HHV’s Big Ten Power Rankings (Season Finale)

December 6, 2008

Apologies for not getting these up sooner but hey, better late than never, right?

It’s hard to believe that another college football regular season is about to pass us by and that I’m about to close the books on my second annual power rankings.  It sure seems like yesterday that I debuted my very first set of rankings, not sure whether I would make it a recurring segment or if I would just let it rot like a lot of other “segments” this blog has had over the past year or so.  I’ve had a blast putting them together and even more so have enjoyed reading the comments (no matter inflammatory some may have been) that you, the readers posted every week in response to them.

I’d also like to take this moment to announce that come January, HHV will debut its power rankings for the Big Ten basketball season.  If it’s anything like the football rankings, then it too will be a recurring segment.  Time will tell, of course…

Anyway, here’s the final set of rankings for you until next year.  To the fans of the bowl-eligible teams:  Congratulations, I’ll be rooting for your respective teams to reverse the recent trend of Big Ten bowl struggles.  If your team didn’t make it, well, better luck next year…

1. Penn State (11-1, 7-1) – Guess how many media pundits projected the Nittany Lions to be sitting in this position at the end of the year?  Put your hand down, Phil Grosz

2. Ohio State (10-2, 7-1) – In light of recent events, I can promise you one thing: I don’t give a damn what the rules say, you will never, EVER, see me declare PSU “Big Ten Champs” if the team that we lost head-to-head against has the same conference record as us.

I will also go ape shit if I ever see the following displayed on the Beaver Stadium scoreboard if we end up in a situation like OSU’s.


(Image courtesy of There Is No Name On My Jersey)

3. Iowa (8-4, 5-3) – I know what you MSU fans have to say: But, but, we BEAT Iowa! Actually, you beat a Hawkeye team that had yet to discover its offense which would end up complimenting their already kickass defense.  If the two teams were to meet right now, I would put all my money down on the Hawkeyes knocking off Sparty.  Ricky Stanzi is a better QB than Brian Hoyer, Shonn Greene is a better tailback than Javon Ringer, and Mark Dantonio only wishes he had the same caliber of defense as Iowa’s.  Plus, remind me how Michigan State fared against undoubtedly the best two teams in the Big Ten…

Quick, whats the shortest path to the Downtown Athletic Club?

Quick, what's the shortest path to the Downtown Athletic Club?

4. Michigan State (9-3, 6-2) – As impressed as I am with how quickly Mark Dantonio has turned things around in East Lansing, I lost a ton of respect for him after those back-to-back timeouts that he called with 9 seconds left and the game long since in the bag while the freezing fans were anxiously awaiting the presentation of the Big Ten Championship trophy.  There was no need to put a damper effect on the celebration of a hard-earned and well-deserved title.

Even more disgusting was the stuff I read from MSU fans on message boards arguing that Dantonio was giving PSU a little payback for running up the score by throwing the ball in the 4th quarter.  What the hell did you expect PSU to do, take a knee on every play and put in the towel boys on defense so MSU could launch another comeback and make a semi-interesting game out of a thorough domination?

If you stuff 8 or 9 guys in the box to try to stop the run and continue to play as if the game is still within reach, then the other team will do whatever they can to counter it…It’s called taking your medicine like a man.

Need to clear out the massive amount of guests at your party?  Hire Mark Dantonio

Need to clear a massive amount of guests from your party in a hurry? Hire Mark Dantonio

5. Northwestern (9-3, 5-3) – Imagine, if NU hadn’t inexplicably choked at Indiana, they would be sitting pretty with a 10-2 record, raise your hands if you saw that coming…That’s what I thought.

6. Wisconsin (7-5, 3-5) – Dear Bret Bielema: You owe a Christmas card to Cal Poly’s kicker because without his multiple botched extra points, your team would be inexplicably staying home for the holidays, much like Ron Zook’s crew.

