It’s still relatively early days in the Big Ten (remember, they did start later than most), but two massive games took place on Saturday that could impact the way the College Football Playoff shapes up. Both of them featured two ranked teams facing off. The big one that most were paying attention to was Ohio State against Indiana. The Hoosiers fell short 35-28 following a valiant comeback attempt despite seeing quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. once again shine. He had five touchdown throws for the #9 team and also put up 491 yards in the air, but it was the one interception, a pick-six, that ultimately helped undo his team in the end.
Opposite number Justin Fields had 300 yards but was picked off three times, but even that couldn’t hold the #3 Buckeyes back from winning. The other big game in the conference took place between Northwestern and Wisconsin. Wisconsin is the more traditionally powerful team, so logic said that they would win. Northwestern, however, proved logic didn’t mean much as they grinded out yet another victory, winning 17-7. They don’t play the prettiest style, but their defense is downright devastating, so much so that they have allowed just 63 points total in five games. They have a legit chance at the Playoff at this moment because of that strong defensive unit. Elsewhere, Cincinnati remained within the top-four discussion by defeating UCF 36-33. Alabama, BYU, Oregon, Coastal Carolina, and USC all kept their unbeaten records alive on the day as well, giving them each hope (or expectations) of making it to the last four or to perhaps a big bowl game at the very least.