Well...here we are. We have reached the end of the regular season with only the Big Ten Championship Game and the bowls to go. Not as much changed from last week as I might have thought. You have the cream of the crop, the meh middle, the middling bottom...and then Rutgers.
I don’t have a new power ranking after the title game as literally the only change I would have would be to flip PSU over WI if they were to win Saturday. Otherwise it all stays the same. I’ll have one more post bowls...because clicks damnit!
So here are the final regular season power rankings according to the voices in my head.
Big Ten East
#1 Ohio State Buckeyes (LW #1)
Did Samuel get enough push on 4th and 1. I’m sure Michigan fans will analyze that tape like the Zapruder film for the next 50 years...especially if the Buckeyes make the Playoff and Michigan gets stuck in either Pasadena or Miami. But for now, the Buckeyes remain on top, Harbaugh’s whining be damned. They will get either Clemson or Bama in the first round of the playoff....good luck with that.
#2 Michigan Wolverines (LW#2)
Close but not close enough. Sorry Jimmy. Either the Orange Bowl or Rose Bowl will have to be your consolation prize. Don’t lose to Iowa and this isn’t an issue...
#3 Penn State Nittany Lions (LW #3)
Penn State gets the benefit of the referees call in Columbus and gets to go to Indy this weekend. I’m sure most people still feel dirty rooting for the Nittany Lions, but if it guarantees Wisconsin won’t make the playoff, I’ll do just about anything.
#4 Indiana Hoosiers (LW #4)
Indiana struggled with Purdue early (sounds familiar to a lot of Big Ten Teams), but then pulled away at the end to win the Old Oaken Bucket and a trip to either Santa Clara, NYC, or Detroit depending on how charitable the Big Ten decides to be this weekend. But Indiana doesn’t care...its bowling two years in a row.
#5 Maryland Terrapins (LW #6)
The Terps got the win over Rutgers they needed and will be going bowling after all. Starting the season 5-0 and then losing six straight games wasn’t exactly the seaosn they wanted, but they now get to go to a bowl game. Don’t pack the beachwear just yet unless you like taking a dip in either the Hudson River or Lake Huron in December though.
#6 Michigan State Spartans (LW #5)
So much for playing spoiler three weeks in a row. Penn State put an end to that fast, Now Michigan State can spend the next six months trying to figure out what the hell happened and watching their successful basketball team....wait...what? Not them too???
#7 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (LW #7)
Rutgers was outscored 360 - 86 in 9 Big Ten Games. Over a third of their points were against Minnesota and another third were against Indiana. Its going to be a long off season in Jersey.
Big Ten West
#1 Wisconsin Badgers (LW #1)
Wisconsin goes to Indy again. Yay. Hopefully Penn State, Clemson, Washington, Michigan and the CFP committee can all conspire to make sure Wisconsin doesn’t get to lose by 80 to Alabama in the CFP.
#2 Iowa Hawkeyes (LW #3)
Iowa finally found its groove about six weeks too late. Enough to surge to get them to San Diego for a bowl game probably, but they had the potential for much much more.
#3 Nebraska Cornhuskers (LW #2)
Well the good news is that Tommy gets a month to heal before Nebraska gets to go to Tampa and get curbstomped by a subpar SEC team.
#4 Minnesota Gophers (LW #4)
What can you say? 8-4 is great, but its a pretty hollow 8-4. Hopefully they can end the season on a high note at the Glen Mason Memorial Bowl in Nashville.
#5 Northwestern Wildcats (LW # 4)
Northwestern officially regains the title a Chicago’s Big Ten Team for at least another year. For their troubles they probably get to go to NYC for Christmas...but Santa Clara could happen too.
#6 Illinois Fighting Illini (LW #6)
Season one of the Lovie Smith Experience. Yeesh. Not sure the sequel is looking great either.
#7 Purdue Boilermakers (LW #7)
Purdue almost ruined Indiana’s season...but once again just didn’t have enough in the end. Now the waiting game begins? Les Miles? PJ Fleck? Some random coordinator that will disappoint everyone...yeah probably the most likely outcome.
My Rank 1-14
- Ohio State Buckeyes (LW #1)
- Michigan Wolverines (LW #2)
- Wisconsin Badgers (LW #3)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (LW #4)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (LW #6)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (LW #5)
- Minnesota Gophers (LW #7)
- Northwestern Wildcats (LW #8)
- Indiana Hoosiers (LW #9)
- Maryland Terrapins (LW #13)
- Michigan State Spartans (LW #10)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (LW # 11)
- Purdue Boilermakers (LW #12)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (LW #14)