1. Penn State (2) – I don’t give a damn how overrated Wisconsin was by preseason prognosticators: Going into Camp Randall Stadium and handing the Badgers their worst defeat since the pre-Barry Alvarez era is an impressive feat worthy of a de-throning.
2. Ohio State (1) – The Buckeyes’ lone offensive TD against Purdue last week came after Terrelle Pryor blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone. We’ll find out next week whether Tressel’s offense was simply playing ultra-conservative so as not to show their entire hand to Penn State. In the meantime, the Buckeyes will have their hands plenty full when they travel to…
3. Michigan State (4) – No Big Ten fan in their right mind would’ve thought that someday Mark Dantonio’s “three yards and a cloud of dust” style of coaching would be considered unique to the conference. Lo and behold, such is the case and it’s gotten Sparty back in the Top 25 and back to respectability. A golden opportunity awaits Sparty this weekend and if they can knock off Ohio State, then they’re suddenly looking like the frontrunner to unseat PSU’s Big Ten title hopes.
4. Illinois (4) – The defense is really starting to become an achilles’ heel for the Illini as it cost them a game they should have won against Minnesota.
Speaking of Minnesota…
5. Minnesota (7) – In one of my earliest BTB Roundtable posts this summer, I prognosticated the Gophers being the most improved team in the Big Ten this year:
Look for Minny to be like Illinois was a couple years ago, they’ll be a pesky bunch of Caddyshack Gophers that will make some of the more talented teams look like Carl Spackler (i.e. give stronger teams a run for their money, before coming up just short). I see them doing as well as 6-6 and being bowl eligible.
Never did I imagine that Minny would be in a position this year where finishing 6-6 would be considered an absolute disappointment but at 6-1 right now, that’s exactly how Gopher fans are feeling.
6. Wisconsin (3) – Got Darryl? Apparently not.
7. Northwestern (6) – No shame in losing to a darkhorse Michigan State team, even though the final score ended up being more lopsided than Vegas or myself imagined.
8. Iowa (11) – Looks like throwing out the word “abortion” (which I used to describe the Hawkeyes’ offense in last week’s power rankings) is all you have to do in order to rile up folks in the midwest. Iowa’s offense looked alive for the first time since they were beating up on the cupcake portion of their non-conference slate, hanging 45 points on Indiana.
9. Purdue (9) – Q: What’s more miserable? Being Curtis Painter or having diabeetus?
A: Curtis Painter. At least people with diabeetus are taking fewer shots…
10. Indiana (10) – Normally, giving up 45 points to a seemingly stagnant offense is cause for demotion to the basement but lo and behold, we’ve got…
11. Michigan (8) – 2008 Michigan Football Streak Destruction List:
- 24 straight wins against MAC conference teams
- 9 straight wins against Penn State (COMING SOON)
- 6 straight wins against “Little Brother” (The pride has left town, and the fall is rapidly moving along)
- 40 consecutive non-losing seasons
Did I also neglect to mention that Dick Rod’s celebrity status is shooting through the roof?