End zone: Ohio State 09-13


The Big Two and the Little 10.

Ohio State and Michigan … State.

Just two games in, and only this lonesome pair stands as both ranked and unbeaten in the Big Ten. To say the conference has endured a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad start would be like calling Mount Everest a mole hill. It was worse.

Ohio State will be carrying the flag of a wounded league Saturday against California. A snapshot: Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Illinois fell on the road last weekend to second-rate Pac-12 teams; the conference has combined for as many wins over BCS teams (2-7) as have FCS schools Youngstown State and Sacramento State; and Indiana, the lone eligible team from the Leaders Division without a loss, is without starting quarterback Tre Roberson (broken leg).

Maybe Badgers coach Bret Bielema was on to something this week when he fired his first-year offensive line coach and replaced him with a graduate assistant. Just clean house and pretend like none of this ever happened.

As Browns officials say at every year-end meeting, it can't get worse, right? Here's guessing the favored Buckeyes cover the 17-point spread against middling Cal, then wonder why this of all years had to be the one they couldn't compete to win the Big Ten.

Get more from Briggs' Buckeyes blog, Dotting the 'Eyes: http://toledoblade.typepad.com/dottingtheeyes/