Around the Big Ten

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Around the Big Ten

Coaches Paul Chryst, Lovie Smith, Tom Allen, and James Franklin interview with Fox Sports Game Analyst, Joel Klatt, during the Big Ten Football Media Day Luncheon at McCormick Place Conference Center in Chicago on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Coaches Paul Chryst, Lovie Smith, Tom Allen, and James Franklin interview with Fox Sports Game Analyst, Joel Klatt, during the Big Ten Football Media Day Luncheon at McCormick Place Conference Center in Chicago on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photo by Ben Sm

Coaches Paul Chryst, Lovie Smith, Tom Allen, and James Franklin interview with Fox Sports Game Analyst, Joel Klatt, during the Big Ten Football Media Day Luncheon at McCormick Place Conference Center in Chicago on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photo by Ben Sm

The Daily Iowan; Photo by Ben Sm

Coaches Paul Chryst, Lovie Smith, Tom Allen, and James Franklin interview with Fox Sports Game Analyst, Joel Klatt, during the Big Ten Football Media Day Luncheon at McCormick Place Conference Center in Chicago on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

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1) Penn State (4-0):
[Stephen A. Smith voice] Saquon Barkley is a baaaaad man. He had more all-purpose yards than the entire Rutgers football team did last weekend.

2) Wisconsin (3-0):
Quarterback Alex Hornibrook put up amazing numbers against BYU (18-of-19, 256 yards, 4 touchdowns). You heard that right. Wisconsin has a somewhat capable quarterback.

3) Michigan (4-0):
The Wolverines just haven’t looked that great this season, but Jim Harbaugh’s khaki game is too strong.

4) Ohio State (3-1):
It feels wrong to rank the Buckeyes fourth, but I’m all about it.

5) Iowa (3-1):
Refer to my Penn State comment — Iowa almost beat the No. 4 team in the country. The Hawkeyes can hang with any team in the Big Ten.

6) Minnesota (3-0):
P.J. Fleck talks a mile a minute — if only his offense could score that quickly, then the Gophers could be looking at a run to the conference championship.

7) Indiana (2-1):
If you’re ever in Bloomington, stop by BuffaLouie’s. It has great wings. 10/10 would recommend.

8) Michigan State (2-1):
Notre Dame, the country’s most overrated program, rocked Sparty last weekend — not ideal. But hey, basketball starts soon.

9) Northwestern (2-1):
I haven’t lost faith in my preseason dark horse for the Big Ten West … yet.

10) Purdue (2-2):
A 35-3 beatdown on Missouri proves that once again, the Big Ten is better than the SEC.

11) Maryland (2-1):
There’s a scene in “The Office” in which Michael Scott pulls a ladder out from under Darryl Philbin and yells, “How’s it hanging?” That sums up Maryland’s season, as the Terrapins are down to their third-string QB.

12) Illinois (2-1):
Not loving Lovie Smith’s team. The Illini have a winning record for now, but just wait until they fall back into sub-.500 purgatory.

13) Nebraska (2-2):
Mike Riley’s seat is so hot I can feel the heat waves all the way in Iowa City. That explains this 90-degree September.

14) Rutgers (1-3):
Tough decision here. Decisions like these keep me up at night.

 

Offensive Impact

Name: Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Position: Running back

Year: Junior

Barkley is just too good. He had 358 all-purpose yards against Iowa (211 on the ground) — astounding. He caught 12 passes, too. Barkley is the definition of a do-it-all player. Head coach James Franklin might as well have him take some reps at quarterback. In all seriousness, Barkley is the real deal and might (should) win the Heisman Trophy.

 

Defensive Impact

Name: Chase Winovich, Michigan

Position: Defensive lineman

Year: Senior

Winovich recorded a hat trick in the sack department against Purdue. His 6 tackles (4 for a loss) and 3 sacks all rank as career-highs for the senior. Now with 6 sacks on the season, Winovich has proven himself to be not only one of the Big Ten’s top pass rushers, but also solidified himself as one of the best in the country.

GAME TO WATCH

Northwestern vs. no. 10 wisconsin

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

Where: Camp Randall, Madison, Wis.

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