I tell you what...without Nebraska and Wisconsin playing this past week, there wasn’t a whole lot positive to watch, Big Ten-wise. Indiana probably played better against Ohio State than anyone else this season. Michigan and Rutgers showed why they’re on opposite ends of the rankings. The muddy middle remained just that, with Iowa beating Minnesota and Penn State beating Maryland. You just don’t know what to expect from Teams 5-12. And Purdue beating Illinois as a result of a triple-icing and overtime...well...you just never know what to expect from the Big Ten, I guess.
What happened to Sparty? Who’s going to challenge to be number three in the Big Ten East? Who’s going to win the Big Ten West? Michigan or Ohio State? Still so many questions.
Jill: I feel more comfortable with who is the top 5 this week and the bottom 3 have been well established. From 6-11 is difficult to sort out. Indiana deserves #5 this week (and possibly higher) but they always seem to play well against the Buckeyes, so I’ll put the Nebraska - Hoosier matchup as when I make up my mind about Indiana. The Huskers will be tested the next three weeks. There may be a lot of injuries for Nebraska but everyone is dealing with those, so no excuses.
Brian: I was going to flat out put Illinois/Purdue’s non-winner in 14th no matter what. Then Rutgers happened. Also, Sparty has taken a dive and it may not be salvageable this year.
Andy: I like listing out my insanity, so I’m going to keep doing it. The top and the bottom are settling in, but the middle of this thing has become a carousel. (And if Indiana upsets Nebraska, the carousel will gain another member.
OSU, Michigan, Wiscy - The undisputed Top 3 at the moment.
Nebraska - Faces a Kobayashi Maru game against Indiana. A win will not move them past any of the three teams above, but a loss will drop them into the mess below. Basically, they are Maryland going into last week’s game against Penn St. - undefeated without a decent opponent to date (sorry, guys, Oregon is #50). This is a hold serve game.
Penn St., Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Maryland - You could throw 5, 6, & 7 in a hat, pull them out at random and probably justify however it came out somehow. But here’s my attempt:
5 - PSU - for wins over Minny & Maryland
6 - Iowa - lost to NW but beat Minny
7 - Indiana - for beating MSU and hanging with Ohio St.
8 - Minnesota - 2 close losses? (can’t justify them any higher than this)
9 - NW - beat Iowa, but W. Mich & especially Ill St. can’t be forgotten
10- Maryland - yes they are 4-1 but 1st team with a serious pulse blew them out
Mich St, Purdue, Illinois, Rutgers - Mich St can still make it out of this tier, but at 2-3 with one win being a struggle over Furman and the other an escape against some 2-4 independent religious school, this is where they belong. Purdue and Illinois are doing the "show signs of life but still suck" thing. Rutgers has basically turned into a bye week for opponents.
Paul: What the actual hell, Rutgers?