At a time like this, it’s difficult not to think back to the Big Ten’s 2022 Media Days.

It was there that B1G commissioner Kevin Warren bragged about the fact that every head coach in the conference was returning for the second straight season, thereby proving the conference’s stability.

How long ago all that seems just 14 months later.

Warren is gone after getting the ball rolling on the biggest disruption in college sports history. And now the Big Ten is the most unstable place in the country to be a head football coach.

We are only 3 weeks into the 2023 season, and this coming Saturday will feature 3 teams led by interim head coaches.

Granted, one of those interim coaches is a temp.

Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore will serve as the Wolverines’ 4th game-day head coach this season when Michigan hosts Bowling Green. Things return to normal in Ann Arbor when Jim Harbaugh returns at the conclusion of a school-mandated 3-game suspension meant to stave off worse punishment from the NCAA.

Over in East Lansing, Michigan State will play what is likely to be the first game of the post-Mel Tucker era. Tucker is serving an unpaid suspension until a Title IX hearing schedule for Oct. 5-6.

Following that hearing, the school may decide to fire him with cause. At the very least, he seems unlikely to be on the sidelines for the remainder of the season even if vindicated of the sexual harassment allegations he is facing.

In the meantime, interim coach Harlon Barnett is leading the Spartans with some assistance from former head coach Mark Dantonio. But what was supposed to be a bridge year for Michigan State’s program has turned into the Bridge over the River Kwai.

Tucker assembled a young nucleus to grow around new starting quarterback Noah Kim. Michigan State figured to experience some ups-and-downs this year with an opportunity to be a factor again next season.

Now Michigan State’s future is in a state of uncertainty. All due to the downfall of a coach who came into those 2022 Big Ten Media Days as the hottest name in the game.

Michigan State signed Tucker to a now laughable $10-year, $95 million contract extension in hopes of avoiding another Nick Saban scenario. Somehow, Tucker instead managed to make the tenures of Bobby Williams and John L. Smith look like the halcyon days.

And then there’s Northwestern. Despite only having 2 games of experience, interim coach David Braun is somehow no longer the B1G’s shortest-tenured coach. That distinction belongs to Barnett.

Braun replaced the league’s 2nd-longest tenured coach, Pat Fitzgerald, in July. Fitzgerald was fired after an investigation concluded that he failed to tamp down a hazing culture that permeated through the program.

This is after Fitz spent the better part of his 18 seasons as the Big Ten’s most securely fastened head coach. There were multiple chances to leave Evanston for a program more dedicated to athletic spending, or perhaps even the NFL. He remained loyal to Northwestern, but in the end even that couldn’t prevent his fate.

The ensuing offseason, though still 3 months away, will feature at least 2 vacancies — neither of which have anything to do with on-field performance. And if Harbaugh finally seals the deal on his perennial NFL flirtation, it could get even more chaotic.

All as the conference is about to add 4 more programs.

So much for stability.

Around the B1G horn

Couldn’t watch every game? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

No. 2 Michigan 35, UNLV 7

There’s nothing to glean from Michigan’s non-conference schedule other than JJ McCarthy could complete 80% of his passes blindfolded if you aren’t going to get pressure on him.

One minor quibble: If Donovan Edwards is as good as he says he is, he needs to do better than 9 yards on 6 carries against UNLV.

No. 4 Ohio State 35, Youngstown State 7

Isn’t it cute when Ohio State and Michigan beat opponents by the exact same score? They do everything together!

Ohio State’s offense still feels like it’s missing a gear, but the explosive players lived up to their reputation against the Penguins. Marvin Harrison Jr. had touchdown receptions of 71 and 39 yards, Emeka Egbuka had a 28-yard touchdown catch, and TreVeyon Henderson scored from 30 yards out.

No. 7 Penn State 63, Delaware 7

The Nittany Lions aren’t missing any gears right now. Penn State amassed 33 first downs to Delaware’s 5. Which is what should happen when a Top 10 team plays an FCS opponent. But it doesn’t always work out that way. As the Ohio State-Youngstown State score would indicate.

Washington State 31, No. 19 Wisconsin 22

The Big Ten effectively moved to evict Washington State from the Power 5 this offseason, and then Wisconsin was stuck going to Pullman to serve the papers. It did not go over well.

The Badgers rushed for 90 yards against a fired-up Washington State defense and helped the Cougars further with 3 lost fumbles.

Colorado 36, Nebraska 14

The Cornhuskers provided a blueprint for someone to slow down the Coach Prime hype train, recording 11 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. But it will have to be another team, because Nebraska is still stuck using Nebraska’s offense. The Huskers blasted away at their own feet with 4 turnovers that directly led to 16 points for the Buffaloes.

