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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week Five

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You have to ask: is winning a good thing?

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Hi!

Iowa is 4-0 for just the fourth time in 12 years and people are still big MAD about its spotless record. As Georgia and Alabama prove to be the only teams truly worthy of their top rankings, Iowa continues to collect ears for its war chest, watching Michigan State and Michigan fight over scraps in the wake of Wisconsin’s second loss on the year.

Week five is shaping to get BLOODY as I count five matchups between undefeated ranked teams on the slate. Smart of Iowa to play its game on Friday, dodging whatever voodoo magic awaits the winner of Mississippi-Alabama. Thanks for your stupid Friday night scheduling, Big Ten! Now I don’t have to burn any effigies of Scott Van Pelt this week.*

1. Iowa (4-0, 1-0)

I could go on and continue to call out the smooth-brained logic of the Iowa fans who are filling their diapers as fast as the Hawkeyes fill the W column, but we need to be compassionate to those who are doing their own research when it comes to these Iowa football Hawkeyes.

One week after getting his name dragged through the internet mud, Spencer Petras puts up unquestionably his best performance as a Hawkeye. So what’s the problem now? Definitely the guys blocking for Petras; not the called protection schemes or the play calling itself. Tyler Goodson dances too much, Jack Campbell hits too hard, Tory Taylor is too old, and we rely too heavily on this Iowa defense and the luck it generates from turnovers.

Fuck exactly all of that.

We’re at the point now where it’s safe to say luck has less to do with the takeaways and overall saltiness of this Iowa defense. Forcing 9 turnovers in four games isn’t luck. It’s consistency (and breaking the will of opposing quarterbacks). While Phil Parker still has a tough time spying an opposing quarterback in the redzone, he doesn’t have a tough time telling his boys to punch the ball out, and I won’t have a tough time punching the next Iowa football truther I see in the facehole. I have just one last message for the haters:

2. Penn State (4-0, 1-0)

Before you jump to Penn State’s defense (why would you do that???) let me remind you that 1. Wisconsin, a team that is absolute buttcheeks, almost beat Penn State. 2. Penn State’s win over Auburn looks less impressive as the Tigers were down 24-12 and needed to score 22 points unanswered in the second half to beat Georgia State this weekend, and 3. Iowa beat Kent State by a larger margin than PSU did. 23>21, I know I know, math is hard.

Instead of focusing your energy on the nine dozen different ways Penn State will beat Iowa in two weeks, let’s collectively get big mad over the fact this game is going to kick at 3pm and not the evening. Where my Iowa kickoff time truthers at???

3. Michigan State (4-0, 2-0)

The only team with two conference wins so far needs some respect after putting Scott Frost in a pretzel Saturday night. The Nebraska defense is actually competent and could cause some trouble, but unfortunately it hasn’t found a way to defend itself from its own head coach.

Yet.

4. Michigan (4-0, 1-0)

I’m just glad Michigan FINALLY figured out to beat Rutgers. Not many teams can say that!

5. Ohio State (3-1, 1-0)

CJ Stroud is hurt, I guess. So things are going well over in the OSU media room.

And oh yeah, a starting linebacker quit the team mid-game and Tweeted this. He’s no longer with the program.

Things are fine in Columbus, why do you ask?

6. Maryland (4-0, 1-0)

Despite starting only nine games so far at Maryland, Taulia Tagovailoa is already in the top-3 for basically every major passing stat in the Terps’ record book. He chucked it all over the place against Kent State. I bet some people are just going to say he was unlucky after he throws three interceptions this week!

7. Rutgers (3-1, 0-1)

I mean like honestly this feels kinda right.

8. Indiana (2-2, 0-1)

Michael Penix Jr. threw the ball 53 times against Western Kentucky in a two-point win. People are revisionist historying Iowa’s win over the then-ranked Hoosiers, but I postulate we need to give ourselves some credit for breaking the will (and throwing mechanics) of one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

9. Purdue (3-1, 1-0)

Currently second in the West behind Iowa, the Boilers should probably be a little higher. They also probably should’ve beaten Illinois by more than four points.

10. Wisconsin (2-2, 0-1)

I had the displeasure of watching Wisconsin in the flesh this weekend, and let me tell ya: if you’re still mad about Iowa’s quarterback situation, then you haven’t paid ANY attention to Graham Mertz (or Jack Coan for that matter).

Want to see another deleted Tweet? I’m gonna show you another deleted Tweet.

11. Illinois (1-4, 1-2)

Bring back Artur Sitkowski!

12. Nebraska (2-3, 0-2)

The credit goes to Boilerhawk for this but: Adrian Martinez is going to be a first-team all-conference QB for a Nebraska squad that wins four games.

13. Northwestern (2-2, 0-1)

So something is bugging me that I want to get off my chest:

This blog is titled “Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 5.” But I think it’s really week four? I got tripped up with the week zero game between Nebraska and Illinois and it’s now snowballed into a monster I cannot control any longer. I can’t just go back and rename these blogs and right the ship. I need you all to know that in addition to pie charts and laffer curves and social cues from women, I am illiterate when it comes to deciphering a calendar.

14. Minnesota (2-2, 0-1)

If I were the Gophers I simply would not have lost as 30-point favorites at home to a team that’s already lost to South Alabama.

*Just because I don’t have to doesn’t mean I won’t.