By Paul M. Banks
1. Iowa (5-0, 1-0)
The first BCS rankings of the season will debut in 12 days, and with that in mind, I’d like to do my part to help keep the Buckeyes from making another National title game where they could embarrass the conference and bore America by getting destroyed by an SEC team again. For that reason, I voted them #2 in this week’s poll.
2. Ohio State (4-1, 2-0)
Do the TSB Big Ten power rankings have anything to do with the BCS computer rankings? Probably not, and it will likely have no influence whatsoever. But then again, the flight pattern of a drunk, retarded housefly has more cohesion, logic and order than the BCS standings, so I think every vote of any sort- and I am in the Football Writers Association of America, if that helps- against Ohio State helps
3. Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0)
Just One Win from Bowl Eligibility, and it’s not even Homecoming yet. Of course, one needs to remember how badly they collapsed in the 2nd half of last year. If they upset in Columbus this week, their HC game against Iowa the following Saturday could be epic. I really should have not been such a Scott Tolzien heretic at the beginning of the year, as he’s leading the conference in passing efficiency.
4. Penn State (4-1, 1-1)
They’re not that good, but then again they’re also not that healthy. What could they be when everyone’s back and clicking on all cylinders? “A scary team,” tailback Stephfon Green told me last Saturday. He combines with Evan Royster, to give them arguably the league’s best tailback tandem.
5. Michigan (4-1, 1-1)
So who’s the “little brother” now? Not Michigan State who held the Wolverines to just 28 rushing yards. To verify what a truly emotional game football can sometimes be, think about MSU Defensive End Trevor Anderson’s comments before the big rivalry game. “It’s sickening, their total lack of respect for our school period,” and on Saturday their uppance came
6A. Minnesota (3-2, 1-1)
These two schools have played each other so ridiculously close the last 3 years, it’s fitting they’re tied here. When you look at what Eric Decker has done in every game this season, you can honestly say NU “limited” him to 8 catches, 84 yards and 2 TDs. In August, everyone thought the conference pitch-and-catch combination would be Juice Williams to Arrelious Benn, but it’s really Adam Weber to Decker, who just became the school’s career leader with 3,000 receiving yards after hauling in eight passes for 140 yards versus Wisconsin.
6B. Northwestern (3-2, 1-1)
Easy to identify who the team MVP is- QB Mike Kafka, who’s 3rd in the nation in completion percentage, and second in conference in both passing yards and total offense. Those numbers rank in the top 25 nationally. Fitz was right, he’s a much better passer than anyone gives him credit for.
For these schools….basketball midnight madness is just a week or so away
8. Michigan State (1-3, 0-1)
Like our Wolverines correspondent HJB said: “what we didn’t know is that the linebackers would also epically fail. Allowing Kirk Cousins to have 10 ypc is pretty pathetic. It got to the point where my dad and I could call when Cousins would be able to step up and then scamper for some yardage.”
9. Indiana (3-2, 0-2)
They’ve been absolutely destroyed in their last two games, both against top 25 teams. So “they are WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE,” not what their earlier record indicated. Of course, they do have a great pair of athletes and skill guys at the DE and RB positions, so it’s nice they have that going for them. They also have a brand new renovated Memorial Stadium, and that will be a huge boost to the program. Look what it did for Illin…oh, wait never mind.
10. Purdue (1-4, 0-1)
You can’t beat anyone when you turn the ball over 6 times, but QB Joey Elliot is coming into his own. Of course, it’s easy to put up big passing yardage numbers when you’re always trailing, and often facing a garbage time- prevent defense. I’d almost rather comment on the women’s volleyball team here instead of the football team.
11. Illinois (1-3, 0-2)
As an alumnus, this situation reminds me of Cub fan friends I have. Years of following a team that loses badly what seems like ¾ of the time, but also has some recent successes; only to get your hopes way up high before then crushing your soul with another disappointment and defeat. Many Cubs fans I know have just checked out, gave up due to the mental anguish being a supporter of the program brings. I wonder how much longer they can sell out games? How many more great recruits can Ron Zook bring in, yet still end up doing absolutely nothing with? Is Eddie McGee for Juice Williams going to be enough to avoid going 2-10? This feels like my freshman-through-junior years at the school, when the Illini went 5-28.
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