INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
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Big Ten power rankings for people who believe that without the power of love, Huey Lewis and the News would have had one less hit.
1. Wisconsin (1-0): The Big Ten had 14 games Saturday. Only one really mattered, and the Badgers won it over LSU. Cower in shame, SEC. (Alabama’s 38-0 national-playoff win over Michigan State last season is ancient history.)
2. Ohio State (1-0): Rolled over Bowling Green, 77-10. Urban Meyer once was the head coach at Bowling Green. Somebody there must have really rubbed him the wrong way.
3. Michigan (1-0): Michael Jordan was the Wolverines’ honorary captain against Hawaii. The 63-3 loss the Rainbow Warriors absorbed was reminiscent of beatings casinos have given Jordan at the blackjack table.
4. Iowa (1-0): C.J. Beathard trails Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett in touchdown passes, 6-1. But both led offenses that stampeded MAC defenses.
5. Nebraska (1-0): The Huskers put just 10 men on the field and let the play clock dwindle to zero the first time they were in a punting situation Saturday to honor Sam Foltz, their superb punter who died in a car crash in July. Fresno State refused to accept the delay-of-game penalty. A grand moment. See a video of it here.
6. Northern Iowa (1-0): Defeated Iowa State. The Panthers weren’t No. 5 in the preseason FCS rankings for nothing.
7. Michigan State (1-0): After MSU had 120 penalty yards in their 28-13 win over Furman, Mark Dantonio said “Some things are out of your control and some things are in our control. I will have to look at the film and see which is which.” If only it were that easy for the rest of us.
8. Illinois (1-0): From the Department of Redundancy Department: In the Illini’s 52-3 win over Murray State, Kendrick Foster had a 56-yard touchdown run, then he had a 56-yard touchdown run.
9. Indiana (1-0): The Hoosiers had a pair of interception returns for touchdowns in a 34-13 win at Florida International. Yes, Indiana football and defensive accomplishments were just mentioned in the same sentence!
10. Maryland (1-0): Six different Terrapins rushed for touchdowns in a 52-13 win over Howard. That smacks of socialism. And of playing an outmanned FCS opponent.
11. Penn State (1-0): This business about Penn State honoring the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game as the Nittany Lions’ coach at PSU’s Sept. 17 game is more tone-deaf than a lounge-full of loaded karaoke singers.
12. Minnesota (1-0): The Gophers scored a TD to go up 30-23 on Oregon State with 1:23 left, then went for a two-point conversion that failed. The strategy wasn’t typical coaching orthodoxy. It had nothing to do with religion, actually.
13. Purdue (1-0). A “crowd” of 32,074 saw the Boilermakers beat Eastern Kentucky, Purdue’s lowest attendance for a home-opener in 62 years. StubHub and Boilermaker football live in separate universes.
14. Northwestern (0-1): The Wildcats lost to Western Michigan. They tied their school-record for wins (10) last season. They won’t break it this year.
15. Kansas (1-0): The Jayhawks beat Rhode Island, 55-6, for their first win in 665 days. Their students tried to tear down the goal posts, but there weren’t enough of them to get the job done. Students, that is. There were plenty of goal posts.
16. Rutgers (0-1): A 5,700-mile round trip and a 48-14 loss to Washington. Hopefully, the flights at least had hot towels.
IT’S DIVINE TO BE DEVINE
Indiana’s Devine Redding rushed for 135 yards at Florida International. Nebraska’s Devine Ogizbo rushed for 103 yards against Fresno State. The Devine (Texas) Warhorses beat San Antonio Brackinridge Friday night, 49-39.
THEY HAVE IT DOWN-PAT
Big Ten teams made all 69 of the PAT kicks they tried in Week 1. Ohio State could have gotten leg-weary by its 11th kick, but still found the fortitude to succeed.
KING FOR A WEEK
Iowa’s Desmond King leads the Big Ten in kickoff-return average (2 for 35.0 yards) and punt-return average (1 for 15 yards). And, he had a 70-yard punt-return negated by teammate Josey Jewell’s targeting penalty.
Now let’s look to this week:
LET’S PUT ON A SHOW
Penn State at Pittsburgh
LOOK AWAY, WE’RE HIDEOUS
Howard at Rutgers
JIM HARBAUGH ISN’T LIKE THE REST OF US