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WEEK 0 BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS

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We take a look at each teams last year point/possession margins to reset 2020

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

And we’re back.

I kind of can’t believe we’re here, sitting on the precipice of a Big Ten season which figures to see Iowa do what Iowa does, Ohio State blitz to the conference championship, and Nebraska disappoint.

Now, we don’t yet know how many of the 63 planned intra-conference contests we’ll get from these guys given the nature of playing a game amidst a pandemic. Prospects are...unclear since we can’t even make it through one full game week without a coach testing positive.

May Jeff Brohm be healthy but also not transfer over the plays which involve a Purdue wide receiver run straight past an Iowa defense back.

Onwards and upwards as we begin the power rankings which I developed by doing some simple division (points per play) and subtraction. Next week, Ben Ross will continue this column with less math and more probiotic-deficient gutfeel.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (net PPP: +0.398)

The Buckeyes are in a league of their own as an even better football team than Tom Hanks was an actor in A League of their Own. They return Justin Fields and the fire of a thousand suns after blowing a shot at the College Football Playoff title last year.

While we’re here, will it be Gary Barta who monetizes the College Football Playoff naming rights?

2. Penn State Nittany Lions (net PPP: +0.306)

Sean Clifford had a downright Nate Stanley-ian sophomore season with a just-under-60% completion percentage, a solid TD:INT ratio, and 2600 yards. The difference? Clifford has wheels, as he racked up over 400 yards in PSU’s RPO system. Micah Parsons opted out and will not opt back in as he prepares for the 2021 Draft, which does lower their 2020 ceiling a bit.

The good news is that it does not affect their net points/play from last year!

3. Wisconsin Badgers (net PPP: +0.216)

Jack Coan went down. Jonathan Taylor is gone. But the assembly line of rangy, versatile linebackers carries on for the Jim Leonhard-led defense.

They’ll certainly find a way to end up in Indianapolis.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes (net PPP: +0.170)

Would you believe it if I told you Iowa had the best points per play defense in the conference last year? Pretty good! They lose A.J. Epenesa, Michael Ojemudia, Kristian Welch, and Geno Stone to the NFL and Djimon Colbert as an opt-out. I believe in Phil Parker in 8 of these games, except for the game before them right now.

5. Michigan Wolverines (net PPP: +0.137)

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers (net PPP: +0.130)

Frankly, there’s not much difference in .007 points per play but it’s a wide enough gap for me to lower the Goofers down another peg. They face off this and I have no doubt the winner will emerge more annoying than they were the week before.

7. Indiana Hoosiers (net PPP: +0.069)

If 9 windiana happens this year I will eat my shoe.

8. Illinois Fighting Illini (net PPP: +0.046)

lol I cannot believe Illinois had a winning season before Nebraska had one. They even lost a bowl game before Nebraska could lose one.

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (net PPP: -0.013)

10. Michigan State Spartans (net PPP: -0.035 PPP)

11. Purdue Boilermakers (net PPP: -0.63)

12. Maryland Terrapins (net PPP: -0.065)

13. Northwestern Wildcats (net PPP: -0.125)

I have lost steam but here are predictions about these teams in no particular order:

  • one will go winless
  • one will end up in the championship game
  • one will beat Iowa
  • one will be humiliated by Ohio State in the first week
  • one will fire their coach

14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (net PPP: -0.312)

It’s kind of amazing that Ohio State is better than rutger is bad by my simple division and subtraction.