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Around the Big Ten, Week 4: Michigan flounders, Nebraska avoids disaster

Five teams were off, but the West division still began to take shape.

Michigan v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Every Sunday, after an entire Saturday’s worth of college football, we’ll take a look around the Big Ten. As the conference as a whole fights as respectability in the non-conference, or as its power dynamics shift on a week-to-week basis this fall, we’ll follow every team and try to piece together the puzzle that is the 14-week-long season all the way up until Indianapolis.

Here are the top storylines from Week 4:

No. 13 Wisconsin dismantles No. 11 Michigan at Camp Randall

The Wolverines gave the Wildcats a run for their money in terms of flattest Big Ten performance of the week. Jim Harbuagh’s squad was dominated from start to finish as the Badgers rolled to a statement 35-14 victory at Camp Randall. This game mostly served as a sign both that Wisconsin is probably legit and that Michigan is (shocker!) overrated.

Jonathan Taylor continued to boost his Heisman campaign with a 200+ yard performance and two scores. With Nebraska and Northwestern struggling, the Badgers have to be the clear favorite in the West with the exception of maybe Iowa. And as for the Wolverines? Well, if Jim Harbaugh wasn’t already on the hot seat after four seasons of disappointing losses in big games, he must be now.

Justin Fields leads No. 6 Ohio State to another rout

The competition hasn’t been great, but the Buckeyes have looked nearly flawless in their first four games. OSU came out a little flat, but a 42-point second quarter propelled Ryan Day’s team to a blowout 76-5 victory over Miami (OH). Standout transfer quarterback Justin Field had another impressive showing, as he threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more in the first half alone. The Buckeyes should finally get a little bit of a challenge next week as they travel to Lincoln for a primetime, College GameDay-featured showdown.

Nebraska escapes a scare in Champaign

The UNL preseason hype train has officially derailed. It took a miracle performance from Adrian Martinez to earn the Cornhuskers a narrow come-from-behind victory over Illinois. Scott Frost’s team trailed by as much as fourteen points in the second half before Martinez rallied the team late to a 42-38 win. The sophomore quarterback threw for 300+ yards and ran for over 100 more as the Nebraska offense thrashed the Illini defense for over 700 yards on the day despite committing four turnovers.

Other Scores

Indiana 38, UConn 3

Not exactly the most quality of wins, but the Hoosiers got back on track after last week’s blowout home loss against Ohio State. IU travels to East Lansing next weekend.

Boston College 30, Rutgers 16

As far as I’m concerned, this is the only relevant thing that happened in this game:

Michigan State 31, Northwestern 10

This was also a Big Ten game that happened.