7. Minnesota (7-5, 3-5) – It’s amazing what one giant FAIL in the final seconds can do a team’s fortunes…The Gophers have reverted to their 2007 selves ever since their Miracle at the Meadowlands-style disaster against Northwestern, losing four straight games, including closing out the Metrodome (i.e. “Kinnick North”) with a bang by being on the losing end of a 55-0 pasting against Iowa.

The Caddyshack Gophers are now limping into their bowl game and desperately need a win in order to build some off-season momentum and straighten the tailspin they’re currently mired in.

8. Illinois (5-7, 3-5) – The advertisements for the season finale of Illinois Football: The Journey have all the makings of “A Very Special Episode” on a sitcom.  Expect plenty of tears to be jerked as the Illini lament on their lost season that was once full of hope.  And please, stay away from gangs, they’re bad news…

9. Purdue (4-8, 2-6) – Nothing like a 52-point pasting of your bitter rival to send out a coach who revolutionized Big Ten football over a decade ago.  It’s a shame that Joe Tiller won’t get to experience one final bowl game before he retires to Wyoming, particularly since bowl games for Purdue were about as frequent as Star Wars geeks getting laid before he arrived.  Nonetheless, Yours Truly wishes Coach Tiller a happy retirement and thanks him for being a class act and representative of the Big Ten.

Assistant coach (and Tiller look-alike) Danny Hope takes over, and the biggest question now is whether he can get Purdue back to the winning ways that fans had become accustomed to under Tiller.

Sporting the Tiller stache already gets you halfway there as a worthy successor.

Sporting the "Tiller 'stache" already gets you halfway there as a worthy successor at Purdue. Well done, young grasshopper!

10. Michigan (3-9, 2-6) – Year One of the Dick Rod era is in the books.  It was the worst season in the long, rich, history of Michigan Wolverine football.  However, it’s hard to believe how one can worry about something so meaningless with all the bloody starvation happening in the world…Get a life.

Dick Rod is to biting towels as Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" is to biting soap.

Dick Rod is to biting towels as Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" is to biting soap.

11. Indiana (3-9, 1-7) – Look, I realize it was Joe Tiller’s last game as head coach and that emotions were running high at West Lafayette, but that’s no excuse for your team to not even show up for its annual rivalry game.  The Hoosiers looked like a team that had long ago thrown in the towel and that falls on Bill Lynch and the coaching staff. It only makes one wonder where this program would be right now if Terry Hoeppner were still alive and well, because I can tell you for sure that you wouldn’t have seen this team put together as pathetic of a performance as they put on against their rivals if Hoeppner was still the coach, nor would you have seen such a collapse from the previous year occur.

Look for Lynch to be squarely on the hot seat going into 2009 and if IU doesn’t show significant improvement from this year’s fall back to the basement, then there will be a new sherriff in Bloomington for 2010.  Something tells me though that 2007’s success was “lightning in a bottle.”


Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 12)

November 15, 2008

Some quick thoughts on tonight’s 65-51 win by the Fighting DeChellises over Bill & Mary:

  • Cornley and Battle are picking up where they left off last season…Now we need a third consistent scorer to emerge if we’re going to take a giant leap forward this year.  Stanley Pringle and DJ Jackson looked like strong candidates w/12 pts and 9 pts respectively.
  • People are already dismissing Danny Morrissey’s shooting ability after one off-night shooting, which is rather ridiculous.  The guy will have his hot shooting nights, and plenty of them throughout the cousre of the season.  If you’re going to criticize Morrissey, criticize his lack of athleticism or defensive abilities, don’t rag on him for his shooting.
  • The interior game needs plenty of work.  Aside from Cornley, nobody else has stepped up inside offensively or defensively.  AJ III was a disappointment tonight with only 4 rebounds and 4 points.  DJ is more of a small forward type than power forward but he’s looked like the best interior player after Cornley.  Paging Jeff Brooks…Please get over your concussion soon.
  • Chris Babb only played 5 minutes and didn’t do anything notable, hopefully he was just working away first-regular season-game-jitters.  Cammeron Woodyard hit a clutch shot to end a several minute scoring drought halfway through the second half and seemed like a kid who could be helpful for us defensively.  We’re going to need both these guys to become key bench players come Big Ten season.
  • I nearly fell asleep during the second half when it seemed all that was happening for the next several minutes was W&M would miss an open three-point shot, PSU would rebound and rush the ball downcourt, only to turn it back over.
  • Since PSU covered the 10.5 spread tonight, Yours Truly stands alone at the top of “The Contest” with a 1-0 record thus far.

