We’re back for another B1G season! Throughout the 2014 season, I’ll be ranking the Big Ten schools 1-14. To see where your team was ranked last week, click here. As always, if you think I’m right, wrong, or clinically insane, let me know in the comments.
Prepare to disagree…
- Michigan State. With big brother soundly thumped, the Spartans can all but wrap up the East with a win over Ohio State.
- Ohio State. The Buckeyes were up comfortably at Penn State. So how did they end up squeaking out an overtime win? Did they fall asleep at the wheel or were they looking ahead to Michigan State?
- Nebraska. If not for a late touchdown by Rutgers, a case could be made that Ameer Abdullah beat the Scarlet Knights all by himself. The Huskers need to avoid the temptation to look ahead to their bye week (or Wisconsin) with Purdue coming to town.
- Wisconsin. Hello Wisconsin! The Badger beatdown of Maryland drew a clear line between the top four teams and the rest of the conference.
- Maryland. I’m not sure the Terps are the best of the rest – especially after getting waxed by Wisconsin. But how can I put Iowa (lost to Maryland) or Minnesota (lost to Illinois) ahead of them? The Terrapins need a strong victory over Penn State to keep this spot.
- Minnesota. What the hell was that? I knew that the Gophers weren’t likely to maintain their winning ways all season, but I figured they’d make it another two or even three weeks before they lost.
- Iowa. The Hawkeyes start their stretch run primed to climb back up the rankings. Or they could continue to be inconsistent…
- Northwestern. Technically, the Wildcats could still win the West by winning out (and Minnesota and Nebraska each picking up two losses). Northwestern has a pillow soft schedule the rest of the way – Iowa is by far their toughest remaining conference game.
- Penn State. I like the resiliency shown by Penn State in battling back against the Buckeyes (and overcoming some horrible calls). They have the front line talent to beat Maryland, but depth will be an issue for the rest of the season.
- Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights got whipped by Ohio State, thumped by Nebraska, and are a week away from a much-needed bye. But first, they have to face the red-hot Badgers who must be licking their chops at Rutgers’s paper-thin run defense.
- Purdue. The Boilers have shown they can score some points. If they can play some defense too, they may be able to give Husker Nation a quality scare.
- Illinois. The best I can figure, Illinois put on their alternative “grey ghost” uniforms, forgot they were Illinois, and managed to beat a superior Minnesota team. I’m guessing Ohio State will remind the Illini who they really are.
- Michigan. Memo to the Wolverines: If you drive a literal stake into the heart of Spartan’s field, do it in a year where you have the talent (and coaching) to back it up. Otherwise, it will end badly.
- Indiana. Bad news: An Illinois upset win means the Hoosiers fall into the cellar. Good news: Indiana’s next game is against Michigan, so they could dump the maize and blue into the basement.