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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week Six

Promise me you’re not mad

NCAA Football: Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


After a weekend of mostly chalk in the Big Ten, I’m happy to report that Iowa still finds itself in the driver’s seat of the big rig that is its own destiny. Luckily Iowa’s got its CDL while some teams are still figuring out those pesky training wheels.

The beauty of a Friday night game gave us the opportunity to bask in all the weirdness that a “normal” Saturday offers in this sport:

In addition to popping corn-related shenanigans, we also saw:

  • Oregon lose in an empty stadium
  • Notre Dame lose in a full stadium
  • Clemson needing a fumbled snap to beat Boston College
  • Jimbo Fisher getting away with the greatest robbery of this century

Anyway, onto teams that actually matter!

1. Iowa (5-0, 2-0)

Another day, another win for these ho-hum Hawkeyes. I’ll admit, last week was awesome to hear from everyone who didn’t watch more than 10 minutes of Iowa football this season talk themselves into Taulia Lastname carving up the best defense in the conference, lead by a coach with an overall record of 12-44.

Iowa once again gifted an opposing QB with Butt Spiders as it forced six interceptions on the day, with most coming in the first half, well before garbage time. But you could call this entire game being played in garbage time despite Maryland holding onto a lead for a whisper of a moment early on.

In September, Brock Purdy was a hipster Heisman candidate, Michael Penix Jr. was the odds-on favorite to get first-team conference QB honors, and Taulia Tagovailoa had “figured it out.”

Then they all played Iowa.

Now, the Hawkeyes play a quarterback who’s picked up the scraps left by the guys mentioned above. And I think Iowa’s got a seat at the table for him.

2. Penn State (5-0, 2-0)

Penn State feasted on an Indiana team that had been comfortably picked apart already by Iowa and Cincinnati. There’s no sloppy seconds this weekend for the Nits, and unfortunately for them, we’re going to leave the lights on the whole time.

3. Ohio State (4-1, 2-0)

Obviously we might’ve overreacted a bit to OSU’s early loss and the attrition its suffered so far. CJ Stroud returned and lit up a team known for glowing like a Christmas tree, so this could be an overreaction to that as well. Whatever.

4. Michigan (5-0, 2-0)

Wisconsin fans should be showering Michigan with gifts as the Wolverines knocked out Graham Mertz, forcing another crappy quarterback to show the Badgers just how dire their QB situation is.

But Michigan has other problems of its own, as Jim Harbaugh inexplicably pulled Cade McNamara to give TWO, count em TWO other quarterbacks snaps during critical moments as the game was still in reach going into the fourth quarter.

Just remember, when Michigan declares psychological warfare on its quarterbacks, we all win.

5. Michigan State (5-0, 2-0)

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Michigan State Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Love those hats!

The Big Ten’s Fatty Midsection

There’s really no other team worth talking about in a way that doesn’t involve us all collectively pointing and snickering amongst ourselves as these schools tabletop each-other into oblivion, not knowing that we are not in fact auditioning for a Three Stooges reboot.

After suffering the largest out of conference upset since Appalachian State beat Michigan in 2007, Minnesota somehow goes and beats Purdue despite holding the ball for eight minutes less and getting outgained by almost 200 yards. Illinois let a bad Charlotte team cover the spread in Champaign, and Scott Frost Day was a huge success as he only made Adrian Martinez carry the ball eight times against a team where you or I could comfortably say we’re better than whoever they’re trotting out at a number of positions.

We thought Rutgers would at least keep it competitive for Ohio State after a close one against Michigan, but that was dumb of us. Maryland might win a couple more games but it’s going to make bowl eligibility by the seat of its pants.

And so, I think it’s time we talk about the elephant in the room:

14. Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2)

Look, Wisconsin, I know it’s tough for you right now. You’re losing Barry Alvarez, a guy who stole a bunch of secrets from Iowa and gifted them to you in exchange for a brief dance with dictatorship and zero Rose Bowl wins since 2000.

We know it worked out for you SO well last time after you ran a wildly successful coach out of town, so it might be tempting to go to that well again, but look around! Everyone everywhere stinks! There’s no good coaches or offensive linemen or wrecking ball running backs left! It’s a Covid supply issue and we’re sorry you have to bear the brunt of that.

That last part was a lie. I’m not sorry at all. I look forward to watching you rot in quarterback hell while your mediocre running backs barrel into the ass of an offensive linemen not from the state of Wisconsin and your defensive coordinator bolts for a job literally anywhere else. I hear Culver’s is hiring!