Big Ten Power Rankings: Midseason Edition

msu dance team

On my way home from the “Banks Bowl” (nickname I give to the annual IllinoisMichigan State meeting, because the former is my undergrad, the latter my MBA school) on Saturday night I drove past the town of Climax, MI on I-94.

The miles immediately leading into Climax are exciting, but then when you’re past Climax, it’s all downhill.

By the way, wouldn’t it be HILARIOUS if there was a town called Refractory Period, MI bordering Climax?

I bring this up because MSU football has had a tendency to climax during the middle of the season these past couple decades. It seems like they start 5-0 and finish 7-5 every season. They’ve also been prone to tremendous let-downs. Beating undefeated Michigan and Ohio State teams in midseason (see 1998, 1999, 2001) then losing to Indiana and Purdue the following week.

Will this year be different? With a 7-0 record, the first since the national title year of 1966, and a #7 BCS ranking, it appears so. Will the excitement for Tom Izzo’s basketball team will be delayed a little?

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Michigan St.-Northern Iowa Live Blog

msu dance team

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Big Ten Power Rankings 2-4

By Paul M. Banks

1. Michigan State (19-4, 9-1)

As bad as the Kalin Lucas injury looked, it’s not that bad. The green & white nation can all breathe in a collective sigh of relief. However, right when it seemed like State was going to floor it and put everyone back in their rearview mirror, a funny thing happened- a conference race began.

2. Wisconsin (17-5, 7-3)

I admit it, I was a huge heretic; especially after Jon Leuer went down. But they’ve somehow gotten better since then. I will never doubt Bo Ryan again. They could probably beat the 1991 UNLV team if the game was held at the Kohl Center

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Big Ten Power Rankings 1-28

By Paul M. Banks

1. Michigan State (19-3, 9-0)

The first 9-0 (or even 8-0) team in State history. As the Spartans begin to pull away in the conference race, those early season losses to Florida and North Carolina look like they happened in 2002. Some of their wins have been ugly yes, but then again so is Big Ten basketball some of the time.

2. Ohio State (15-6, 5-3)

West Virginia’s Devin Ebanks proved that the league’s best player, Evan Turner can be guarded, and limited. Not shut-down, but certainly limited. That individual match-up, and overall game said a lot about the respective strength of both conferences.

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