Taking a look at the conference schedules for the second-tier of the B1G (maybe I should’ve included NW, idk):
Michigan: Purdue x2, OSU x2, @MSU…@Nebraska, @PSU
Nebraska: @Purdue, @OSU, @MSU…vs Michigan, PSU x2
PSU: @Purdue, @MSU, OSUx2…vs Michigan, Nebraska x2
Michigan had the most chances at statement wins. Painfully close to 4-0 in those games, plus the remaining OSU game. Instead, by an average of 4.5pt margin of defeat, we are 1-3. We’ve been in some rockfights with lesser teams, but we’ve also given the the top tier a run for their money in every game; largest defeat to a top 3 team was by 9 @OSU, and that was after giving up a 20(?) point lead.
It’s been stated a few times already, but Nebraska is in the strangely perfect position to have a weak 4th-place resume. Only had to play the big guys 3 times (all on the road is pretty terrible luck, tho), and their single play against the second-tier was a home game, against Michigan.
PSU has true spoiler potential. Are 1-1 against the top tier, and 1-0 (vs Nebraska) against the second tier. So they still have 4 games to play against the top 5 teams (OSU and Mich at home, Purdue and Nebraska away)