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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week 4

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NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ah yes, welcome back, Wisconsin. So nice to see you after abruptly leaving your job for three weeks to spend time up at Crescent Lake. I hope you feel refreshed and immune. Very cute, very healthy thing you and your coach(es) just did there.

Anyway, with 82% of the SEC cancelled, all were treated to the SUPERIORITY of Big Ten Pandemiball. It was a weekend where SEC interlopers saw Jim Harbaugh unsuccessfully eat his headset, Scott Frost got his corner-turning tenth win, and well let’s shoehorn a tangent in here and suffocate the cadence I was building:

If you’re unhappy with Iowa’s quarterback play, may I suggest watching the play of other QBs?

Look, I’m not trying to start (another) culture war on here, but all I’m saying is Alex Padilla is really short, and as a vertically challenged millennial man myself, I’m not ready to start fielding those kinds of jokes on Twitter just yet.

But a loss to Penn State can change my tune pretty quick here.

1. Indiana (4-0)

People can bitch and moan about how the Hoosiers ain’t played nobody, but I counter with they have, in fact, played four bodies. Because that’s all Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers and Michigan State are at this point. But I don’t care. If this were the Normal Times, we’d be cheering a 4-0 conference record for Indiana from the rooftops. I will not be shamed into joining Parler for my belief that Indiana is the best team in the conference.

But while you’re here, Rutgers was an inside job.

2. Ohio State (3-0)

The probable best team in the conference, and potential best team in the nation, was idle this week because either it or Rutgers or both had too many people get sick amidst a nationwide pandemic. Rumors are Rutgers players contracted the virus after Greg Schiano handed out juice boxes, then immediately demanded their return in a misguided way to illustrate the value of turnovers.

3. Wisconsin (2-0)

Welcome back, Wisconsin. Way to dodge a bullet with Nebraska! Reminds me of my old roommate who missed the fabled Iowa Rhabdo workout by... quitting the team the day beforehand. And I can totally see Paul Chryst handing out fake awards following the conclusion of this season.

Anyway, you get Northwestern next and Pat Fitzgerald is probably going to try and suit up in this one, because deep down, I know he’s starting to feel left out by the rest of the conference in not contracting COVID yet.

4. Northwestern (4-0)

Northwestern averaged under 6 yards a completion and well under 4 yards a rush and still out Purdude Purdue. Fat Pitz having perhaps his best season amidst a pandemic makes sense, in that it is the perfect real-world application of “if a tree falls in Evanston and no one is around to hear it, will Darren Rovell or Mike Tirico be the first to report that Notre Dame put the tree there?”

5. Purdue (2-1)

The season is more or less over now for everyone else in the conference. Purdue missing Wisconsin and then losing to Northwestern means it likely won’t have the opportunity for a championship, which means its wasted yet ANOTHER year of a walk-on quarterback outshining any four-star QB Iowa’s ever had.

6. Maryland (2-1)

I think we can all agree Maryland likely wasn’t going to get past Ohio State, but it would’ve been fun to watch Mike Locksley blame another loss (rightfully) on DJ Durkin.

7. Iowa (2-2)

There’s nothing I can really tell you about Iowa that you don’t already know. The offensive line is playing to the level we think Iowa’s offensive line always plays to, while I mean Phil Parker is a God. He’s Edward the VIII, abdicating a potential reign of greatness in favor of his one true love: white dudes from Iowa playing defensive back.

And guys, hear me out: four more games of that offense, and Brian Ferentz is gonna be looking mighty tasty for the head job at Florida State.

8-13. Everyone besides Penn State

Look, all these teams are either 1-3 or 1-2, and I’m not here to compare trash to garbage, and then lie to you about the results. That’s LSU’s job.

14. Penn State (0-4)

No one ever specified which USC James Franklin was headed to next!