Hard to believe, but we’re already down to the final edition of the 2007 Big Ten Power Rankings, where did this college football season go? I just want to thank everyone who has actually been reading these and giving me feedback on it, I truly appreciate it.
Before I get to the rankings though, I realize some of you may be wondering where my write-up is on PSU b-ball’s defeat to Rider in its second game of the Old Spice Classic. The truth is, I slept in and totally forgot about the 10:30 start. By the time I got up, and realized that we had tipped off a couple hours ago, I ran to the nearest TV and switched over to ESPN2 , only to see us down by three with a minute to play and Stanley Pringle forcing up a quick three-point shot that hit nothing but iron. Needless to say, that was the closest we would come to closing the gap, which I later found out was once a double-digit lead for us. That’s right, we were kicking Rider’s ass for a good portion of the first half but then in typical PSU fashion, we managed to blow that lead and allow Rider to go on a 16-0 run to take one-point halftime lead. We never recovered from the hangover and now face the grave possibility of a disastrous dead last finish in the OSC should we lose to Central Florida tomorrow in the 7th place game.
What’s frustrating about all of this is that we have a definite improvement in athleticism/talent this year(which was my main reason for not calling for Ed DeChellis’s head last year), particularly in the backcourt with Talor Battle/Stanley Pringle but we still seem to be making the same mistakes from previous years. From what I read about the Rider game, we still have a problem with players helping too much on defense, allowing opponents to hit wide open three-pointers at will and our offensive spacing continues to be piss poor with players standing around waiting for something to happen, kind of like the 76ers under Iverson. On top of that, some of Ed DeChellis’ substitution patterns seem baffling, what was he thinking pulling Mike Walker during the first half when he had the hot hand from three-point range? Why is Brandon Hassell seeing so much PT when it’s apparent he’s about as useful as an 8-track player? It’s safe to say, I’m really starting to sour on our coaching situation and it’s going to take a complete 180 performance-wise from this team to get me thinking otherwise.
Alright, enough with the rant, time for the rankings:
1. Ohio State (2) – Hold your roses Buckeye fans, thanks to LSU choking earlier than expected, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is simple: Root for Oklahoma.
2. Illinois (1) – Avoided the letdown from their toppling of the Buckeyes and beat Northwestern to pretty much assure themselves of a Capital One Bowl bid.
3. Wisconsin (3) – Struggled somewhat with Minnesota, but ultimately recovered and went on to retain Paul Bunyan’s Axe. They’re likely headed to either the Outback or Alamo Bowl. My money is on the Outback because even though they finished with a worse conference record than Michigan, they still have a better overall record and most importantly, beat the Wolverines head-to-head.
4. Michigan (4) – Remember the Harold and Kumar hang-glider reference I made in last week’s power rankings? Well, imagine if that hang-glider were to get stuck on some power lines…Hello, San Antonio!
5. Michigan State (7) – I’m putting them above PSU because quite frankly, any team that can pull a total role-reversal the way MSU did last week deserves a boost in the rankings. Enjoy your wonderful Detroit bowl holiday, Sparty.
Face it, you know that deep down you would rather play a bowl game in the Motor City…
6. Penn State (5) – Two positives from last week’s epic disaster: (1) We no longer have to display that piece of shit Land Grant Trophy in our trophy case, (2) We’re still headed to a warm climate for a bowl game, most likely the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.
I would sooner win a blood drive than stare at this abomination of a trophy.
7. Indiana (10) – The Hoosiers couldn’t have picked a better time to end their 5-game losing streak against bitter rival Purdue, at 7-5 they are likely headed to a bowl game. It’s looking like either the Motor City (if for some odd reason, they don’t scoop up MSU first) or the Insight Bowl where they’ll be seen by the approximately 500 people in this country who get the NFL Network.
8. Purdue (8) – I would have dumped the Boilers further down in the rankings if not for…
9. Iowa (6) – See: Shitting the bed. All they had to do was beat Western Michigan at home on senior day and they would get their 7th overall win, practically assuring themselves a bowl bid. Instead, they found a way to choke on (insert disgusting animal fluid here) big time, and will likely be home for the holidays.
10. Northwestern (9) – If this were any other year in the Big Ten, 6-6 would likely have been enough for the Wild Puss ‘N Boots to go bowling. Unfortunately, this isn’t any other year in the Big Ten and 6 wins will not be enough, better luck next year, fellas.
11. Minnesota (11) – And Year 1 of the Tim Brewster dynasty ends on a high note: The Caddyshack Gophers actually led by a field goal halftime and were ahead by as many as 10 points in the first half.