By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Winners of three games in a row, the Iowa football team is on a roll, and on the rise in my latest Big Ten power rankings.
Iowa has climbed all the way to second in my power rankings, below only Michigan, which is finally showing signs of being a national contender under fourth-year coach Jim Harbaugh.
Iowa earned the ranking by defeating Maryland 23-0 this past Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. The explosive Terrapins didn’t have 100 yards as a team until their final drive of the game, and they only crossed midfield twice against Iowa’s suffocating defense.
Ohio State fell from first to third in my rankings after getting crushed by Purdue 49-20 on Saturday, while Nebraska climbed from 13th to 12th with its historical win over Minnesota on Saturday.
I thought about dropping the Buckeyes even lower, but who deserves to be ranked above them?
Wisconsin and Penn State both leave much to be desired and Purdue just finally climbed above .500 for the first time this season with the victory over Ohio State.
1. Michigan. 5-0, 7-1 – Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio should be forced to have a sleepover with each other after what transpired on Saturday.
2. Iowa, 3-1, 6-1 – I wonder how the Iowa offense would look with Will Ferrell and Snoop Dog both sharing the tight end position?
3. Ohio State, 4-1, 7-1 – Urban Meyer blames the loss to Purdue on his memory medication, saying he forgot that Jeff Brohm was now coaching the Boilermakers.
4. Wisconsin, 3-1, 5-2 – My Pillow Inc., should consider hiring Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst as its spokesperson because that would certainly help customers get to sleep.
5. Penn State, 2-2, 5-2 – We should just be grateful that the biggest scandal at Penn State right now appears to be James Franklin’s play calling.
6. Purdue, 3-1, 4-3 – I’m hearing rumors that fans from 13 Big Ten schools are raising money to give to Louisville as a way to help entice Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, a former Louisville quarterback, to return to his alma mater ASAP.
7. Northwestern, 4-1, 4-3 – Before you make fun of Northwestern for almost losing to Rutgers this past Saturday, the Fighting Fitzgerald’s have won 11 of their last 12 Big Ten games dating back to last season. That deseves a Wow!
8. Michigan State, 2-2, 4-3 – Michigan State’s tradition of locking arms and walking across the field before games at Spartan Field is the closest the Spartans came to competing against Michigan this past Saturday.
9. Maryland, 2-2, 4-3 – The Terrapins held the ball for just 19 minutes and 5 seconds against Iowa on Saturday, which is the equivalent of three television timeouts.
10. Indiana, 1-4, 4-4 – To sort of borrow a line from the late Dennis Green, the Hoosiers are what we thought they were, which is mediocre.
11. Illinois, 1-3, 3-4 – Pay day continues to be the high point for Lovie Smith as the Illinois head coach.
12. Nebraska, 1-4, 1-6 – Cornhusker fans celebrated Scott Frost’s first win as head coach by partying like it was 1999.
13. Minnesota, 0-4, 3-4 – P.J. Fleck should consider changing his promotional catch phrase from “Row the Boat” to “Please be Patient.”
14. Rutgers, 0-5, 1-7 – I was told that several Rutgers fans tried to rush the field after Saturday’s moral victory against Northwestern, but were denied access by two elderly security guards.