I considered knocking the Hawks down. I really, really did. But in any other walk of life besides the stupid BCS, 9-0 is 9-0. You haven't lost yet. No one cares if an NFL team uglies its way to 12-0, because, well, they would be 12-0, and you're not. So Iowa stays No. 1, on its likely way to a BCS game.
2, Penn State (8-1, 4-1; last week, 2)
Breathing down the Hawkeyes' necks. But you simply cannot dismiss the events of Sept. 26.
3, Ohio State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten; last week, 3)
Last two chance to impress the voters, Buckeyes. Happy Valley's waiting for you, followed by Iowa.
4, Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2; last week, 4)
The Badgers sure played like they would like to be a top-three team in the Big Ten. Frightfully, it would appear Wisconsin is destined for fourth in the league and the Outback Bowl. (There, see? A Halloween reference. Just because every other piece of sports journalism written last week HAD to have one.)
OK, you tell me what to do with the Big Ten after those top four. Michigan State lost to a bad Minnesota team; Minnesota is that Minnesota team; Michigan stunk it up at Illinois; Illinois is stinky; Purdue got shut out 37-0; and Northwestern lost big to Penn State. Go ahead. Name a fifth-best team. I dare you. I triple-dog dare you. I'm waiting.
6-a, Minnesota (5-4, 3-3; last week, 8)
Nice win under the lights, Gophers. But you shalt still languish in the lower half of these rankings (especially with Eric Decker done). Minny might be 7-4 going into the season-ender at Iowa.
6-b, Michigan State (4-5, 3-3; last week, 5)
Gotta put Sparty below Goldy, only because of Saturday night. Whatever happened to this team, which was supposedly ready to challenge the big boys for BCS-land?
7, Northwestern (5-4, 2-3; last week, 9)
Raise ‘em two spots after losing by three touchdowns at home. Such is the life in this stupid conference.
8, Indiana (4-5, 1-4; last week, 10)
Raise ‘em two spots after taking a two-touchdown lead to the locker room on the road, proceeding to pick off FOUR passes in the third quarter … and somehow still lose by 18 to a top-five team that has top-40 talent. Such is the life in this wacky conference.
9, Illinois (2-6, 1-5; last week, 11)
I-L-L! I-N-I! W-E D-O-N-T S-U-C-K!
10, Michigan (5-4, 1-4; last week, 6)
Will coaches EVER learn from Michigan's scheduling? Good for you, Wolverines. You can beat Notre Dame, Delaware State and the directional Michigans in your own backyard. You're still 1-4 in the conference. You're not any good yet. At least Wisconsin, for all the gripes BB gets for his scheduling, can win a big conference game or two.
11, Purdue (3-6, 2-3; last week, 7)
Did the Boilermakers get to come to Freakfest in Halloween? Not like they were busy with anything else important on Saturday.