Saturday, September 18, 2010
Big Ten Power Rankings, Week Three
This is just going to be a quick ranking, since the games start soon. Every Big Ten team is in action this Saturday. The top six teams are all undefeated.
1. No. 2 Ohio State (vs. Ohio) - The Buckeyes are fresh off a big win against Miami at home and get their in-state patsies at the Horseshoe. They'll be 3-0 by the second quarter, unlike two years ago, when they let the Bobcats (I think that's Ohio's mascot) hang in until almost the end of the game. Ohio already got their massive upset of the year when they beat Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament.
2. No. 11 Wisconsin (vs. Arizona State) - Ah, home cookin'. If Bucky Badger had to go to Tempe, this might be a more frightening matchup, but I expect Ball and Clay to run the ball about 66% of the time in this one, put us all to sleep, and leave Wisco undefeated at the end of the day.
3. No. 9 Iowa (at No. 24 Arizona) - The lone Big Ten team with a road game against a decent opponent this week, Iowa looks to prove itself and get a quality win that they can point to down the road.
4. Michigan State (vs. Notre Dame) - I know what the Noffkes will be watching. Prime time, ABC, 8 PM. After Sparty wins this one, I expect to get some offers on firebriankelly.com. Oh wait, I haven't bought it yet? Crap...
5. Northwestern (at Rice) - Dan Persa has looked like the real deal so far, as has the 'Cats defense and the new crew of wide receivers. The lack of a star running back will be NU's only Achilles heel this year. I expect a comfortable win against the Owls, even on the road.
6. No. 20 Michigan (vs. Massachussets) - Shoelace for Heisman? How ironic would it be if Denard Robinson beat out Terrelle Pryor for the trophy this year? Obviously UMass is a patsy, so you can expect the overhyping of Michigan to continue for another week, despite the fact that their defense is terrible and their offense is one-dimensional.
7. No. 22 Penn State (vs. Kent State) - Going from No. 1 Alabama on the road to Kent State at home is about the biggest dropoff in opponent quality I can imagine. This Nittany Lions team is one of the weakest I can remember, but they will look better today.
8. Indiana (at Western Kentucky) - Fred Glass has been so busy rebuilding the IU football culture (and doing a great job, by the way), that he forgot to schedule a Week Two game, and settled for a road date down in bluegrass country today. The Hoosiers had better win this game and stay undefeated.
9. Purdue (vs. Ball State) - They stink less than Illinois.
10. Illinois (vs. Northern Illinois) - Ron Zook gets a look at the type of team he'll probably be coaching next. A directional university, that is.
11. Minnesota (vs. No. 18 USC) - Who remembers Minny-Cal last year? Yeah, I'm expecting about the same. If the Gophers win this one, it would be one hell of a turnaround after losing to South Dakota State last week.