Big Ten Football: Week 4 in Review with Awards and Reflections

Phil HarrisonCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2010

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: Montee Ball #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Camp Randall Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Team of the Week: Wisconsin

Simply scanning the schedule from Week 4 makes it very difficult to pick a big game, so we'll have to try and see who the biggest bully on the playground was. Certainly Ohio State, putting up 73 points should be in the running, but Wisconsin also reached the 70-mark, while only giving up three points to Austin Peay.

More importantly, Wisconsin has looked very pedestrian in its first three wins and needed something to get back in the running of the beauty pageant. Consider this win a smile and wave in the right direction as Wisconsin ran all over the Governors by rolling up 618 yards of total offense, with 346 of it coming on the ground.

It is yet to be seen whether this is a turning point for Bucky the Badger, but the PA announcer could have played “Jump Around” at halftime, because Madison was truly a house of pain for Austin Peay by that time.


Player of the Week: Ben Chappell

There are two constants with the Indiana football team so far this season. First, they still haven't played anyone with any sense of a pulse, and Ben Chappell continues to throw up big numbers.

Against Akron, the kid went 23/33, totaling 342 yards through the air. Without him calling the signals, it is conceivable that Indiana walks out of this game with their first loss.  With him, the Hoosiers are still undefeated and looking for people to take notice this coming week.


Clunker of the Week: Minnesota

Minnesota is starting to get this award with regularity.  Minnesota won almost every stat category against the mighty Northern Illinois Huskies, but lost the one that probably tells the most.  This year Minnesota is supposed to be a power running team.  

Back to the drawing board coaches, because against a MAC school, you could only muster three yards per attempt, and only 97 on the ground total. At the end of the game, Minnesota did a lot more damage through the air. If you can't push a MAC school around, it is going to get real ugly once the Big Ten season begins. Uh oh, that happens this week.


Scariest Moment

Denard Robinson was putting up his typical early-season big numbers when he got knocked out of bounds and landed awkwardly on his left knee early in the game. For a period of time, it looked a bit bleak as the trainers were performing tests off to the side. Robinson did not go back into the game, but only as a precaution.

No offense to Purdue fans with Robert Marve also going down, but all Michigan fans are breathing a sigh of relief as he is penciled in to start against Indiana this week. Though both back-up quarterbacks looked good in relief, without Denard Robinson, the Wolverines hopes for a bounce-back season would be tempered quite a bit.


Breakout Moment of the Week

We are not giving the award to a player this week, but a surprise guest.  Who was that guy patrolling the Ohio State sideline? Was it a bird, a plane, no wait, he doesn't have any sleeves. Yes, it is Jim Tressel. I am here to report that someone, or something has taken over Tressel's body.

Think about it you conspiracy theorists: Ohio State's special teams stink, the team is throwing the ball all over the field, and we even saw a halfback pass to, of all people, Terrelle Pryor for a touchdown when the game was already out of hand. Tressel even went for it on fourth down (commence fainting) and dialed up a pass play that resulted in a touchdown.

To beat all, Ohio State only performed the Tressel-prescribed, most important play in football once all game. That's right, only one punt was needed all game. If I were Gene Smith, I would get an uninterested observer to start looking into things over at the Woody Hayes Practice Facility.


What's Next?

I would say that the Big Ten won the MAC vs. Big Ten football challenge six to one last week, but the mere fact that there was a loss in there says that the Big Ten comes out a loser (thanks again Minnesota).

This week now begins to get interesting as Big Ten play opens up. The Big Ten escaped the non-conference schedule with a decent perception in the court of public opinion, but now we find out how teams really matchup against each other, instead of pontificating.

Highlighting this week has to be the matchup between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Wisconsin went into this year being a candidate to dethrone Ohio State, but Michigan State has found its green-and-white mo-jo and is looking to make a really big statement at home.

The other two measuring-stick games are Penn State at Iowa and Michigan at Indiana. So, before the games this weekend, there are a total of six undefeated teams in the conference, but at the end of the day Saturday, there will be, at most, four.

Let the elimination begin.