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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week One

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Hoo, Hoo, Hoo?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Our first weekend of Big Ten Football started off with a BANG, as for just a few fleeting minutes we found ourselves in late October and Wisconsin was holding all the conference’s points.

We were treated to some surprises (hello, Indiana, Rutgers) and some not-so-surprises (see: Frost, Scott & Fleck, Pajamas).

The beauty about Iowa’s loss to Purdue is its wholly unsurprising but still able to render us completely breathless at the same time. Kirk Ferentz is really a masterclass in welcoming people into his living room and having us get comfortable on a couch that we know will fall through a trap door that leads to the kitchen of Eric Johnson’s Culver’s.

In These Uncertain Times® it’s important to remember this undeniable fact:

At least we aren’t Michigan State.

1. Ohio State (1-0)

There’s just something reassuring about Nebraska talking smack all season only to draw Ohio State to open the schedule. Welp, you got your cake Nebraska. I’d say you have to eat it too, but none of your quarterbacks would be able to hand it off without giving it back to Ohio State.

Also, I’m very happy to see Ryan Day giving Scott Frost his own “I hope we didn’t hurt your boys too bad” moment.

If there’s one thing you need to practice, it’s taking a knee.

2. Wisconsin (1-0)

I was going to put Wisconsin No. 1 here, but then I learned Graham Mertz got COVID and I just can’t support such (presumed!!!) anti-mask behavior. Once this guy (and the whole state of Wisconsin, I guess) gets a little lesson on germ theory, THEN maybe they’ll be worthy of the top spot in Big Ten Science Power Rankings.

3. Michigan (1-0)

I had a new neighbor move into the apartment below me Saturday morning. His parents drove in to give him a hand. The folks were friendly enough, but I knew something was wrong when the dad flashed me a shit eating grin when he acknowledged my Iowa sweatshirt as acquaintances were made.

The next four hours were marked but the most offensive, tribal, and downright disturbing cacophony of noises as three generations of Michigan fans hooted and hollered throughout their drubbing of Minnesota. The mom was the most slanderous of the trio, slinging insults and praise in-between swigs of what I’m sure was a pony keg of Two Hearted.

I had something smart to say about this game, but then I remembered Minnesota attempted perhaps the worst fake punt in the history of sport, and rendered any serious commentary inadequate.

4. Indiana (1-0)

That Indiana game was absolutely electric, and I’m still mad Iowa interfered in my enjoying of it in real time. So far the best part of the win is Penn State fans Zapruder-filming Michael Penix Jr.’s goal line reach.

I’m just going to say this once: actually, the spot was good.

5. Purdue (1-0)

Bad news Purdue: you only get to play Iowa once this year. No other team (besides Penn State. Or Michigan State. Or Minnesota. Shit.) will simply choose to not cover your most dynamic receiver AND cough up the ball a handful of times.

So I guess maybe this is a good time to buy Purdue stock.

That’s Purdue, not Perdue.

6. Northwestern (1-0)

Look I’m choosing to ignore Northwestern’s 1-0 record as long as I possibly can, and the fact I write about college football on the side can’t stop me from achieving that goal.

7. Rutgers (1-0)

I’d just like to point out Rutgers’ quarterback is a Nebraska transfer, its best wide receiver is a Wisconsin transfer, and in a way, so is its coach.

New Jersey’s Big Ten Team is filled with unwanted toys, which is fitting and makes them all the more lovable, until you realize that this ain’t Toy Story and we’re not getting a happy ending here.

8-13. Everyone else besides Michigan State (0-1)

I just want to once again congratulate Rutgers for its first Big Ten win since 2017, and call out this beautiful exchange on Black Shoe Diaries, our Penn State brother blog:

Oh yeah, give it to me.

14. Michigan State (0-1)

If Iowa’s fumbling issues have your blood boiling, might I suggest dropping the Michigan State-Rutgers box score into your tea this afternoon?

I just feel bad for Rocky Lombardi, who left the state of Iowa to go to Lansing of all places. In fairness, who could’ve guessed Mark Dantonio, a man with nothing but a sterling reputation at a school with a squeaky clean athletics department, would leave you out to dry, putting your own professional aspirations in jeopardy?

In the offseason, we’re gonna be seeing the MSU roster say Sparty goooooo.

Tune in next week for more HIPAA violations!