Big Ten Football 2011 Power Rankings: Conference Season Kick-off Edition


College football is in mid-season form as Big Ten play begins this week. The Illini are 4-0 for the first time since 1951, and they just completed their first undefeated non-conference season since 2001. That’s all we really need for an intro- let’s get to the rankings.

1.) Wisconsin Badgers (4-0)

Have put in the most impressive offensive and defensive performance so far from the conference, and even though they still haven’t played anyone yet, they’re the only team from our region I think has a chance to compete for a national title. Here’s why.

 2.) Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0)

ESPN College Gameday is coming to Camp Randall for their epic clash at the Badgers. And they SHOULD! By the way, Taylor Martinez has the ugliest delivery in college football. His throwing motion reminds me of Shawn Marion’s shooting stroke- no aesthetic value what so ever.

3.) Illinois Fighting Illini (4-0)

Here’s why they’ll win more games than Chicago’s other team, Notre Dame.

You’re like, “ok Captain Obvious.”

Not so fast my friend, I was saying this in August too. I thought my local media friends would find that assertion crazy given all the BCS preseason hype Notre Dame was getting, and the fact that Illinois was getting zero votes in either poll.

Despite the favorable schedule, I know Illinois is not going to finish 11-1 or 10-2. Zook’s play-calling should cost them at least one game, maybe more.

4.) Ohio State Buckeyes (3-1)

Glad they’ve settled on Braxton Miller, like the Quaker Oats’ slogan “it’s the right thing to do.” And Wilford Brimley would agree with me that they’ll get better once Posey and Herron return. But not that much better. Still a 3-5 loss team.

5.) Michigan State Spartans (3-1)

Last year’s success is looking a little more fluky, because State still doesn’t look all that special in 2011. Their performance thus far has been pedestrian and uninspiring.

6.) Michigan Wolverines (4-0)

Still not sold. They always play well in the non-con, only to screw up in league play. They’re too one-dimensional on offense. They have Denard’s legs and that’s it. His passing is so terrible, that we should please omit his name from the Silver Football award discussion.

7.) Northwestern Wildcats (2-0)

They finally have Dan Persa back, but for how much and in what capacity is not known. Watch them upset the Illini in the in-state rivalry game this week, knocking Illinois from the rankings.

8.) Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1)

Not buying the team’s stock yet. But back up the truck to buy James Vandenberg’s stock! He’s among the league’s best passers.

9.) Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1)

Settled on Matt McGloin at QB right? I mean it’s so obvious now…every he got the player of the week award. And I said weeks ago that he, not Rob Bolden is the way to go.

10) Purdue Boilermakers (2-1)

Hey, signs of life! 4-8 seems like the ultimate destination.

11.) Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-3)

Health is more important than football. So we wish Jerry Kill well. He’s suffered more than 20 seizures since his episode on opening day. As for the team’s performance itself, well if you have nothing nice to say…..

12.) Indiana Hoosiers (1-3)

To quote the O’Jay’s “for that mean, mean, mean green.” Why would you even schedule a home and home with North Texas anyway in the first place? If that’s winning, then something’s wrong with the scoreboard.

 Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

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  1. HUH? NU in front of PSU and Iowa they lost to Army. Also Iowa lost to Iowa State.

    MSU in front of Michigan. Did you watch the NOtre dame games?

  2. If I may channel my inner Lee Corso “not so fast my friend”

    NU was 7-3 with Dan Persa last year, 0-3 without him. They returned a ton of senior starters this season, so let’s see how they are with #7 first before we write them off completely.

    I totally see your pts on both. But mark my words, MSU will finish with a better record than Mich. I completely get why you’d use the ND analogy, but take a deeper look at the situations and match-ups surrounding both games and you’ll see it doesn’t really fit.

    Mich St. isn’t as 1-dimensional on offense as the wolverines are, and the SPartans have a better def

  3. You have the monopoly on useful information?aren’t moponoleis illegal? ;)

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    from. I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this blog.

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