We are about half way through the season and as we all know there has been a lot of movement lately and surprises in the conference. So, kind of ignoring records, how would you rank the Big Ten squads?(I'll try to do this weekly)
After Week 7
1. Iowa- Yes MSU is undefeated, but the road to Pasadena runs through Kinnick as MSU, Wisc, and OSU all must travel to Iowa City. Not to mention, they have played great IMO since that one terrible half in Tuscon.
2. Mich St- I'm splitting hairs here. MSU is undefeated with only 1 true test left, at Iowa in two weeks. The only reason I have Iowa over MSU is the big game experience of Iowa. MSU has only played one road game, at Michigan. They hold their destiny in their hands but have to go through Iowa in Iowa city, a daunting task IMO for a team yet to leave the state of Michigan.
3. Wisconsin- Marred by inconsistency all season, they finally woke up last Saturday with the #1 team in town. If they can win out they should be sitting pretty for a BCS at large bid.
4. Ohio St- I haven't figured this team out yet. They trounced Miami and Indiana, but struggled to beat Illinois and got pounded physically by Wisconsin. This team needs to find consistency.
5. Northwestern- I know they just lost to Purdue, but this isn't a listing of the teams by record. The Wildcats are 20th in the nation in passing and 23rd in scoring D. They are 5-1 and have a brutal stretch coming up. The coming weeks will tell us a lot about this team.
6. Illinois- I cannot say enough about the job of Paul Petrino and Vic Koenning. The Illini need to ride Mikel LeShoure, Jason Ford, and a much improved D to their first bowl since the 2007 Rose Bowl.
7. Purdue- They are 2-0 in Conference play, but they have been devastated by injuries. How long can they keep up this level of play with guys who were originally 2nd stringers is a legit question IMO. They had a nice win over Northwestern, but where they stand in conference play could be determined over the next 2 weeks.
8. Michigan- Denard Robinson is an absolute stud. But the defense is like a hot knife through butter. They are 82nd in scoring D and the 3rd worst run D in the conference. They have also struggled to find consistent playmakers other than Robinson. That D may hold them back from being more than merely bowl eligible.
9. Indiana- They can score points, but they are the second worst scoring D in the conference. Add that to struggles on special teams and any game they have been in so far has been a shootout. That isn't a recipe for success as the weather begins to turn.
10. Penn St- Like Purdue, they have had a ton of injuries. However, this is Penn St. The talent is still there, especially with guys like Royster and the talented Frosh Bolden. This team is underacheiving and desperately needs a win after getting trounced in their last outing by Illinois.
11. Minnesota- Brewster is now gone and things seem to be a mess up in the Twin Cities. They are in the bottom 4 in the Conference in almost every major team statistical category. This team seems to be a mess.