Beasts of the East? More like beasts that scare me the least.

That’s the sense I have after the fourth week of the B1G season. Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State are a combined 2-10 this year, with each team suffering multiple lopsided losses during the 2020 campaign.

Don’t you remember when those three teams used to be mentioned in the same conversation as Ohio State? Good times.

Now, there’s a new contender in the B1G East, and it’s Indiana. The Hoosiers are 4-0 and sit in soul possession of first place in the division, thanks to the Buckeyes having their game canceled this weekend because of COVID-19 concerns at Maryland.

In the West, we’ve got a much more competitive race. Northwestern defeated Purdue by a touchdown to remain undefeated and Wisconsin clobbered Michigan to improve to 2-0 this year, as well. Iowa is up to 2-2 on the year after a win over rival Minnesota and Illinois and Nebraska each got their first wins of the season.

The first half of the 2020 season has bee interesting, I’ll certainly say that. And Week 4 provided me with plenty of things to overreact to on Sunday morning. So, let’s get to it:

Feisty Ferentz is my favorite Ferentz

Who knew a fight over a pig could cause so much drama. But that’s what we had in Minneapolis on Friday night, and the culprit was probably the one you’d least expect it from.

Trailing Iowa 35-0 with less than 20 seconds left in the game, Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck called a timeout in an attempt to draw up the perfect play to get the Gophers into the end zone and erase the bagel from the scoreboard. Kirk Ferentz apparently wasn’t a huge fan of that. So, in response, the Hawkeyes head man used all three of his timeouts on a 30-degree night in Minneapolis, just to irritate everyone.

It worked, by the way.

But it was all worth it after the game. In the postgame press conference, Ferentz’s response to using all three of his timeouts on that final drive wasn’t something you’d typically here from the buttoned-up head coach.

“We figured we’d take Floyd with us and leave the timeouts here,” Ferentz said after the game.

Just beautiful.

This is really bad, Michigan. Like, really bad

Only three weeks ago, FOX analyst Joel Klatt argued that the 2020 Michigan team might be the best Jim Harbaugh has ever had in Ann Arbor. I’ve watched people miss the first question on Who Wants to be a Millionaire growing up who were less wrong than Klatt was about the Wolverines.

It’s not just the fact that Michigan is losing games and is off to a 1-3 start, it’s worst in over 50 years. The Wolverines lost to a Michigan State team that literally cannot hang on to the football and have been blown out in games against Indiana and Wisconsin.

Offense is bad, defense is worse and the coaching is at the bottom of the barrel. Michigan doesn’t even look like it wants to be here any longer, and I’m starting to wonder if there’s serious friction between the players and the staff.

Wonder if Jim Harbaugh would still be petitioning to have a season if he knew it would be this bad?

QB conundrums

If you enjoy a good QB controversy, then the B1G is the place to be! Or at least that was the case in Week 4. Really only during the noon slot games, too.

Luke McCaffrey got the start for Nebraska, replacing Adrian Martinez. Penn State yanked Sean Clifford and inserted Will Levis early in the game. Michigan State’s Rocky Lombardi was also pulled for Payton Thorne. Illinois started Isaiah Williams, the fourth QB for Illinois in as many weeks — though that’s primarily due to COVID-19 issues.

Will these changes stick? Or will coaches go back to their old ways next week? That’s going to be something to keep an eye on in the second half of the B1G season.

New Juice plays loose

Was that Isaiah Williams or Isiah “Juice” Williams suiting up for Illinois on Saturday? You can see why the comparisons exist, and it’s not just because of the name.

In his first career start, Williams broke the school record for rushing yardage for a quarterback, piling up 192 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. He also completed 7-of-18 passes for 104 yards, leading the Illini to a 30-23 win.

I’m not saying Williams was flawless against Rutgers, but he was pretty damn fun to watch. Having that kind of a weapon under center is a nightmare for defenses and could prove to be a real weapon for Illinois moving forward.

