See, this is why the Big Ten gets a bad rap. And why people can't stand Ohio State or its fans. All this commotion going on with upsets and peaks and valleys in this conference, and after 10 weeks, somehow the Buckeyes are going to steal this thing, despite having an average team. Figures.
2) No. 15 Iowa (9-1, 5-1; last week, 1)
Cats only have nine lives; apparently, so do Hawkeyes. When I heard that Ricky Stanzi was knocked out, I thought that would be a great chance for Iowa to invent a tenth different way to win a football game. But turns out James Van Der Beek or whatever his name is can't complete a pass to save his life. So, Iowa finds itself in a must-win game at Columbus.
3) No. 21 Wisconsin (7-2, 4-2; last week, 4)
"That's Wisconsin football", says Montee Ball. Winning ugly and not caring about style points, just about the victory? I'd agree, Mr. Ball.
4) No. 19 Penn State (8-2, 4-2; last week, 2)
Last time the Nittany Lions lost more than once at home was 2004, when PSU went 4-7 and Daryll Clark was a senior in high school.
5) Michigan State (5-5, 4-3; last week, 6-b)
Nothing like a good thumping of a Directional Michigan to get your spirits back up, eh, Sparty?
6) Northwestern (6-4, 3-3; last week, 7)
Three reasons I'm not overreacting to the Wildcats ruining Iowa's hopes and dreams through the meat grinder on Saturday: 1 – The Hawkeyes don't have that much talent to begin with – especially once Ricky Stanzi, Iowa's personal version of John Stocco, goes down. The whole destiny thing only takes you so far.
2 – Northwestern is NOT a top-four team in this conference, and Michigan State beat NU just three weeks ago. So there.
3 – Come on, it's Northwestern.
7) Illinois (3-6, 2-5; last week, 9)
Wait! It's not basketball season yet! The Ron Zooks are still bowl-eligible! HOLD EVERYTHING!!!
8) Minnesota (5-5, 3-4; last week, 6-a)
Does TCF stand for "The ChokeFest"? Ha. Ha. I crack myself up sometimes.
9) Purdue (4-6, 3-3; last week, 11)
Hope is eternal in West Lafayette. The emotion, not just the coach, Danny. Win these last two games at home against Michigan State and at rival Indiana, and the Boilers might somehow find themselves in a bowl game. Nice to see a couple of basketball schools (Illinois and Purdue) with football programs still fighting for a 13th game.
10) Indiana (4-6, 1-5; last week, 8)
Can't kill ‘em too much for sticking with a good Wisconsin team, though those bowl hopes are slipping away fast after an encouraging 3-0 start.
11) Michigan (5-5, 1-5; last week, 10)
My father's brother's nephew's former roommate suggested to me that Wisconsin still holds out hope to split the Big Ten title. Of course, in order for that to happen, Ohio State would have to beat Iowa, then lose at Michigan.
I started to consult my good friend Webster Online to come up with some colorful adjectives to describe Michigan's defense in Big Ten play. But hey, it's Lazy Sunday, so I just replied, "meh." Besides, I'm not sure Wisconsin should be proud if it splits this thing with, like, 18 teams, because that's what we're potentially looking at.