Dr. Saturday - NCAAF

Iowa 18, Indiana 13. For all of the man hours put into figuring out how to break the four-way deadlock for first place in the Big Ten last week, it's a good bet that none of them included much thought about what would happen if, say, last-place Indiana knocked off one of the frontrunning quartet. The problem was complicated enough without being weighed down by pointless variables hinging on double-digit underdogs with nine straight conference losses.

And, well, that instinct turned out to be right, at least for this week. Because although Indiana had held Iowa out of the end zone for the first 57 minutes and led for nearly the entire fourth quarter, and although receiver Damarlo Belcher had the game-winning, chaos-accelarating points in his hands with no Hawkeye defenders contesting the catch on a 4th-and-10 strike from quarterback Ben Chappell with 35 seconds on the clock, the Hoosiers couldn't close the door on the upset. The ball hit Belcher's hands like a rock, and hit the turf with the prevailing uncertainty intact.

More comfortable victories by Michigan State and Wisconsin, along with a bye week for Ohio State, leave the Rose Bowl derby in exactly the dead heat it was in at the start of the day, with all four teams' prospects depending on what happens to the other three. Only the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes can help their case by actually defeating one of the other contenders in two weeks, at which point we'll at least be able to say that someone controls their own fate where Pasadena is concerned – unless, of course, next week's usurper actually hangs on.

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Screencap via mocksession.com.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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