Now that we’re all sobered up (maybe) and recovered from a hell of a weekend, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture from a conference perspective. What does it all mean? Where do we go from here?
For starters, here’s how I’m ranking the Big Ten this week:
1. Wisconsin (9-0, 6-0)
You play to win the game, and Wisconsin wins all the games. You can bash their schedule all you want, but they get the job done every week the same way they have for years: run the ball and play decent defense. And folks, their average margin of victory is 22.7.
2. Michigan State (7-2, 5-1)
They just beat Penn State. Are you THAT confident that the Buckeyes can beat Sparty? That’s what I thought.
3. Penn State (7-2, 4-2)
I still feel like they are better than the Buckeyes. It took a crazy comeback to lose to Ohio State by one point on the road. But man, way to lay an egg in East Lansing.
4. Ohio State (7-2, 5-1)
They got rolled by Oklahoma. They should have lost to Penn State. They got rolled at Iowa. This team has some talent, but also some serious flaws.
5. Iowa (6-3, 3-3)
Saturday was awesome. The Hawkeyes basically gave a snapshot of their full potential against what was thought to be one of the better teams in the country. I’d need to see it again this weekend in Madison to rank them any higher.
6. Michigan (7-2, 4-2)
Two straight games of looking pretty good against two teams that aren’t very good.
7. Northwestern (6-3, 4-2)
Three straight overtime wins. Impressive. Lucky. Tough. All of it.
8. Nebraska (4-5, 3-3)
I want to rank the Huskers so much lower than this, but wow, the rest of the conference is awful. They get the nod over Rutgers based only on the head-to-head win, but I don’t feel great about it.
9. Rutgers (4-5, 3-3)
Dude, if Rutgers can beat Indiana on the road and upset Michigan State at home to finish the season, they’ll go bowling. Seriously. Scarlet Knight football — catch the fever!
10. Purdue (4-5, 2-4)
Purdue’s season is like showing up to a strip club 15 minutes before the “A-team” gets off work and not knowing it. You’re thinking “Yo, this is gonna be great! Look at her! Look at that! Grab a chair, I’ll get some drinks!” And then you go to the bar, get those drinks, sit in your chair and stare at the B-team the rest of the night, wondering what happened.
11. Maryland (4-5, 2-4)
I don’t care about Maryland football and neither do you.
12. Minnesota (4-5, 1-5)
Not elite. Not even close. But I think they can beat Nebraska. That says a lot about the bottom half of the Big Ten in 2017.
13. Indiana (3-6, 0-6)
No Big Ten team has accomplished less with more talent in 2017 than the Hoosiers.