Alright, time now for what you REALLY were reading this for:

1. Penn State – Yeah, they lost, Earth is doomed, the terrorists win, blah blah blah…They’re still the team to beat in the Big Ten.

2. Ohio State – The “Revenge Factor” will be alive and well this weekend when the Buckeyes pay a visit to Illinois to take on the team that seemingly eliminated their BCS title hopes last year.

3. Iowa – I debated heavily whether to vault the Hawkeyes over a Michigan State team that took care of business.  Upon further review though, I have to favor the Hawkeyes’ D over MSU’s, not to mention Shonn Greene has yet to be held under 100 yards a game as opposed to Javon Ringer.

4. Michigan State – Gets this weekend off before they COME TO PENNN STAAAATE for what should be the unofficial Big Ten Championship Game.  Be afraid, be very afraid…

5. Wisconsin – Starting to look like the Wisconsin team everybody and their mother envisioned: Running all over opponents and playing stifling defense that holds opposing offenses in check.

6. Northwestern – They’re beating all the mediocre/bottom feeder teams in the conference but have no answer to the teams in the top tier of the conference.

7. Minnesota – Looks like the Caddyshack Gophers have hit their ceiling and are going to continue getting Carl Spackler-ed by their remaining two opponents (at a rising Wisconsin team and home against a fired up Iowa squad).  Still a much better than expected season though, as they are bowl bound.

8. Illinois – Way to help the Big Ten cause, guys. Don’t be surprised to hear the Big Ten Network decide to cancel the remainder of the episodes for The Journey and replace them with reruns of The Ron Zook Variety Hour.

9. Michigan – At least Dick Rod will retain one part of Michigan tradition: The Little Brown Jug.

10. Purdue – Will the Boilers catch a jubilant bunch of Iowa players still hung over from last weekend’s keg party?

11. Indiana – “Fire Bill Lynch” signs are already prevalent at Hoosier football games.  A trip to Happy Valley should change everybody’s minds…To join the Lynch mob.

HHV’s Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 10)

October 30, 2008

Since PSU has the week off, and with Yours Truly needing several days to come down from cloud nine over last week’s victory, I took some time off as well.

However, I’m not about to take the week off when it comes to power rankings, not as this critical juncture in the season with the first Saturday in November swiftly approaching and conference/national title talk beginning to get louder for the teams that are still in it.

So, with that being said, away we go:

1. Penn State (1) – Put themselves clearly in the driver’s seat with last weekend’s knock-down, drag-out, old-fashioned, Big Ten-style victory over the Buckeyes.  Now comes a well deserved bye week in which the players will have some free time on their hands to read the plethora of garbage being written on the internets about how a one-loss SEC or Big 12 team should overtake an undefeated PSU squad in the BCS rankings.

The Jaybama Spread HD Tank remains intact despite taking several direct hits from Buckeye missiles.

The Jaybama Spread HD Tank remains intact despite taking several direct hits from Buckeye missiles.

2. Ohio State (2) – “Tressel-ball” backfired on the Buckeyes last weekend after Terelle Pryor committed a critical turnover trying to run out the clock in the fourth quarter.  While their Big Ten title hopes may be all but shot, the Buckeyes still remain ranked the in the Top 12 of the BCS standings which would mean an automatic berth to a BCS bowl should they win their remaining games against Northwestern, Illinois, and Michigan, neither of whom look impressive.

