We’re back for another B1G season! Throughout the 2014 season, I’ll be ranking the Big Ten schools 1-14. To see where your team was ranked last week, click here. As always, if you think I’m right, wrong, or clinically insane, let me know in the comments.
Prepare to disagree…
- Michigan State. The Spartans had an excellent game plan against Nebraska and executed it very well for two or three quarters before they got bored and almost lost the game. Still, I didn’t any reason to knock them from the top spot. Sparty probably won’t be challenged for the rest of the month.
- Ohio State. Hello, Maryland. To welcome you to the league, we’d like to light up your scoreboard with 52 points. The Bucks get a week off to prepare for the other B1G newbies.
- Nebraska. It seems odd to move a team up in the rankings when they a) lost and b) looked poor for most of the game in doing so. In theory, I agree, but it helps that the team in front of them (Wisconsin) lost to a team that is not as good at Michigan State. The Huskers also get a week off to prepare for the NU-NU grudge match.
- Minnesota. Minnesota’s lone loss (a 30-7 beating at TCU) looks a lot better after TCU knocked off Oklahoma. The game with Northwestern should provide some clarity as to which West division upstart is a legitimate threat.
- Northwestern. So let’s get this straight: the Wildcats allow Melvin Gordon to rush for 259 and a touchdown, and they still win? If Northwestern is going to contend for the West title, they’ll earn it in their next three games (at Minnesota, Nebraska, at Iowa). Get past those and they can coast to Indy.
- Rutgers. I’m still not real sure what to make of Rutgers. Four of their six games have been decided by a touchdown or less, which means they are a few bounces away from 6-0 or 2-4. The game with Ohio State in two weeks should provide some answers.
- Maryland. The Terps got thumped good by Ohio State – probably out of anger inspired by Maryland’s ugly uniforms. They get to lick their wounds for a week before taking on the Hawkeyes.
- Wisconsin. So let’s get this straight: Melvin Gordon rushes for 259 yards and a touchdown and they lose? Look for the Badgers to take out some frustrations against Illinois. And considering how bad the Illini rush defense is, don’t be surprised to see Gordon put up 300 yards.
- Iowa. Having successfully defeated the bye week, Iowa turns their attention towards the Hoosiers. The loser will definitely find themselves in the double digits of these rankings.
- Penn State. For a team with the depth issues that Penn State has, a bye week is a welcome chance to rest and heal. Unfortunately, their schedule has them off, at Michigan, and off again before six straight games to end the season. That is rough.
- Purdue. Look at you, Purdue! Last year you had to wait until late November before you won a conference game. If you could play Illinois every week you’d make the Rose Bowl!
- Indiana. It’s Hoosiers v. Hawkeyes in the battle of “which team is a potential cellar dweller”.
- Michigan. I’m not sure what is more surprising: that Michigan almost won, that Brady Hoke is still employed, or that the Wolverines made it through a game without any scandals.
- Illinois. Having lost to Purdue, Illinois’ best chance for a conference win will be hoping that Penn State is so beat up on Nov. 22 that they can steal a W. Until then, I’m not seeing much hope for the Illini.