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Big Ten Power Poll - Week 4

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Indiana climbs, Michigan falls, and the gap between the top 2 and the rest of the B1G widens

Eric Francis

Paul: He may have been talking about the Miami game specifically, but this tweet from Brandon Vogel of Hail Varsity perfectly described the weekend in the Big Ten for me:

Yes, Brandon, I was entertained in a way that that I didn't think the Big Ten was capable of doing.  The conference went 12-1, with Michigan ruining the shutout and Ohio State abstaining.

I gave serious consideration to voting Nebraska #1 and Sparty #2.  Nebraska has arguably the 2nd best non-conference win and Sparty laid an egg in its only real test.  But I didn't, and I won't until Nebraska shows it can beat Sparty in East Lansing.

Indiana gets some major props for knocking off Mizzou in Columbia.  I think Mizzou fans now know how Husker fans felt in that same stadium in 1997.  Mizzou in 2014 and Nebraska in 1997 were much better teams than Indiana and Mizzou, but for some reason they were simply unable to put them away.  I honestly expected some kind of heroic play for Mizzou to take the game to OT but it didn't happen, and the Hoosiers notched their first win over a ranked opponent since 2006.  Indiana also benefited most in the poll, moving up 5 places from 12 to 7.

Michigan continues to disappoint.  As Jon wrote in the Flakes on Monday, Michigan needs to fire AD Dave Brandon now, and start over.  The Big Ten NEEDS Michigan to be good.  I'll go further than that and say that college football needs Michigan to be better.

Ty: I had to give some love to Indiana this week, mostly for giving the B1G a boost in the national spotlight and conversation. Yes, I’m a homer, but every time the call has gone out, the Huskers have responded. I like the matchup in East Lansing in a couple of weeks, but we can’t overlook an Illinois team who… came from behind to beat Texas State…? Seriously though, I think Indiana showed that you can’t overlook a single game this season (or did MackNeese State do that?), and Illinois is still a B1G team.

What if… What if… we beat Sparty AND Wiscy on the road?! Wouldn’t that be awesome?! I’ve said (though not publicly cause I was scared) that the Huskers are better than most will give us credit for. If the D can stay tight, and the LB core get better, Ameer might just carry us to a B1G Championship Game appearance. I think it will bear out that we beat a good team on Saturday, and we are gonna make our way toward the Top 10 soon.

Jon: It doesn’t appear that anyone is close to Michigan State right now at the top of the Big Ten. We don’t want to believe that’s true as Husker fans, but we’ll get our chance to prove our legitimacy in a couple weeks.

I said it in Monday’s Corn Flakes, and I’ll say it again - Michigan has to do something about their football team. Blow it up, start over, whatever. Two other items about this past weekend: I am interested to see if Indiana can play at the level they did at Missouri for the remainder of season. Iowa replaced their starting quarterback and the offense worked - will that continue?

Husker Mike: Great win for Nebraska this week, but not anywhere near enough to move them ahead of Sparty. They’ll have to earn it on the field. The top 6 are fairly easy to place. The rest is a bit of a crap shoot. Indiana has the best win, but a really bad loss. Iowa has been awful this season, but might have finally figured it out in the second half at Pitt. Or maybe Pitt stinks even worse. And I’m not sure what to think about Illinois...they arguably could be 0-4 at this point.

Ranchbabe: For me, MSU stays at the top until we beat them. Mostly by default since no one else has stepped up to look like the class of the B1G. I am with Husker Mike, the top 6 were pretty easy to place. All reasonably good teams and it was just a matter of deciding which holes were more more problematic and ranking accordingly. I decided Indiana’s win over Mizzou was worthy of putting them in the top half (#7) of the conference for a week. I don’t think they will stay there as most Husker fans will probably agree with me that the "Pinkel factor" is a much more likely explanation for that game than the Hoosiers suddenly remembering how to play defense, but good for you IU. As for the rest of the conference, find an offense, or defense, or a will to actually do "football things" (looking at you Michigan).

In other Big Ten power polls, BTN moves the Huskers up 1 spot to #2 in their rankings, The Daily Gopher has Nebraska #2 in the West, the Columbus Dispatch has Nebraska #2, ESPN moves the Huskers up 2 places to #2, and Talking10 moves Nebraska up 1 to #2 in the West.

And saving the best for last...here's one from someone who doesn't understand how football works.