska. Which is it?

joe on 10/18/2013 @ 1:47pm EDT Said:

why is tom all over the bucks they are overrated and will not finish 12-0 they will fall

Gary on 10/18/2013 @ 1:50pm EDT Said:

You posted a 10-2 record for Nebraska with their only loss coming at Penn State, but posted a Penn State record of 7-5 with a loss to Nebraska. Which is it?

Brian on 10/18/2013 @ 3:02pm EDT Said:

You have Nebraska losing to PSU, and PSU losing to Nebraska. Oops.

    BTN.com staff on 10/18/2013 @ 3:07pm EDT Said:

    That’s our mistake. The post above has been edited to reflect the correction. We know that’s a hassle and we apologize. Swimming in numbers and our editors made a typo.

AVENGER on 10/19/2013 @ 12:42am EDT Said:

Don’t listen to them BTN! You’re doing an outstanding job! They wouldn’t be on this page if you weren’t!

Darth Pelini on 10/19/2013 @ 2:07am EDT Said:

To be fair, I’ve seen both Penn State and Nebraska play this year and there is a chance they could both loose.

Kevin on 10/19/2013 @ 5:56pm EDT Said:

I’m just wondering what Nebraska team you’ve seen that can go on the road to Michigan and win there?

Kirk Ford on 10/20/2013 @ 10:22pm EDT Said:

If predictions hold true, where do you see Ohio State and Nebraska, final rankings in the BCS Poll ????

Big 10 from Iowa City on 10/21/2013 @ 6:30pm EDT Said:

Michigan doesn’t scare anyone……overated is understated….