Big Ten Power Poll: Week Four

With Big Ten conference play starting this week, Badger Nation breaks out the conference power rankings.

1, Penn State (3-0)

Yawn. Three business-like wins over three nobodies. Wake me when the real games begin...oh, they're here? Starting Saturday night at home with Iowa? It's on.

2, Michigan (3-0)

Oh, you say No. 11 Ohio State should be here? This is why we shouldn't do preseason polls. Michigan had won all three games in fairly convincing fashion, beaten a pretty good Notre Dame team and fought off all sorts of adversity in just one month's time to feel pretty good about itself heading into the Big Ten season.

3, Ohio State (2-1)

On the other hand, the Buckeyes needed an escape act against Navy, lost to a USC team that just got depantsed at Washington, and then saved face by wiping out Toledo. Not good enough. The Wolverines deserve the higher spot.

4, Iowa (3-0)

You know what I like about this team? They've gotten better with each week. Crappy start against Northern Iowa, encouraging rout of in-state foe Iowa State and extremely satisfying home victory over a tough Pac-10 foe with Arizona. Plus, besides Michigan's win over the Pudding Boys of Notre Dame, it's the biggest Big Ten statement so far. Good for the Hawks.

5, Minnesota (2-1)

Don't even care that the Gophers averaged their two defeats of ‘Cuse and Air Force by a mere five points, then got Jahvid Bested on national television. Tougher schedule equals more battle tested equals better team in my book.

6, Northwestern (2-1)

Slight edge to the Wildcats, which should have beaten Syracuse, over Bucky. Honestly, the Nerds ran into a desperate squad with the Fightin' Greg Pauluses. Mike Kafka talked big in Chicago during the media days, time to put up or shut up.

7, Wisconsin (3-0)

Fact: There are 83 teams that participate in the nation's eight largest conferences (your six BCS boys, plus the Mountain West and WAC). Fact: Twenty of these teams are currently 3-0 after three weeks. Fact: just two of those 20 aren't receiving a single vote in the Associated Press poll. Fact: Wisconsin is one of them. Better throw some more detergent in that spin cycle, Bret.

8, Michigan State (1-2)

Hard to hand out too many brownie points to a team with two non-conference losses … especially when one of them was to Central Michigan. At home.

9, Illinois (1-1)

I still can't get that disgusting effort against Missouri out of my mind. But upward mobility can be earned against the Buckeyes and Lions of Nittany in the next two weeks.

10, Purdue (1-2)

You know what? I kind of like the Boilers more than others. Good win over Toledo, pull no punches and fight to the finish at Oregon (2-for-1 pun intended), and lose by just a touchdown to a Northern Illinois team that nearly beat the Badgers. Not too shabby, actually. We'll see if it translates to Big Ten play.

11, Indiana (3-0)

Fact: Indiana is the other team from that string of facts in No. 7, and their three victims are Eastern Michigan, Western Kentucy, and Akron. Or, in other words, a combined 10-26 record in 2008. Not impressed. Not at all. Don't you just love the Big Ten scheduling? Bring on the real stuff that matters.


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