That’s right bitches, it’s back! For all you uneducated fools that are reading this for the first time, I basically rank the Big Ten teams as I see fit on a weekly basis throughout the conference slate of the college football season. The rankings are based mainly on performance and not so much on actual record or ranking (hence the reason you’ll see undefeated teams below teams with a loss).
If this year is anything like last year, look for a ton of shakeups to occur over the next few weeks as teams near the bottom could string together a stronger-than-expected performance or teams I have near the top could begin an epic, Michigan State-like collapse.
1. Ohio State – I don’t care how badly those prima-donna Californians whooped them, I don’t care that their games against Ohio and Troy were in doubt going into the 4th quarter, and I don’t care that Coach Tressel is giving Terrelle Pryor a little “baptism by fire” by making him the new permanent starting QB: Until the Buckeyes drop a couple Big Ten games (or give up double-digit points at home to PSU), they’re still the team to beat in this conference.
2. Wisconsin – I was debating whether to put the Badgers or Penn State in this slot. Like PSU, the Badgers have lit it up offensively and blown away the cupcakes on their schedules despite some early-game struggles (Wisconsin started out in a 14-0 hole before waking up in their eventual blowout win over Marshall).
However, I had to give the edge to a team that traveled halfway across the country to play a Top 25 Fresno State squad and walk out of there victorious when PSU has obviously faced no such test whatsoever.
3. Penn State – Thus far it looks like the “HD” in JayPa’s offensive scheme stands for anything but “Highly Dumb.” We’ll find out over the course of the month of October though just how well it holds against teams that actually play defense.
4. Michigan State – After further tests and analysis, it’s been determined that tailback Javon Ringer is not human but rather a hybrid clone made up of DNA samples taken from Jerome Bettis, Lance Armstrong, and underage female Chinese gymnasts.
5. Illinois – The offense still features playmakers in Juice Williams and Arrelious Benn, but the defense leaves a lot to be desired against teams that feature an actual offense. For Ron Zook’s sake, he’d better hope that nobody at Penn State is watching tapes from the Missouri game a few weeks ago.
6. Purdue – After blowing a 17-point lead to Oregon and then having to rally in the final minute against Central Michigan (again), this train is chugging along the old, familiar, track to mediocrity.
7. Minnesota – Say what you want about their schedule, but how many of you thought the Fighting Brewsters would be 4-0 going into conference play? Furthermore, how many of you imagined this team becoming bowl eligible?
Well, guess what: A bowl trip looks more like a reality than a dream scenario with the Gophers’ Big Ten home slate being comprised of each of the following four teams below…
8. Northwestern – Like OSU, the Wildcats also struggled to beat Ohio U, but have managed to win a game on the road (unlike certain other teams in the Big Ten) and have actually looked pretty good defensively thus far. We’ll see if they can parlay their best start since The Beatles were first emerging onto the music scene (1962) into a bowl berth.
9. Iowa – Hey District Judges, here’s an idea for punishment: Force the offender to sit down and watch Iowa’s abortion of an offense perform against a team with a pulse.
10. Michigan – Second and third time offenders should also be forced to watch Michigan’s cripple-tastic victory over Miami (OH) at least twice as a nice little bonus.
11. Indiana – Getting thoroughly owned by a MAC team on your home turf gets you firmly entrenched in the bottom of the HHV power poll. ‘Nuff said.