By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – College football and music are two of my biggest passions, so I combined them in my latest Big Ten power rankings by using a song for each of the 14 teams.
1. Wisconsin (8-0 Big Ten, 11-0 overall)
I’m Your Captain by Grand Funk: Barry Alvarez reminds Paul Chryst of this on a regular basis.
2. Ohio State (7-1, 9-2)
Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads: This is how Urban Meyer explains his team’s stunning 55-24 loss to Iowa on Oct. 4 at Kinnick Stadium.
3. Penn State (6-2, 9-2)
Death or Glory by the Clash: The NCAA should’ve enforced the former in response to the Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal, but chose the latter for the Penn State football program because of money.
4. Michigan State (6-2, 8-3)
Turn the Page by Bob Seger: The Spartans have done just that in response to last season’s 3-9 disaster.
5. Northwestern (6-2, 8-3)
Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix: Opponents seem to get lost in this when they play the surging Wildcats, who are riding a six-game winning streak.
6. Michigan (5-3, 8-3)
Dedicated Follower of Fashion by the Kinks: According to his wife, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh wears the same $8 khakis over and over.
7. Purdue (3-5, 5-6)
Revival by the Allman Brothers: First-year coach Jeff Brohm is leading one with the Boilermakers as Iowa fans saw this past Saturday.
8. Iowa (3-5, 6-5)
The Song Remains the Same by Led Zeppelin: Kirk Ferentz is nearing the end of his 19th season as head coach and still has eight years left on his contract.
9. Indiana (2-6, 5-6)
Getting Better by the Beatles: With its 41-0 victory over Rutgers last Saturday, Indiana recorded its first shutout in a Big Ten game since 1993.
10. Maryland (2-6, 4-7)
Another One Bites the Dust by Queen: Because of injuries, the Terrapins were down to their fourth-string quarterback by the fifth game this season.
11. Minnesota (2-6, 5-6)
Rock the Boat by the Hues Corporation: Sorry. I just couldn’t resist.
12. Nebraska (3-5, 4-7)
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd: Nebraska fans have been saying this about Scott Frost throughout this disastrous season. And now their wish might soon come true.
13. Rutgers (3-5, 4-7)
New York Groove by Ace Frehley: This helps to explain Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany’s motivation for adding the Scarlet Knights to the conference.
14. Illinois (0-8, 2-9)
Helpless by Neil Young: Lovie Smith probably feels this way in every Big Ten game.