Before we turn our complete attention to Week 6, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 5 predictions. BTN.com fans went 5-1 and Tom and I went 4-2, meaning the fans have moved into sole possession of first place in the season standings. After five weeks, BTN.com fans are 41-11, one game ahead of Tom. I’m bringing up the rear, at 39-13.
And then there were two. The first week of Big Ten play saw previously undefeated Minnesota suffer its first loss of the season. That leaves Ohio State and Northwestern, both 5-0, as the Big Ten’s lone remaining perfect teams (B1G standings). See my 10 observations—some whimsical, some fact based, some opinionated—from Week 5.
Only two Big Ten teams are ranked in the latest Coaches Poll, released Sunday, and the highest team comes in at No. 20. That would be Nebraska, of course, which didn’t move up this week despite rallying from 17 points down to knock off then-No. 23 Wisconsin. Fresh off its win over Indiana, 5-0 Northwestern debuts in the poll at No. 22.
The opening week of Big Ten play did not disappoint, as Ohio State and Nebraska each claimed late wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin, respectively, in two of the day’s biggest games. But what did I learn from the first week of Big Ten action. See the five biggest things in this post.
Every Sunday during the college football season, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo hits Twitter to share his thoughts from the previous day’s slate of games. What did DiNardo have to say about the first weekend of Big Ten action? Read all of his Sunday Ruminations in this post.
Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 5? Find out in this post.
Taylor Martinez guided four straight scoring drives against a tiring Wisconsin defense in the second half to lead No. 22 Nebraska’s comeback from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Badgers 30-27 on Saturday night. Martinez scored on a 38-yard run, threw a 10-yard TD pass to Kyler Reed and set up Brett Maher for the tying and go-ahead field goals. Maher’s 41-yarder with 9:41 left gave the Huskers (3-1, 1-0) their first lead in the Big Ten opener.