Michigan Football: Where Does Saturday's Lackluster Performance Rank in B1G?

Austin FoxCorrespondent IISeptember 11, 2012

Michigan Football: Where Does Saturday's Lackluster Performance Rank in B1G?

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    Everybody knows that Michigan's performance against Air Force was less than impressive. Most people also know that the Big Ten had a very rough day on Saturday.

    So where does Michigan's performance rank in regard to the rest of the conference?

    Here's a look at the five most disappointing Big Ten teams from this past Saturday.

5. Illinois

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    I had a hard time putting Illinois this low on the list.

    Although I thought Arizona State would definitely win, I did not think it would be a blowout. In fact, I wouldn't have been shocked if Illinois had pulled out the win.

    After an impressive opening win against Western Michigan, Illinois didn't even look like they showed up for this game. It was over by halftime, as ASU led 28-7 at the break.

    Sure, Nate Scheelhaase didn't play but that's still no excuse for a blowout. It's not like the Sun Devils are that good or anything (that we know of).

    This Illini defense was supposed to be one of the best in the Big Ten, yet they gave up 510 yards of offense and 45 points.

    Illinois' offense only passed for 101 yards, and turned the ball over three times. A lot of promise Tim Beckman's team showed in the opener may have went out the window with this performance.

    Again, I didn't think the Illini would win, but the fact that they were blown out was a huge disappointment.

4. Michigan

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    For me, it was pretty much a tossup between Illinois and Michigan for this spot.

    The fact that this game came down to the final minutes was a huge disappointment.

    Michigan probably should have blown Air Force out, and had plenty of opportunities to pull away, yet they allowed them to continually hang around.

    Without a doubt, the most disappointing aspect of Michigan's performance was its defense. The fact that they allowed an opponent to rush for just under 300 yards on them is a complete joke; I don't care if it was a triple-option attack or not.

    Another disappointment was how Fitz Toussaint had only seven yards on eight carries; that is simply unheard of and needs to be addressed.

    This team needs to make big strides if it wants to win the Big Ten. The fortunate thing is that last season this team showed they are more than capable of doing that.

3. Iowa

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    Wow, Iowa has simply looked horrible in its first two games of the season.

    They were extremely lucky last week to beat Northern Illinois, but their luck ran out this week as they lost to Iowa State at home.

    Offense is a huge problem for this team, most notably the running game. Rushing for 68 yards is not acceptable, and won't win them many games in Big Ten play.

    Yes, injuries have decimated their backfield but that's still not acceptable.

    Coming in, I felt the game was a tossup. The fact that Iowa lost doesn't surprise me, but how bad they looked for a second straight week does.

    An extremely easy schedule will probably allow them to make a bowl game, but this looks to be one of the worst Iowa teams we've seen in a while.

    The heat on Kirk Ferentz and Greg Davis especially will likely be more noticeable if this team doesn't make big improvements.

2. Nebraska

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    Coming into this game, I felt that Nebraska would win, but that it wasn't far from a tossup.

    UCLA not only pulled off the win, but did it in impressive fashion.

    The Bruins put up 653 yards on what was supposed to be a solid Nebraska defense. Yes, they lost guys like Carl Pelini, Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard, but I still didn't think they would regress a whole lot.

    That prediction sure looks to be wrong, as their defense looked absolutely awful Saturday night.

    It's hard to tell if UCLA's offense is actually good or not under Jim Mora, but one thing is for sure: the UCLA offense has been very bad for a long, long time now.

    Maybe a new face to run this team is just what they needed. Either way, there's still no excuse for Nebraska to be giving up that many yards and points.

    At least their offense looked good, even without Rex Burkhead.

    Still, this defense needs to improve mightily if they want to contend in the Legends Division.

1. Wisconsin

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    What in the world is wrong with Wisconsin? This team looked to be the clear favorite in the Leaders Division and arguably the best team in the conference, yet they've looked very bad in their first two games.

    In Week 1, they only beat Northern Iowa by five, and this week they went on the road and lost to an Oregon State team that was playing its first game of the season.

    Montee Ball only rushed for 61 yards, and the offense only put 207 yards as a whole. This is all against an Oregon State team that was very bad last year.

    In fact, Wisconsin didn't put its first points on the board until there was only a minute and a half left in the game.

    This team looks like it has major issues and will need to get them sorted out fast.

    A lot of people are already writing them off as the Leaders Division favorite. I don't know if I'd go that far quite yet, but a matchup with Purdue in a few weeks will tell us a lot.