3. Michigan State (4) – It wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as the 1984 Macintosh Super Bowl Ad, but Michigan State finally found a way to dismantle “Big Brother” for the first time since 2001.  Perhaps they aren’t the most talented of teams after PSU and OSU but they certainly have been the most consistent.  A test looms their way though in Madison East Lansing this weekend, where they face a rejuvenated Wisconsin team fresh off a potentially season-changing win against Illinois.

4. Iowa (7) – Normally, teams in the HHV power rankings don’t move up following a bye week but after seeing Illinois play like garbage against Wisconsin and Northwestern lose to bottom-feeder Indiana, I took a very hard look at the Hawkeyes and bumped them up a few spots.

Sure, they’ve only beaten Wisconsin and Indiana thus far in Big Ten play, but the Hawkeyes have finally pulled an offense out of their asses to compensate their already solid defense. Tailback Shonn Greene leads the way for the Hawkeye attack, not only did he have his first 200+ yard game a couple weeks ago against the Badgers but he also has ran for at least 100+ yards in every single game he’s played in this year.

Additionally, a QB change with Ricky Stanzi (aka “The Stanz”) replacing the erratic Jake Christensen has worked wonders as Stanzi has shown far more consistency in the passing game, something that had been missing in Iowa City since probably the days of Brad Banks inspiring visiting Iowa fans to tear down the goalposts of the host team.

Because of these factors, I’ve decided to go ahead and place the Hawkeyes ahead of Illinois and a Minnesota team that while they are 7-1, haven’t exactly “wowed” me.  Time will tell though, whether or not I will look like a fool.

Remember when Iowa ruled the Big Ten?  That was the day...

Remember when Iowa ruled the Big Ten? That was the good ol' day...

5. Minnesota (5) – The Caddyshack Gophers are well on their way to a bowl bid (and perhaps a very respectable one) after beating Purdue last weekend and Tim Brewster, who was much maligned in these power rankings last year, should be the front-runner for numerous “Coach Of The Year” awards.

6. Illinois (3) – In a move that sparked plenty of controversy and a few angry comments from readers, I ranked the Illini #3 in last week’s power rankings.  Here’s a couple excerpts on what people thought of it:

Illinois ABOVE Michigan State/Northwestern/Minnesota? Laughable. Very laughable. The Illini are #6…at best. Possibly below Iowa, even.

Are you drunk? Iowa is the 3rd best team in this conference. Illinois 3rd? They just lost to MN and WI. End of the year, you will see MY BOY!

Alright, point taken, I fucked up and severely overrated this Illini team. Perhaps I’m trying to cling to that sliver of hope that PSU actually beat a quality Big Ten team not named Ohio State.

Nonetheless, last week’s loss at Wisconsin showed just how erratic and inconsistent the Illini are, they certainly have the tools on offense but are susceptible defensively and have had some very questionable coaching decisions at times (see: Ron Zook not putting Arrelious Benn back to return a Wisconsin punt with time winding down in the first half).

If the Illini want to avoid being seen as a “One Hit Wonder” and stay home for the holidays after playing in last year’s Rose Bowl, they absolutely need to beat Iowa this weekend.

7. Wisconsin (9) – Finally, the Badgers showed signs of life after being written off last week as “dead and buried.”  A win this weekend in East Lansing against Michigan State would do wonders for the team’s confidence and would likely lead to them finishing the season strong and landing a bowl bid.

8. Northwestern (6) – Losing Tyrell Sutton = Disastrous.  How else do you explain losing to Indiana?

9. Michigan (8) – Losing to Toledo, losing to Michigan State by 2 TDs, guaranteed a non-winning record for the first time in four decades, recruits jumping ship…What more can go wrong for Dick Rod and the Wolverines this season?

I believe thats Bryce McNeal in the straw hat on the far right

I believe that's Bryce McNeal in the straw hat on the far right

10. Indiana (11) – Earned its first Big Ten win of the season against a faltering Northwestern team.  It’ll probably be their last before they try to defend the Old Oaken Bucket against Purdue.