If only Illinois’ remaining schedule wasn’t Nebraska, Ohio State, Iowa and Northwestern…

We Are! Still winless

Penn State is the only team in the B1G that hasn’t won a football game in 2020. Reminder: the Nittany Lions were ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Poll before the season started.

Anyone got anything? No? OK, me either.

How did Northwestern do this so quickly?

All it took was four weeks for Northwestern to exceed its 2019 win total. The Wildcats have now gone from a B1G West title year in 2018 to a humiliating 3-9 season in 2019 to a 4-0 start in 2020. Cue the Jim Halpert “What is going on?!” GIF.

We all should’ve expected this, right? I mean, this is what Pat Fitzgerald’s teams do. You’d think after 15 years we’d have learned our lesson by now but we’re all still falling into the same traps, dismissing Northwestern as a legitimate contender only to be stumped by its success later.

(Almost) Every. Freaking. Year.

Obviously the issues in Evanston were as they appeared. Get a new offensive coordinator, add a competent quarterback to the roster and watch Northwestern emerge from the B1G basement like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle launching through the manhole cover of the city sewer.

Hope in Hukserland

Mark a tally in the win column for Nebraska! The Huskers finally got their first win of 2020, though everyone in the state may have actually suffered some sort of cardiac issue during the second half of that game.

Nebraska built a 27-6 lead in the first half, thanks in part to substituting Luke McCaffrey for Adrian Martinez. But the second half was another story. The Huskers allowed Penn State to crawl back into the game, and with the score at 30-23, the Nittany Lions actually had an opportunity to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

I don’t want to think about the number of broken television screens within the city limits of Lincoln right now.

The important thing, though, is that Nebraska got a win. A victory Scott Frost said “the state needed.” Now the question is whether or not the momentum will carry on through the rest of the season.

Michigan State’s turnover problem is almost indescribable

Have you ever watched one of those horrible, hour-long television shows that use the same plotline repeatedly, yet the show still runs for like 8 years because nobody can turn away? That’s honestly what Michigan State’s first four games have felt like.

I’ve watched MSU games this year, thinking to myself “they can’t possibly turn it over again,” only to witness a fumble, an interception a turnover on downs or some completely newly invented way of handing the ball over to the other team. It’s as sad as it is entertaining.

Sorry, Michigan State fans. You might as well enjoy the humor that comes along with this, right?

The Spartans have 14 (!) turnovers in 3 games this season. That’s nearly 5 per contest, and that doesn’t even count the turnover on downs statistic!

Let’s end as friends, Michigan State. I didn’t include the Michigan game because the Spartans didn’t turn the ball over once in that game. And ya know what? You have Paul Bunyan because of it.

Hello, Ty Fryfogle

When we were talking about the B1G’s best receivers for the 2020 season, Fryfogle wasn’t even a name that was mentioned. That’s on us. All of us.

Fryfogle has been spectacular this season, and isn’t just the top receiver for Indiana, he’s leading the B1G. Through four games, the senior receiver has totaled 424 yards and 4 touchdowns on 24 catches. He put up some big numbers against Michigan State, racking up 200 yards and a 2 TDs on 11 receptions.

Is he the B1G’s most talented receiver? That award may still go to David Bell, Rashod Bateman, Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave. But Fryfogel deserves to at least get a mention in the conversation. And that’s no overreaction, folks.

The race for Indianapolis ends next week

Buckle up, B1G fans, next week is the week. On Saturday, the top two teams in each division will be meeting in what should be the weekend that determines the division winners.

Indiana (4-0) will play Ohio State (3-0) for the top spot in the B1G East. Northwestern (4-0) will take on Wisconsin (2-0) for the No. 1 position in the B1G West. And while there are still certainly some challenges for all three teams (sorry, there are no more challenges for Ohio State after this weekend), this Saturday should tell us which teams are the best in the conference.

It’s a shame that it comes in Week 5, but it’s going to be an incredibly fun Saturday for B1G fans.