The more Big Ten football I watch, the more I think that “power” is a poor choice of wording.
Last week’s ranking in parenthesis.
1. Ohio State (2) 3-0
Last week: 35-28 win over Cal
In back to back weeks, OSU has been pushed to their limits by UCF and Cal. They have one notable offensive playmaker and their defense is extremely flawed. They also appear to be the best team in the conference, up to this point.
2. Northwestern (3) 3-0
Last week: 22-13 win over Boston College
Northwestern has three wins over teams from BCS conferences and I considered placing them at #1 for that, but those three aren’t all that impressive and Northwestern is not realistically as good as Ohio State.
3. Michigan (4) 2-1
Last week: 63-13 win over UMass
No margin of victory over UMass was going to be enough to impress anybody, but Michigan handled business. We’ll know a lot more about them a week from now.
4. Purdue (5) 2-1
Last week: 54-14 win over Eastern Michigan
I’m on the Purdue bandwagon. Not because of this win over directional MAC team…but just because. I think they’ll surprise some teams when conference play starts. They gave Notre Dame a better game than Sparty did!
5. Minnesota (6) 3-0
Last week: 28-23 win over Western Michigan
Another game, another win for the Gophers. I don’t know how long they can keep it up, but momentum is building for Minnesota.
6. Michigan State (1) 2-1
Last week: 20-3 loss at home to Notre Dame
Michigan State was favored to win, then never made it to the end zone. Fans hoped that this would be the year Michigan State lived up to their potential and hype. It’s early, but this was not a good sign.
7. Nebraska (6) 2-1
Last week: 42-13 win over Arkansas State
Nebraska followed a loss at UCLA with a win over something called Arkansas State and next week they play someone from Idaho that isn’t Boise State. Gotta do better than that.
8. Penn State (10) 1-2
Last week: 34-7 win over Navy
Back to back staunch defensive performances against totally different offenses. Another terrific performance by WR Allen Robinson and starting running back Bill Belton could be on his way back.
9. Wisconsin (9) 2-1
Last week: 16-14 win over Utah State
I didn’t expect Wisconsin to be what they were last year, but they struggled against Northern Iowa, lost to Oregon State, then went to halftime trailing 14-3 this week to Utah State at home. They’re averaging under 17 points per game and Montee Ball is a shadow of his 2011 self.
10. Iowa (11) 2-1
Last week: 27-16 win over Northern Iowa
Like Wisconsin, Iowa has some real flaws to work out. However, they may have found a running back. Until the AIRBHG finds out about it, that is.
11. Indiana (8) 2-1
Last week: 41-29 loss at home to Ball State.
Well, Hoosiers…it was fun while it lasted. Eventually that Indiana State/UMass well was bound to dry up and the juggernaut Ball States of the world would come.
12. Illinois (12) 2-1
Last week: 44-0 win over Charleston Southern
Directional CHARLESTON!?!? Is this really a thing? Shameful.
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