Purdue 24, Virginia Tech 17

Both teams endured 6 hours of weather delays before Ryan Walters finally earned his first career win. Fittingly, it was his defense that did the most impressive work. The Boilermakers held the Hokies to 11 rushing yards, which is the best performance by a Purdue run defense since limiting Louisville to minus-31 rushing yards in 1988.

Walters got off to an inauspicious start in Week 1. Making history in Week 2 is a pretty good way to make up for it.

Iowa 20, Iowa State 13

Well, what were you expecting?

Iowa gained 235 yards and 9 first downs, but still found a way to improve to 8-2 against the Cyclones over the past 10 meetings. It helps that the Hawkeyes didn’t commit a single penalty. (Iowa State was flagged twice for 24 total yards in the ultimate “Let ’em play” game.)

Michigan State 45, Richmond 14

Well, no one is going to ever remember the details of this game. And that’s too bad, because Spartans quarterback Noah Kim completed his last 17 pass attempts. Richmond or not, that’s pretty dang impressive.

Running back Nathan Carter continues to impress as well. He had his 2nd straight game over 110 rushing yards and added 3 touchdowns.

Northwestern 38, UTEP 7

The Wildcats won on American soil for the first time since Oct. 16, 2021, and beat an opponent other than Rutgers in the United States for the first time since Sept. 25 of the same year.

The outlook was grim at halftime, but the Cats broke a 7-7 tie with an unanswered 31-point outburst. This team isn’t as bad as it looked at Rutgers, because the Scarlet Knights might be … respectable?

Rutgers 36, Temple 7

The Scarlet Knights have allowed 14 points in 2 games. This defense could be saltier than the water off the Jersey Shore.

And maybe the offense is … competent. We won’t get too crazy on that one. But Rutgers did gain more than 400 yards against an FBS opponent for only the 5th time since 2016. Schianoball may finally prove competitive in the Big Ten now that Greg has his horses.

Maryland 38, Charlotte 20

Maryland trailed 14-0 just 3 minutes into the game, and Charlotte’s Biff Poggi appeared well on his way to becoming the greatest coach to ever walk the sidelines in a sleeveless t-shirt.

Eventually, Maryland had enough athletes to overcome Poggi’s sartorial splendor. West Virginia transfer Kaden Prather’s 40-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter put the Terps up by 17 and put the game away.

Minnesota 25, Eastern Michigan 6

After a very un-Minnesota 44 pass attempts and 25 runs against Nebraska, PJ Fleck went back to the hotdish against Eastern Michigan. The Gophers ran the ball 56 times for 296 yards and only bothered to attempt 15 passes.

Indiana 41, Indiana State 7 (Friday)

Do the Hoosiers have a shutdown secondary?

A week after limiting Marvin Harrison Jr. to a career-low 2 catches for 18 yards, the Hoosiers held the Sycamores to 3-of-11 passing for 21 yards.

At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, this year’s Indiana-Rutgers game might actually be pretty good.

Kansas 34, Illinois 23 (Friday)

Kansas rushed for 262 yards against an Illini defense that allowed 100.7 rushing yards per game last year. Illinois was especially ineffective on third down, allowing the Jayhawks to convert 9 of 13 attempts.

In other words, it’s a good thing this team has an extra day to prepare for Penn State.

Week 2 MVPs

1. WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

He’s back. Harrison had 7 catches for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns after being shut down against Indiana in Week 1.

2. RB Darius Taylor, Minnesota

The Gophers appear to have found their new workhorse. Taylor had 35 touches — 33 carries and 2 receptions — for 206 total yards and a touchdown.

3. QB JJ McCarthy, Michigan

McCarthy continues to be automatic in 2023. He was 22-of-25 for 278 yards against UNLV, raising his completion percentage to 87.3% this season.

4. RB Kyle Monangai, Rutgers

Monangai stood out in a rare offensive outburst for Rutgers. He finished with 28 carries for 165 yards with a 1-yard touchdown.

5. OLB Nic Scourton, Purdue

The Artist Formerly Known as Nic Caraway made sure we’ll remember him by any name. Scourton was the star of Purdue’s historically strong showing against Virginia Tech’s run game, finishing with 3.5 TFL and a sack that accounted for 23 combined yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Play of the week

The backstory says it all.

We aren’t suckers for sentimentality or numerology, but JJ McCarthy’s 47-yard touchdown pass on the day he wrote “47” on his hand to honor his late high school teammate Ryan Keeler was a moment. Perhaps we should be suckers for those things now.