Big Ten football power rankings: lipstick on a pig edition


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During Big Ten football Saturdays like this, how do you spin what happened? How do you put lipstick on these pigs? And even though Northwestern out-gained an AWFUL Western Michigan team by just 126 yards, they’ve still earned the second slot.

You can argue that a different Big Ten football team deserves to be there. But my argument is pretty solid for NU. Also, Illinois gave up 615 yards and lost “at home,” and yet they move UP not down this week.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes 3-0

Looking like a potential BCS title game opponent for the SEC champion. Which means they’ll GET DESTROYED by Alabama, just as bad as Tressel got smoked by LSU and Florida.

Of course, they smoked Cal without Braxton Miller, which says something.

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2. Northwestern Wildcats 3-0

They beat Western Michigan 38-17, in a game where they trailed in the second quarter, and didn’t put them away until the fourth. Still, they have won six in a row. But when you consider Western Michigan actually lost to Nicholls State, a team that actually lost to Louisiana-Lafayatte; and by a score of 70-7 too. Nicholls State, (Did NU alum Rachel Nichols found a University?) also lost to Oregon 66-3. But yet they found a way to beat Western Michigan.

Still NU hasn’t lost a preconference game at home since 2007, and I think they played like the second best Big Ten football team thus far in ’13. They put WMU away when they had to.

Pat Fitzgerald: “I love that 471 yards and 38 points is unacceptable- that’s a good thing.” Agreed. The bar has been raised in Northwestern.

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3. Wisconsin Badgers 2-1

By far the story of the weekend. This was the Big Ten football game that everyone was talking about. Yes, they got hosed badly. Yes, Jen Bielema was being an annoying snot with her snippy tweet.

However, here are five reasons that Badger fans should move past all this.

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5. Michigan State Spartans 3-0

OMG! AN OFFESNE! I’M SO EXCITED I’M MISSPELLING THE WORD OFFENSE. Seriously, Michigan St. wide receivers were actually CATCHING THE BALL. Completed passes?? Granted it was versus Youngstown State, which is nobody at all, but they may have found a quarterback in Connor Cook. You’d think. Andrew Maxwell….not so much. Yet they’re a TD underdog this week at Chicago’s ACC team? (CC Jim Phillips parody account)

5. Michigan Wolverines 3-0

I told you they’re way overrated. Chicago’s ACC team (CC Jim Phillips parody account) almost beat them…this week vs. Akron. And Akron has lost like a million games in a row versus real teams or something like that.

Think Brady Hoke reconsiders Gardner over Manziel comment? Johnny: 28-39, 464 5 TDs, 2 INT vs Bama. Devin:16-30 248, 2 TD 3 INT vs Akron. Or as Brady Hoke would say: Devin Gardner went Michigan of Michigan passing, for Michigan yards, Michigan TD passes, Michigan INTs.

6. Nebraska Cornhuskers 2-1

Made big strides from week one to week two. But that 600+ yards to Wyoming defense showed up in the Big Ten football challenge with the Pac 12. And the league went 1-3 in the match-up. Although re: Sconnie, maybe it could have been 2-2. Still to be a legit challenge to the SEC, Big Ten football needs to go 4-0 in this challenge.

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7. Illinois Fighting Illini 2-1

The Chicago Homecoming game saw a couple nice plays, but the 34-24 loss was not as close as it sounds. Yes, Illini football hung with the #19 Huskies for 2 1/2 quarters, but they got out-gained 615-327. (more on the Chicago Homecoming game) Nathan Scheelhaase definitely came back down to Earth yesterday. His box score: 9-25-1-156, 1 TD. And four sacks. His OL looked uninspired. Aaron Bailey had another TD run; but he has yet to even a pass. The third quarter has been a big issues for Illinois this year. Still, this game proved that UI is way better than last year. The 2013 team is light years better than 2012.

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8. Minnesota Golden Gophers 3-0

The health of Jerry Kill is first and foremost.

9. Penn St. Nittany Lions 2-1

I know now why PSU made those AWESOME COMMEMORATIVE T-SHIRTS! for the Syracuse game. I’m sure Central Florida sold some tees honoring Saturday. This is what life in Nittany Nation is like now; with sanctions in effect.

10. Iowa Hawkeyes 2-1

Hey, they beat a real team!!!!! Hawkeye brand vodka shots for everyone.

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11. Purdue Boilermakers 1-2

Yes, you can move up after losing to Chicago’s ACC Team. Played inspired and almost had them right where all of America wanted them.

12. Indiana Hoosiers 2-1

Responded very well. Especially on D. Looked much better, but I have to apologize, I think Purdue would beat them. So I have to put the Boilers up ahead of IU.

Listen to me every Tuesday at 10:30 AM CDT talking Illini and Northwestern on 1620 The Zone

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook

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