Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett posted their Week 10 Big Ten Power Rankings yesterday, and the list makes practically no sense at all -- especially when they have one team that was crushed by another team four spots higher in their rankings than the team that crushed them.
Surely you can figure out the two teams being referenced when you look at theirs.
Here are the real power rankings as they should be, based on how each team is performing on offense, defense, and special teams at this point in the season -- not just on who has beaten who, or overall number of wins, as that doesn't reflect each team's strength of schedule -- or lack thereof.
Indiana (1-8, 0-5), is still Indiana, and they just booted their best WR off the team -- not good.
Minnesota (2-6, 1-3) finally got their first Big Ten win, but Iowa is not much higher in the rankings, so it's not really a big deal outside of Minneapolis.
Illinois (6-3, 2-3) has lost three straight games, and web traffic to the Fire Ron Zook websites has most certainly increased steadily in the past three weeks.
Iowa (5-3, 2-2) has good players and what we thought was a decent coach, although some fans in the Hawkeye Nation are beginning to question if they have a JoePa situation on their hands...
Northwestern (3-5, 1-4) is a much better team than their record indicates, especially with a healthy Dan Persa, but if this program is going to ever turn the corner, they have to consistently win the games they're supposed to win.
Purdue (4-4, 2-2) has been hard to figure out at times this season, but now that they have settled on QB Caleb TerBush, count on a few more wins out of the Boilers before all is said and done.
Michigan State (6-2, 3-1) has shown almost no consistency -- losing to a middle of the road Notre Dame squad, beating Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, and then getting dominated by Nebraska -- talk about hard to figure out.
Penn State (8-1, 5-0) managed to escape defeat last week against the Illini, but they have played exactly one good team, and lost. This week they are off, then will host Nebraska before travelling to Ohio State and Wisconsin -- all opponents who could very possibly hand PSU three losses to finish off the season.
Nebraska (7-1, 3-1) has played pretty well nearly every week, other than their trip to Madison, and before Braxton went down and Black-Death-Bauserman came into the game for the Buckeyes. With games remaining against Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan, and Iowa, 10-2 or 11-1 and a Legends Division title seems a very likely probability.
Wisconsin (6-2, 2-2) hasn't dropped far in the rankings as far as I am concerned despite losing back to back games in heartbreaking fashion -- one on a Hail Mary to Michigan State, and the other to Ohio State on a veteran-like touchdown pass by freshman-phenom Braxton Miller with less than 30 seconds left. Unfortunately however, their dream season may be over as they look to be the odd man out should a three-way tie occur between themselves, Ohio State, and Penn State in the Leaders Division.
Ohio State (5-3, 2-2) is playing as well as anyone in the conference in all facets of the game -- not to mention, the Buckeyes have won 10 November games in a row and have lost just two games in the month of November since 2003. It just really sucks that several great defensive efforts were wasted before the coaches finally realized that Braxton Miller needs to be on the field, every possible second of every game. Maybe it's not too late though as the Buckeyes have a real chance at yet another Big Ten title.
Michigan (7-1, 3-1) is improved on defense (although there was really nowhere to go but up) and has one of the most dynamic and athletic players college football has seen recently in Denard Robinson. Too bad he's not a very good QB, and he still has at least two strong defensive units to face in Nebraska and Ohio State. 9-3 would be a great season in AA after what that program has endured recently -- but it won't mean as much if coach Brady Hoke can't lead his team to their first victory over "Ohio" since 2003...