11. Purdue (10) – With Curtis Painter and backup QB Joey Elliott likely out with separated shoulders, it’ll be up to a boy named Justin Siller to try and lead the team out of the Big Ten cellar against Michigan.  Good luck with that…

HHV’s Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 9)

October 24, 2008

In a better effort to chronologically track my power rankings, I’ve decided to label them with the week of the college football season that we’re approaching.  In this case, Week 9 is on the horizon.

Enough of that technical garbage though, onto the rankings…

1. Penn State – Only a dominating second half performance against a motivated Michigan squad kept this blog’s favorite team from dropping back to #2.

2. Ohio State – Finally strung together a complete game offensively and defensively at Michigan State as ol’ Sweatervest himself Jim Tressel stuck it to the “Young Grasshopper” Mark Dantonio.  We’ll find out this weekend whether OSU is beginning to peak at the right time.

3. Illinois – Granted, it was Indiana, but not too many folks would’ve forecasted the Illini completely tearing the Hoosiers a new one, but that’s exactly what they did.  The defense remains mediocre but the offense continues to click on all cylinders as the Illini look like the best team in the Big Ten after PSU and OSU.

4. Michigan State – If Johnelle Smith were still coaching, there would already be calls for a “Sparty collapse” on the horizon.  However, something tells me that Mark Dantonio will have his guys fired up enough to stick it to their older brother this weekend.

5. Minnesota – A funny thing happened during the bye week: The Gophers entered the Top 25. If you also take a look at their remaining schedule (@Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan, @Wisconsin, Iowa), it’s not laughable at all to suggest that the Caddyshack Gophers could reach 10 wins, a feat that would lock up a “Coach Of The Year” award for Tim Brewster.

6. Northwestern – Like truly legit teams should, the Wild Kitties got back on track with a clobbering of Purdue last weekend.  Don’t look for the train to get derailed this week against a reeling Indiana team.

7. Iowa – “Oops Pow Surprise” over at Black Heart Gold Pants has to have blown his load at least 10 times this week over the emergence of tailback Shonn Greene.

8. Michigan – Actually showed signs of life last weekend in Happy Valley before the inevitable crushing…Probably had something to do with a MINOR change at tailback.

9. Wisconsin – I tried incredibly hard to resist, but I couldn’t help myself…Take it away, Tom Petty!

10. Purdue – It’s hard to find anything good to say about this depressing train wreck of a team.  Time to throw a diabeetus dance party!

11. Indiana – (Searching for something positive to say)…DOES NOT COMPUTE.

HHV’s Big Ten Power Rankings

October 17, 2008

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?

HHV’s Big Ten Power Rankings

October 10, 2008

Terrelle Pryor’s dramatic go-ahead TD run in the final minute at Wisconsin this past weekend helped to ensure there would be no shake-ups at the top of the list (at least, for now).  The Buckeye QB may only be a freshman, but he sure showed a senior-like poise in the face of adversity as he saved OSU’s scant BCS title hopes.  If the Buckeyes go on to win the Big Ten, TP will no doubt be looked back upon as the guy who helped save OSU’s season (along with the return of a healthy Beanie Wells, of course).

Anyway, onto the rankings:

1. Ohio State (1) – Do you really think Todd Boeckman would’ve engineered the Buckeyes’ game-winning drive in Madison last Saturday?

2.  Penn State (2) –  Even crappy turf can only do so much to slow down the Jaybama Spread HD tank

3.  Wisconsin (3) – No reason to rank ‘em any lower, considering I would’ve likely vaulted them into the #1 slot had they stopped OSU on its game-winning drive.

4.  Illinois (5) – Recovered nicely from a tough road loss at PSU and an early 14-3 defecit at Michigan to end up trouncing the Wolverines 45-20 in the Big House.  Such a performance deserves a bump.

5.  Michigan St. (4) – Won a hard-fought battle with Iowa.  Meanwhile, silly questions abound as to whether hybrid-clone Javon Ringer is getting tired from averaging a couple hundred carries per game.

