Despite the fact that Michigan State had been dubbed the team to beat just a week ago, Michigan's tromping of the Spartans last night ended up proving to be one of the LESS surprising wins so far.
Everyone talked about how much parity the Big Ten would have this season. But who could have predicted this many crazy wins, so early?
In theory, these are the bottom seven teams in the Big Ten:
Each one of those teams except Nebraska and Purdue – which did open the season with wins over Illinois and Iowa, a strong start – has had a signature upset.
Illinois beat Ohio State
Iowa beat Wisconsin and Michigan
Northwestern beat Michigan State
Minnesota beat Indiana
Penn State beat Purdue
“There is a lot of balance,” Gophers coach Tubby Smith said. “I’ve said from the beginning, You know everybody has improved in the league this year. We’ve improved too even though we haven’t shown it, but we lost one of the best players in the Big Ten in Trevor Mbakwe, but we rebounded and recovered. And you look at Iowa and Indiana and the teams that were probably in the lower tier, yeah I think guys are now older and stronger and more experienced, those returning players, and that’s why you see it.”
This weekend was another reminder than anything can happen when Northwestern – whom the Gophers play on Sunday – stunned Michigan State. The Spartans had been previously unbeaten in conference play, having knocked off Indiana and Wisconsin, and were on a 15-game winning streak after losing to Duke and North Carolina in their first two games of the season.
It was a reminder that no team – especially the Gophers – can let its guard down based on past success or wins.