Every Sunday, after a whirlwind autumn Saturday of college football, we'll be taking you around the Big Ten to keep tabs on the rest of the conference. As it fights as one for respectability in the non-conference, or as its power dynamics shift on a week-to-week basis in October and November, we'll follow the narrative to give you a better idea of where Northwestern fits into the 14-team puzzle.
Here are the top three storylines from Week 13:
1. Sparty clinches East
Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns after missing last week's game as Michigan State beat Penn State 55-16, setting up a date with Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. The Spartans also got three touchdowns on the ground and Mark Dantonio actually smiled (which we didn't know he could do)!
2. Iowa remains perfect
Playing the day after Thanksgiving, Iowa didn't exactly look impressive, but the Hawkeyes got the job done against Nebraska at Memorial Stadium, winning 28-20 while picking off Tommy Armstrong, Jr. four times. Jordan Canzeri ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns but 12-0 Iowa did little to quiet its naysayers, struggling in the passing game and giving up over 400 yards of offense, as well as muffing a punt.
3. Ohio State rails Michigan
Urban Meyer remained perfect in The Game as his Buckeyes ran past the Michigan Wolverines 42-13 in Ann Arbor. One week after only getting 12 carries for 33 yards, Ezekiel Elliott got 30 for 214 and added two touchdowns while J.T. Barrett added 139 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. The Buckeyes totaled 369 yards on the ground compared to just 57 for the hosts. Barrett was also effective through the air, throwing for 113 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions on just 15 throws. After a loss to Michigan State last week, though, Ohio State will need considerable help during Championship Week to make the Playoff.
- Maryland overcame a 21-point deficit to win 46-41 over Rutgers. Brandon Ross ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns, including an 80-yard score to take the lead for good. More importantly, both teams' seasons are over. And there was much rejoicing.
- ALERT: INDIANA IS BOWLING. The Hoosiers beat Purdue 54-36 on the strength of five total Nate Sudfeld touchdowns -- four in the air and one on the ground. Indiana claimed the Old Oaken Bucket and got to six wins in the process. Purdue's season is done, so that's something to be thankful for.
- Wisconsin kept Paul Bunyan's Axe for the 12th straight year, beating Minnesota 31-21. Dare Ogunbowale ran for a career-high 155 yards and a touchdown for the Badgers, who knocked the Golden Gophers out of bowl eligibility.