Last week did not disappoint. We said it might be a potential playoff in the east and the West and both games went down to the wire and left us with clear-cut favorites to advance to Indy. But the middle is as mixed up as possible. After the top 4 it’s pretty much a crapshoot from 5-12ish.
Here is how I see both the East and West divisions breaking down and then at the bottom I’ll rank all 14 teams in one list.
Big Ten West:
#1 Northwestern Wildcats
Northwestern is good. I said it. Last year sure seems like an aberration as the Wildcats are on their way to two Big Ten west crowns in three years unless something really weird happens
Wisconsin finally played against a team with a tough defense and it showed. Graham Mertz struggled and the Badger rushing attack was stifled by Northwestern. This week against Minnesota....IF it can be played, probably not too likely.
Iowa took care of business against a horrible Penn State team and moved us to the #3 spot here this week because no one really else has any claim to it at all.
Yeah this is pretty much a homer pick. But they did beat Purdue and Illinois, so probably should be ranked ahead of them. If the Gophers do in fact play at Wisconsin this week the #4 spot won’t last long.
It was a tough loss to the Gophers on Friday night, but when you are playing a team as depleted as Minnesota was and the game was that close, well that’s on you.
Watch out. The second hottest team in the Big Ten West? The illinois Fighting Illini. yeah they beat Rutgers and Nebraska, but still. What...you are telling me Ohio State might be a stiffer task this week.
Oh Nebraska. Oh...no no no. You aren’t allowed to lose to Illinois like that at home if you want people to take you seriously.
Big Ten East
Ohio State got a big lead, nearly game it away but hung on with a big defensive stop to beat Indiana and continue what we have known all season long—they are the only team in the Big Ten that has any chance of anything on a national scale.
Heck of a game for Indiana and Michael Penix but just not enough. This team is impressive though. Now to avoid the let down game this week against a suddenly incredebly well rested Maryland team.
One more week off, but yes, this is not a pretty ranking from here on out.
Somehow this is the #4 team in the east. Even after they didn’t play last week while all the teams below them did.
Michigan was thisclose to losing to Rutgers. You don’t move up for that.
Rutgers lost by less to Michigan then they did to Illinois.
A complete disaster. And that’s being kind.
Rankings 1-14 (Last Week)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (1)
- Northwestern Wildcats (4)
- Indiana Hoosiers (2)
- Wisconsin Badgers (3)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (6)
- Maryland Terrapins (7)
- Michigan State Spartans (8)
- Michigan Wolverines (9)
- Minnesota Golden Gophers (11)
- Purdue Boilermakers (5)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (12)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (10)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (14)