BRR: Big Ten power rankings (10-28-14)

It was a good week in the Big Ten. There were upsets, great competition, and some players that had incredible games. After another week, let’s see how the Big Ten is shaping up.

In Charge

Michigan State: The Spartans are still the cream of the crop, by all accounts. Week after week they look like the best team in conference. They rank number one in total offense and total defense. They are the favorites to win the Big Ten and easily the conferences best hope to make the college football playoff. Michigan State had more fun than normal stomping “little sister” Michigan.

Bonafide Contenders

Nebraska: You know the Cornhuskers have finally become a good team when they actually play pretty poorly in several ways and still win by 18. Rutgers had no answer for the defensive line as Maliek Collins is showing the potential to wrestle his way into a future first round pick. #FearAmeer Abdullah had another career day with 341 all-purpose yards, a school record. The Heisman contending running back had 225 yards on 19 carries and three TDs on the ground. He now leads the nation in all purpose yards and rushing yards on the season. He could take Nebraska all the way to their first conference championship since 1999.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes deserve credit for a gritty, tough road win. Many people want to discount them for allowing Penn State to take them to double-overtime. Reality check, Penn State was 4-2 with the number one rushing defense headed into that game. It was quarterback J.T. Barrett’s first major road test and he was dinged up the entire second half. This was the type of game that lesser teams would have folded in. Ohio State showed some red flags that everyone already knew was there, but the Buckeyes should be satisfied with the win.

Wisconsin: Are they finally here? Did the Badgers finally show up for the 2014 season? Wisconsin looked great the first half against LSU, in week one. Since that first half the question has been about what is wrong with the Badgers? This week, as they dismantled Maryland in embarrassing fashion, they answered that question; absolutely nothing is wrong with the Badgers. They looked like the top 15 team the media and coaches thought they would be entering the season.

Iowa:. The Hawkeyes had a bye week, which came at a good time for them. They lost two weeks ago on the road at Maryland. It was a good time for an off week for Iowa as their stretch run starts this week as they play Northwestern.

Contender Wannabes

PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions started the season 4-0 and then lost two straight going into their bye week. Most people didn’t really know what to expect when they played Ohio State, but they gave Buckeyes everything they could handle. Penn State took OSU to double overtime and almost got the win. They have lost three in a row, but they appeared to take a step forward coming off their break.

Minnesota: They are who we thought they were? People were in disbelief that Minnesota was leading the Big Ten West going into this week. Why? Because they were a team capable of losing to Illinois, apparently. The Gophers really aren’t a bad team. They are good along the lines and typically play pretty good defense. Slow starts are what plague them, this was just the first week it really bit them.

MARYLAND: The Terrapins are better than they looked Saturday, but good grief that was a brutal welcome to the Big Ten at the hands of Wisconsin. Maryland badly needs a defense as they have given up a total of 135 points in their last three games.

NORTHWESTERN:The Wildcats are 3-4 and just enjoyed their bye week. This season isn’t what they had hoped for to this point, but they have a good chance to win four of their final five games. It is also very possible that they finish with a 5-7 record, missing a bowl game.

Contend? That’s Hilarious

RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights have gotten stomped the last two weeks in Columbus, Ohio and Lincoln, Nebraska. It is probably they get stomped again this week against Wisconsin, but at least they don’t have to travel half way across the country to do so. After their three-week slate of death they get a bye week to recover physically and emotionally.

Purdue: The Boilermakers continue to simultaneously do two things, lose and show signs of positive life. Their improvement isn’t turning into wins, but it is there nonetheless. They got a bye week this week, but they play at Nebraska so it probably won’t mean much. Purdue fans just need to hope for continued improvement and hopefully that can translate to a couple of wins at the end of the season against Northwestern and Indiana.

INDIANA: Indiana hasn’t been looking good and injuries have been sure to make them worse. With that said, there are several winnable games left on their schedule. Their bye week came at a perfect time. Can they kick Michigan while they are down this week or will the Hoosiers have another disappointing outing?

MICHIGAN: It is starting to seem like the Wolverines are acting like fools in order to keep the nation from talking about their horrific play on the field. The real power school in the state, Michigan State, drubbed them this week. The Wolverines have been embarrassing in about every way that a team can be in a season.

ILLINOIS: They won a game! They beat Minnesota at home, but the rest of the season cannot be forgotten. Even after their best game of the season they are 77th in scoring offense and 106th in scoring defense. It’s bad out there, folks.

Posted by Josh Harvey

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