I don’t have the heart to come up with witty introductory banter and self-deprecation for this week’s power rankings. I don’t have a theme and I just want to wallow in despair due to the team we all follow losing to top-110 team Bowling Green.
Honestly, I feel like a big pile of poop...
And so, with that, we have our theme. I apologize to my parents and those on the masthead of The Daily Gopher.
(Do with these rankings what you will. SP+ rank and FEI (Fremeau Efficiency Index) rank is provided next to each team, respectively. Click these links for more information on SP+ and FEI. The previous week’s position in these pointless power rankings follows those two superior metrics.)
The Scat Tier
#1 - Penn State Nittany Lions (5th, 8th, last week #1)
#2 - Iowa Hawkeyes (28th, 9th, last week #2)
#3 - Ohio State Buckeyes (3rd, 5th, last week #3)
The least offensive name for excrement lends its name to the tier comprised of the currently least offensive performances from the conference. Penn State took care of business, though the margin was slightly suspect. Iowa looked pretty sleepy offensively against a cupcake, which it is wont to do on occasion. And Ohio State took care of an inter-state opponent with ease but still can’t escape the failure on the big stage that was the Oregon game. Even the best teams right now have some kind of stink associated with them. The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes both have questions regarding their offense and defense, respectively. Penn State more or less appears to be at the top of this heap of... well, you know...
The Pooh-Pooh Tier
#4 - Michigan Wolverines (8th, 3rd, last week #4)
#5 - Michigan State Spartans (30th, 31st, last week #5)
Both of these teams from the state shaped like a mitten are undefeated. But they can also be pooh-pooh’ed as true contender until they prove themselves more. The Spartans have beaten a couple of bottom-dwelling conference foes. And the Wolverines don’t appear to have moved past their lack of explosive offense problem that has plagued them for the entirety of the Harbaugh era. However, being undefeated after a third of the season is no small feat and thus the two squads get tiered in between the cream of the crop and the poopy middle (see what I did there?!?!) Until either team accumulates a true high-quality win, they will be second-guessed as true players in the East Division.
The @#$%storm Tier
#6 - Maryland Terrapins (24th, 67th, last week #8)
#7 - Wisconsin Badgers (11th, 17th, last week #6)
#8 - Purdue Boilermakers (60th, 42nd, last week #9)
#9 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (53rd, 65th, last week #11)
#10 - Indiana Hoosiers (61st, 58th, last week #10)
#11 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (47th, 56th, last week #13)
#12 - Northwestern Wildcats (82nd, 62nd, last week #12)
The middle of the Big Ten this season is as large and messy as that pile of triceratops feces that Dr. Ian Malcolm remarked about so candidly back on Isla Nublar. Maryland is 4-0 but they haven’t beat @#$%. Wisconsin is highly rated by the advanced metrics but has looked like @#$% against non-@#$% teams. Purdue has a home conference win against a @#$% team. Rutgers used to be @#$% but may now be slightly better than @#$%. Indiana has found out that their 2021 @#$% doesn’t smell nearly as good as their 2020 @#$%. Nebraska lost to a @#$% team and has a @#$% record but probably isn’t truly @#$%. Northwestern, as usual, has an offense that isn’t worth a @#$%. Perhaps this tier isn’t a storm of @#$%... but a typhoon of @#$%.
The Deuce Tier
#13 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (56th, 26th, last week #7)
#14 - Illinois Fighting Illini (92nd, 100th, last week #14)
Two teams this week for the bottom tier. One continues to lose close games. One registered the worst loss that anybody in the conference will have this year. To paraphrase Michael Scott, “Two teams on Casino Night. They’re going to drop a deuce on everybody.”