Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week 8 Big Ten Power Rankings

Last week's rankings

1. Iowa (7-0, 3-0): A win at Wisconsin proved that the Hawkeyes are for real. It's time to stop the contenders or pretenders talk: with only Ohio State remaining as a possible loss the Hawkeyes should get ready to stamp their ticket to Pasadena.
2. Penn State (6-1, 2-1): After shutting out a potent Minnesota offense the Lions looked like the team everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the year. However, they face a tough test as they go to Michigan who is undefeated at the Big House this year, including 1-0 against foes in the Top 20.
3. Ohio State (5-2, 3-1): Oh Buckeyes. After claiming the top spot in the rankings last week and truly looking like the future Big Ten champs after a 33-14 beatdown of Indiana, Terrell Pryor and company laid an egg at Purdue in a 26-18 loss to the Boilers that really wasn't even that close. They Buckeyes can still win the Big Ten though with a win over Iowa later this season.
4. Michigan (5-2, 1-2): The Wolverines got the equivalent of a bye week last Saturday against 1-AA Delaware State, who they slaughtered 63-6, giving Michigan a firm hold on the points leader of the Big Ten, scoring 261 total points, or 37.3 points per game (after 20.8 last year). Who's second in the Big Ten in points? Penn State with 207 and the two teams clash on Saturday in Ann Arbor.
5. Michigan State (4-3, 3-1): Look who's baaaaack. The Spartans have won three straight since stumbling out of the gates and falling to 1-3. After a dominating 24-14 win over Northwestern in which they scored 24 unanswered points and led 24-7 in the fourth quarter after trailing 7-0 at halftime, the upset-minded Spartans host #6 Iowa this weekend.
6. Wisconsin (5-2, 2-2): Look how they fall. Two weeks ago Michigan had just fallen to Michigan State and the Badgers were undefeated up to #4 in the Power Rankings, but with some serious questions about their team. The past two weeks they have been answered, and not in the way the Badgers would have liked. After a 31-13 shellacking at the Horseshoe, Bucky was dominated by Iowa 20-10 for their first home loss of the season as the Badgers couldn't muster one point in the second half. At least it gets a little easier for Wisco this week: they have a bye.
7. Minnesota (4-3, 2-2): After hanging with then-top 10 Cal in the preseason, the Gophers looked good. Not so much anymore. A 20-0 loss at Penn State sent the Golden Gophers back home looking for answers. It doesn't get any easier this week: the Gophers travel to the Horseshoe this week to take on Ohio State.
8. Purdue (2-5, 1-2): After a series of heartbreaking losses the underachieving Boilermakers turned into overachievers last Saturday in a shocking 26-18 upset of then-#7 Ohio State that saw Ross-Ade storm the field after the game. The Boilers look to keep the ball rolling this week and there's no reason why they shouldn't as they take on hapless Illinois at home.
9. Northwestern (4-3, 1-2): The 'Cats have struggled and are not looking good. After getting romped against Michigan State, Northwestern faces a must-win against Indiana on Saturday.
10. Indiana (4-3, 1-2): Speaking of Indiana, the Hoosiers come in at #10 this week. This was an easy decision considering its pretty easy to tell who the bottom two teams in this conference are, and they played on Saturday. Indiana won, 27-14, to stay out of the cellar. However, Illinois was not so fortunate...
11. Illinois (1-5, 0-4): Now the only Big Ten team winless in conference, the Illini's have expectations have melted away faster than a snowball on a tailgate grill. The Illini hit rock bottom with a loss to aforementioned Indiana on Saturday and still have not beaten a real team this year with their only win coming in a 45-10 home win over Illinois State (who?). The Illini possibly have their best chance to avoid a winless Big Ten season this weekend as they head to Purdue, who will likely have their head in the clouds after a big upset win over Ohio State.

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