Is 68-0 a good margin over a two-week period? I think so. Yes, the schedule has been fairly weak, but…well…68-0.
2) Iowa (4-0, 1-0; last week, 4)
I got ripped for daring to place the Hawkeyes as high as fourth in last week's poll – I even got the ‘Homer' claim. As if I'm, like, a total Iowa fan now after moving from Madison. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to let 21-10 in Happy Valley – and 21-3 in the final 58 minutes – do the talking. Kirk Ferentz's defense is one collective tough customer.
3) Michigan (4-0, 1-0; last week, 2)
Careful, Wolverines. All it takes is actually losing a game like that to Indiana to not only plummet down these rankings, but also throw some serious ink stains into what has been a masterpiece renaissance ... and since when does a tie go to the defense? Lunacy!
4) Penn State (3-1, 0-1; last week, 1)
So, Joe, how'd that early-season trip to the cupcake buffet turn out for you? Just another example of teams not properly preparing themselves for tough schedules that matter. I should place the Kitties, like, seventh or eighth on general principle. But Daryll Clark and Co. will rebound.
5) Minnesota (3-1, 1-0; last week, 5)
Ryan Field: the land where football players can take an unimpeded nap on TV timeouts. Credit the Gophers for taking that licking at home by Jahvid Best and recovering to go 1-0 in conference play. But yes, I know Cal was exposed last week.
6) Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0; last week, 6)
I'm risking getting screamed at again for placing the Gophers over the Badgers. Fair enough. How's this, Badger Nation: beat Minnesota in its new beautiful home, and we'll fix that. Deal?
7) Northwestern (2-2, 0-1; last week, 7)
Toughest place to play in the Big Ten, eh, Mike Kafka? The ‘Cats might find themselves down in an 0-2 hole if they don't bounce back at…
8) Purdue (1-3, 0-0; last week, 10)
The Boilers were completely written off before the season. Danny Hope's crew may not make a bowl game this year, but they are going to give a lot of teams fits before this season is through. Just ask Oregon and Notre Dame.
9) Indiana (3-1, 0-1; last week, 11)
A valiant effort in the Big House from the Hoosiers, who might have gotten "hoosed" on an interception ruling that appeared to be caught by both players (and thus should have been IU's ball.) Not a bad weekend for football in that state, combined with the Colts' domination in the desert.
10) Michigan State (1-3, 0-1; last week, 8)
Oof. Remember when Mark Dantonio's squad was picked to finish third in the conference? Looks like Javon Ringer is being missed more than we thought. In other news, congratulations to Bret Bielema for incurring zero penalty yards on Saturday! The countdown to Izzo season has begun!
11) Illinois (1-2, 0-1; last week, 9)
Is Ron Zook the anti-Bo Ryan? Great, great recruiter; can't coach ‘em up. To think Jaevery McFadden very nearly decommitted from UW by Zook's wishes. Betcha No. 47 is glad he's wearing cardinal and white, not orange and blue, right now.