With Big Ten wide open, Cats still have a chance (Football)

Tania Ganguli

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –

Note to self: there are two halves in a football game, even though Northwestern’s football team might not play like it. This might not work against Michigan State, this taking a nap for the better part of the second half. Then again, judging by the way the Big Ten’s been going, it might.

Before this weekend, Randy Walker said he believed his team was still in the chase for the Big Ten title. He says every year, but this is the first time I’ve ever believed him.

The Big Ten in a nutshell:

Wisconsin loses to NU then beats Minnesota. Minnesota has now beat Michigan but lost to the Badgers and the Nittany Lions.

After escaping a loss and looking nothing like a top-20 team at Ryan Field, No. 12 Penn State proceeded to storm the Big Ten and beat No. 13 Ohio State and Minnesota. Then they lose to Michigan.

Michigan, which beat Penn State on Saturday, had previously beat Michigan State but lost to Minnesota.

Ohio State beat Michigan State on a late rally to make up for its loss to Penn State, and now the Spartans have lost to Michigan and Ohio State but defeated Notre Dame (a team which was a Reggie Bush push away from unseating Southern California. Having been raised to hate USC, I’m not ready to talk about it yet).

Are you confused? Because I sure am.

In this season’s Big Ten, there are three things we know for sure.

1. Illinois and Indiana are much worse than anyone else in the conference.

2. Purdue and Iowa are much worse than everyone thought they would be.

3. Everyone else, including Northwestern, is in a giant jumble at the top.

I thought Penn State was back for good, and Michigan was just participating in Lloyd-Carr’s-as-Michigan-coach funeral march. Then Chad Henne plays like a real Michigan quarterback in literally the last second of the game.

I thought Minnesota’s running game would shred Wisconsin’s defense. Then the Gophers lose in the only possible way they could have lost at that moment: a blocked punt for a touchdown.

Michigan State losing to Ohio State wasn’t a huge surprise, and neither was NU beating Purdue, but the way each team won shows just how close this conference is