6.  Northwestern (7) – Looked pretty solid against “Bye” last week, and will be very much up to the task of facing “Javon Ringer State” this weekend

7.  Minnesota (8) –  In what was expected to be a shootout last week between the Caddyshack Gophers and Indiana, the Gophers ended up proving that they too, can play and win in low-scoring defensive struggles.

8.  Michigan (6) – Look on the bright side: The Wolverines only fumbled twice last week.

9.  Purdue (9) – Is Joe Tiller already relaxing on a beach in Tahiti while Wilford Brimley roams the sidelines in West Lafayette with his headset and diabeetus testing supplies?

10.  Indiana (10) – No worries Hoosier fans, basketball season starts next month

11.  Iowa (11) – You still suck.  Also, your abortion of an offense gives children nightmares and should be rated “TV-M” as a warning.

HHV’s Big Ten Power Rankings

October 3, 2008

You know what they say: Better late than never.  As expected, there’s been some shifting near the top and a huge shakeup in the bottom half thanks to Michigan’s incredible rally/Wisconsin’s choking on horse spunk.

1. Ohio State (1) – Now that Beanie Wells is back and ready to average the 300 yards per game he needs to reclaim pole position in the Heisman Trophy race, the Buckeyes look a lot more in-sync offensively.  We’ll also see what their greatest QB recruit in school history (Terrelle Pryor) is made of when he embarks on the road for the first time in his young career at one of the most hostile of night game environments up in Madison.

2. Penn State (3) – Despite encountering a few land mines last weekend, the Jaybama Spread HD tank continues to run over the feeble opposition that dare to step in its way.

Resistance is futile.

Resistance is futile.

3. Wisconsin (3) – Shades of 2007 PSU were visible in their choke-job against Michigan last week as the Badgers turned 5 Wolverine turnovers into a whopping 4 field goals.

Then again, Allan Evridge didn’t throw interceptions on 3 of those 5 opportunities so maybe the Badgers should get some credit there…

4. Michigan State (4) – Brian Hoyer provided some quality air support last week at Indiana (14/26, 261 yards and 2 TDs) to go along with the daunting ground attack of Javon Ringer and Javon Ringer.  The Spartans needed it as well b/c Indiana’s offense gave the Spartan’s D fits at times.  Don’t expect the same thing to happen though this week against a shit-tastic Iowa offense.

5. Illinois (5) – Memo to Juice Williams:  There’s no real-life version of the “Y button” (or “Triangle button” for you PS3 users) when throwing to Arrelious Benn in double and triple coverage.  Also, you might want to consider giving more carries to your buddy Daniel Dufrene instead of keeping most of them for yourself.

6. Michigan (10) – If they were still producing episodes of Rescue 911 then a re-enactment of Dick Rod’s second half resuscitation of his team against Wisconsin would be in high order.  Now, they’ll find out against Illinois this weekend whether they’ve turned the corner earlier than expected.

7. Northwestern (8) – Wild Kitties are somehow #1 in the Big Ten standings.  Not sure how that works, but they have this weekend off so if PSU wins like they should at Purdue then there will be a de-thronement happening.

8. Minnesota (7) – Predictably got handled by Ohio State, nothing else to say for now…

9. Purdue (6) – Getting torched by “Sunshine” (aka Jimmy Clausen) is never a good sign for your defense.  Have fun with a team that can both run and pass this weekend, fellas…

10. Indiana (11) – Played tough with Michigan State and if it weren’t for a foolish hold in the end zone, would’ve had a momentum-shifting 97 yard TD pass that could’ve started them out 1-0 in Big Ten play.  But hey, at least they’re not…

11. Iowa (9) = teh suck.  Granted, the team was pretty crappy to begin with, but to blow a 17-3 lead at home against a Northwestern team that hadn’t played anybody good?  Well, that gets you a firmly entrenched spot in the basement of my power rankings.

Kirk Ferentz might want to hold off on that secret NCAA 2010 cover deal

Kirk Ferentz might want to hold off on that secret NCAA 2010 cover deal