Do you believe in miracles? Captain Kirk does. After two cupcakes (IU and NW) the next two weeks, the big test is heading to the Shoe on November 14.
2, Penn State (7-1, 3-1; last week, 2)
Gorgeous story on Joe by Joe: that is, on Joe Paterno, by new Sports Illustrated writer Joe Posnanski . Oh yeah, winning in Ann Arbor for the first time in over a decade is big, too.
3, Ohio State (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten; last week, 4)
At Penn State. Home for Iowa. At Michigan. That's the remaining Buckeye schedule (sans this week's out-of-conference laugher against New Mexico State.) Maybe it's not enough to get back to the BCS title game, but if the Sweater Vest wins out, that's probably enough to get into the BCS party, at least.
4, Wisconsin (5-2, 2-2; last week, 6)
The Badgers go 0-0-1 last week, they move up two spots in these rankings … and the student section STILL doesn't show up until the second quarter. Figures.
5, Michigan State (4-4, 3-2; last week, 3)
What? They played gamely at home against a top-five team and came within a Marvin McNutt play of beating them? And they drop two spots? Yer darn right they do. I watched the whole game. That was ugly football, and nothing convinced me the Spartans are an elite Big Ten team.
6, Michigan (5-3, 1-3; last week, 5)
Yikes … so much for that encouraging start. At least the Wolverines are going orange for Halloween – the Fighting Illini are hardly frightening these days.
7, Purdue (3-5, 2-2; last week, 7)
Bucky would be wise to watch out for that trap door in front of him. (Or her. Is Bucky a him or a her? I think it's a him. Am I rambling again?)
8, Minnesota (4-4, 2-3; last week, 8)
Finally turned it over to Marqueis Gray, after Adam Weber was literally "point"less for eight quarters. So much for the Gophers turning a corner.
9, Northwestern (5-3, 2-2; last week, 9)
The Wildcats might only win one more game this year (home for Penn State and Wisconsin, at Iowa and Illinois). That would be enough to make them bowl-eligible for the third straight year, but then again, 6-6 wasn't enough in 2007.
10, Indiana (4-4, 1-3; last week, 10)
The Hoosiers were up 28-3 on Northwestern Saturday. They should be 5-3 right now. Instead, the remaining schedule screams 4-8. Still an upgrade from what we thought Indiana would produce. Still, they let'em off the hook!
11, Illinois (1-6, 0-5; last week, 11)
What if … WHAT IF … the Illini were just screwing with us, and they come out and hammer Cincinnati on Thanksgiving weekend and spoil the Bearcats' season? Now THAT would make Illinois' season. Unlikely, but what if?