Big Ten Spring Power Rankings

That’s right ladies and gentlemen: BEHOLD the triumphant return of the “Big Ten Power Rankings”, an HHV segment that over the course of last college football season became bigger than Jesus (Quintana). This time around, with spring practices/games having been completed and with a ridiculously long wait ahead until the start of this upcoming season, I am unveiling what is basically a set of rankings that are based on last year’s performance plus returning starters with a smidgen of bias thrown in. So, without further ado, here goes…


1. Ohio State (2007 Record: 11-2, 7-1) – Jim Tressel beat Michigan senseless for the second time in a few months when he landed the greatest recruit in football history, Terrelle Pryor. Originally wanting to play both football and basketball in college, it’s starting to look like Pryor’s going to stick to lighting up opponents on the gridiron. This is a good thing for OSU…Unless they enjoy basketbrawls and don’t mind suffering more innocent spectator deaths than at Brick Tamland’s golf tournament.

2. Penn State (2007 Record: 9-4, 4-4) – Oh shut up already, I warned you about the “smidgen of bias” part of these rankings. When you return a combined 14 starters on both sides of the football, particularly with 8 on offense, your ceiling for success should be pretty damned high (even without Sean Lee), hence PSU takes the runner-up position because this is where they are capable of finishing if they play to their full potential and the coaching staff gets the most out of the talent on hand.

Of course, there’s just one problem with the possibility of this happening (aside from the coaching part)…PSU has a downright brutal mid-schedule stretch.

Oct. 4 at Purdue
Oct. 11 at Wisconsin, 8:00 p.m.
Oct. 18 MICHIGAN (2), 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Ohio State
Nov. 8 at Iowa

Four out of five on the road in the Big Ten? Considering how shit-tastic of a road team PSU has been over the past few years, I’d be very happy to split those four road games. And lest I forget to mention that given all that has transpired up in Ann Arbor this offseason, if we lose to Michigan this year…Hell, let’s not even go there.

3. Wisconsin (2007 Record: 9-4, 5-3) – With the Badgers starting their third QB in as many years, it’s safe to say that the position has become the “village prostitute” of Camp Randall Stadium…Everyone’s getting a chance to “bang it out” in hopes of “getting on top”, HEY-OHHHH!

4. Illinois (2007 Record: 9-4, 6-2) – Poor Ron Zook: With the new NCAA guidelines banning the visitation of high schools by coaches during the month of May, he can no longer use his Richard Simmons-like enthusiasm to entice recruits (and maybe get them “Sweatin’ To The Oldies” via highlights of Illini legends past). Oh yeah, did I mention the Illini have a huge gaping hole to fill at running back with Rashard Mendenhall now playing for the Stillers? Good luck, coach…

“Fuck it, dude, let’s go waterskiing.”

5. Michigan (2007 Record: 9-4, 6-2) – “My inherited talent has either transferred or jumped to the NFL. My star offensive lineman went off to join the Taliban. My former school wants to suck me dry of millions of dollars and throw me into a pile of burning couches…My card is American Express.”

Thumbs-up to Dick Rod for trumping Coach K in the “Douche-iest Spokesperson” department

6. Iowa (2007 Record: 6-6, 4-4) – It’s hard to see Kirk Ferentz’s crew not making strides, especially on the offensive side of the ball where they return 8 starters. It also helps that the Big Ten inflicted its unwritten “mercy rule” upon the Hawkeyes, sparing them the requirement of facing Ohio State or Michigan this year.

Such a softening of the schedule is rather cheap and is the equivalent of spotting an opponent 9 points in a game of street hoops.

7. Michigan State (2007 Record: 7-6, 3-5) – Yes, I’m still downright bitter about last November’s inexcusable collapse by the Nittany Lions against a program famed for doing such things but give credit to Mark Dantonio for turning around a mess of a program in a hurry and landing them in a bowl game in his first year…Much like a former MSU coach.

Great things are on the horizon for Michigan St. football

8. Northwestern (2007 Record: 6-6, 3-5) – It seems in his 3rd year as head coach, Pat Fitzgerald has finally figured out what the Men In Purple in needed: a return to the basics. And by “basics” I mean the no-huddle spread offense that Fitzgerald’s predecessor Randy Walker utilized to get Northwestern to a couple bowls earlier this decade. Will the spirit of the “Ghost of Northwestern Past” be enough to get this team bowling again?

9. Purdue (2007 Record: 8-5, 3-5) – From the reports I’ve read regarding the Boilermakers, the only way Joe Tiller’s “basketball on grass” offense is guaranteed to be potent this year is if veteran QB Curtis Painter clones himself, injects the clones with horse steroids, and has those clones take over the running back and wide receiver spots…Talk about riding the L-Train to Nowhere.

10. Indiana (2007 Record: 7-6, 3-5) – With QB Kellen Lewis indefinitely suspended and with his favorite go-to guy James Hardy now in the NFL, dare I say Indiana is a *gasp* One Hit Wonder?

11. Minnesota ( 2007 Record: 1-11, 0-8 ) – Somewhere, Glen Mason continues to smile at the fact he has yet to be proven wrong by Minnesota’s Athletic Department that abruptly dumping him for an unqualified NFL assistant was a good idea.

A Minnesota sports blog, would beg to differ however, as they see Tim Brewster as a driving force behind the state’s dramatic increase in holiday shopping sales last December. Who’s up for a game of “Whack-A-Mole?”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The aforementioned blog used to have a humorous picture of a “Whack-A-Mole” box with photos of Tim Brewster’s face plastered over the moles. For some mysterious reason, the site now only features articles from the past couple months as opposed to those dating back through last year, which was where the photo was found. HHV apologizes for any loss of comedic value that may have a occurred as a result of this unfortunate and unforeseen circumstance.)


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