IOWA CITY, Iowa – My latest Big Ten football power rankings have no changes at the top or at the bottom where Michigan and Rutgers are separated by 78 points on the field.
Iowa climbed a few spots from last week despite not playing on Saturday. Who said being inactive is bad for your health?
1. Michigan (5-0 Big Ten, 8-0 overall) – Michigan’s do-everything linebacker-defensive back-return specialist-running back-receiver Jabrill Peppers is performing so well that he is now a bigger story than what Jim Harbaugh eats.
2. Ohio State (4-1, 7-1) – The Buckeyes are winning games by smaller margins than expected, which is considered the same as losing by Ohio State fans.
3. Wisconsin (3-2, 6-2) – I’m hearing that Barry Alvarez showed his appreciation for the overtime victory against Nebraska on Saturday by allowing Paul Chryst to address the team before he did after the game.
4. Nebraska (4-1, 7-1) – Nebraska fans awoke on Sunday still convinced despite losing on Saturday that Alabama would finish runner-up to the Cornhuskers for the national title.
5. Penn State (4-1, 6-2) – What does the Purdue defense have in common with the NCAA? They both were way too soft on Penn State.
6. Northwestern (3-2, 4-4) – Pat Fitzgerald might be using the same analytical company as Kirk Ferentz, considering Fitzgerald decided to kick a field goal when his team had a 4th-and-goal at the Ohio State 15 and trailing 24-17 with 3:35 remaining. The Wildcats made the field goal, but never got the ball back.
7. Iowa (3-2, 5-3) – Greg Davis feels that his offense made progress during the bye week after seeing multiple receivers get open on one play in which quarterback C.J. Beathard didn’t get sacked before completing a 10-yard pass.
8. Minnesota (3-2, 6-2) – No truth to the rumor that Quagmire might join the Minnesota staff as special consultant to Tracy Claeys.
9. Indiana (2-3, 4-4) – Also no truth to the rumor that Indiana fans care about football after September.
10. Maryland (2-3, 5-3) – The Terrapins were so close to being the worst 6-2 team in college football before losing to Indiana 42-36 this past Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.
11. Michigan State (2-6, 0-5) – After showing a pulse against Michigan on Saturday, the Spartans have gone from being the 2015 Big Ten champion to the best 2-6 team in college football a year later.
12. Purdue (1-4, 3-5) – The Boilermakers allowed 45 points in the second half of Saturday’s 62-24 loss to Penn State at home and 35 points in the first half against Iowa on Oct. 15 at home. Maybe that’s why there used to be a sink hole in the end zone at Ross-Ade Stadium.
13. Illinois (1-4, 2-6) – Lovie Smith must feel like he’s coaching the Chicago Bears again and that every opponent is the Green Bay Packers.
14. Rutgers (0-5, 2-6) – The Scarlet Knights had a bye week, which in their case is sort of like a standing eight count before getting punched again.