By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – My latest Big Ten football power rankings finally has the Wisconsin Badgers on top, and they can thank the Iowa Hawkeyes for that, especially the Iowa offense.
Wisconsin moves into the top spot for the first time this season based largely on its 38-14 victory over Iowa this past Saturday in Madison and on Iowa’s 55-24 drubbing of Ohio State on Nov. 4 at Kinnick Stadium. The Iowa offense was held to just 66 yards against the Badgers after shredding Ohio State for 487 yards the week before.
I still believe the Buckeyes are the most talented team in the conference, but it’s hard to ignore Wisconsin’s 10-0 record, even with a soft schedule.
1. Wisconsin (7-0 Big Ten, 10-0 overall)
In honor of holding Iowa to just 66 yards this past Saturday, Barry Alvarez allows Paul Chryst to go 1 hour and 6 minutes without having to check in with him.
2. Ohio State (6-1, 8-2)
It wouldn’t surprise me if Urban Meyer has informed the University of Alabama, the New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors that he would be interested in being their head coach should the job become available.
3. Michigan (5-2, 8-2)
Jim Harbaugh likes drinking milk, having sleepovers and wearing the same pants over and over. He sounds like your typical 5-year old.
4. Penn State (5-2, 8-2)
Saquon Barkley has gone from being the greatest show on earth to like an old rerun of “Dawson’s Creek.”
5. Northwestern (5-2, 7-3)
Rumor is that some Northwestern fans feel they should have been partially refunded after Saturday’s victory over Purdue because the game didn’t go into overtime.
6. Michigan State (6-2, 7-3)
The Spartans have performed better on the field and behaved better off it this season compared to last year, but this past Saturday’s 48-3 loss at Ohio State might be a case of indecent exposure.
7. Iowa (3-4, 6-4)
What does it say about the Big Ten when a team that has scored just two offensive touchdowns in three conference road games is ranked ahead of seven other teams in the conference? Or maybe a better question is what does is say about me that I would rank Iowa this high?
8. Minnesota (2-5, 5-5)
I’m hearing that P.J. Fleck celebrated his team’s victory over Nebraska in which the Gophers rushed for 409 yards by standing on his head and screaming “Row the Boat” 409 times.
9. Rutgers (3-4, 4-6)
The Scarlet Knights have now gone nine consecutive games without a touchdown catch by a wide receiver, and yet, they’re still one of the most improved teams in the conference. That says something about the conference and about Rutgers.
10. Purdue (2-5, 4-6)
Freshman Jared Sparks caught 11 passes for 130 yards in this past Saturday’s 23-13 loss to Northwestern. That’s impressive under any circumstances, but even more so considering he is also Purdue’s backup quarterback.
11. Maryland (2-5, 4-6)
I’m not a fan of crab cakes or the Blair Witch Project.
12. Indiana (1-6, 4-6)
The Hoosiers finally won a conference game this past Saturday, but most of their fans already have moved on to men’s swimming.
13. Nebraska (3-4, 4-6)
Nebraska fans just want the season to end so they can start making plans to hire Nick Saban.
14. Illinois (0-7, 2-8)
Lovie Smith should try rebuilding Kansas once his time runs out in Champaign.