IOWA CITY, Iowa – My latest Big Ten power rankings bring back memories of the 1960s and 1970s when Ohio State and Michigan ruled the landscape.
The only difference is that now it’s the big two and little 12.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines are the cream of the crop at this stage, but the rankings are very fluid as evidenced by Iowa’s fall from grace.
Iowa is near the bottom after losing to Northwestern this past Saturday, but a victory at Minnesota on Saturday would put the Hawkeyes back on the rise.
1. Ohio State (4-0) – In hopes of making Ohio State’s games more competitive, the Big Ten is considering whether to make Urban Meyer coach with one hand behind his back or to have the Buckeyes switch rosters with the Cleveland Browns.
2. Michigan (5-0) – Nobody is questioning whether Michigan is back to elite status under Jim Harbaugh, but they are questioning what he eats.
3. Nebraska (5-0) – Nebraska fans are happy for Mike Riley’s success as head coach, but they also sympathize with him because they hope school officials treat him with respect when Bill Belichick, Nick Saban, Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy say they want the job.
4. Wisconsin (4-1) – Despite coming off a loss, Barry Alvarez still decides to let Paul Chryst make some coaching decisions, including what clothes to wear on game day.
5. Maryland (4-0) – Maryland fans are stunned to learn that the football season extends beyond September.
6. Indiana (3-1) – Steve Alford no longer has any desire to coach at Indiana because he now considers his alma mater to be a football school.
7. Minnesota (3-1) – The Gophers are winning just enough for school administrators to keep allowing head coach Tracy Claeys to stay with the cast of “Family Guy.”
8. Penn State (3-2) – The NCAA offers Penn State a chance to switch to the FCS division where it could maybe finish runner-up to North Dakota State every now and then.
9. Michigan State (2-2) – Mark Dantonio reminds Spartan fans that he has built the program into a national power without having to spend the night with any recruits.
10. Northwestern (2-3) – To avoid complacency after a big win, Pat Fitzgerald reminds his players that they don’t face Iowa again this season.
11. Iowa (3-2) – Rumor has it that some Iowa fans who were against playing Iowa State on an annual basis are now in favor of playing the Cyclones twice this season.
12. Illinois (1-3) – Illinois is proof that you can have one of the biggest cities in the United States with tons of recruits just a few hours from campus, but still suck in football.
13. Purdue (2-2) – The Boilermakers having at least a .500 record is sort of like watching Haley’s Comet dart through the evening sky in that it won’t last for long and you won’t see it again for decades.
14. Rutgers (2-3) – Maybe Rutgers was looking past Ohio State this past Saturday to this Saturday’s game against Michigan at home.