Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 9

1) Penn State (5-1, 8-1): Topped Purdue 33-15 in a somewhat less than stellar performance. They let the Boilers hang around for a long time before putting them away. Heck, they were not far away from trailing at the half. This week? They could take a major step towards their first conference title in a long time by beating Wisconsin.

2) Ohio State (4-1, 6-2): Knocked off the Gophers 45-31 in the dome. Solid win, but their D left something to be desired. Good news is the offense is putting up points, though.

3) Wisconsin (5-1, 8-1): Beat Illinois 41-24 in a game that was a lot closer than it should've been. The offense keeps rolling, but the D really struggled against a putrid Illinois team. They are double digit underdogs this week heading into Happy Valley, but I like their chances. Expect a massive game from Brian Calhoun that gets him squarely into Heisman consideration behind Young, Bush, and Leinart.

4) Michigan ( 4-2, 6-3): Thumped Northwestern 33-17 in Evanston in a game that was a lot easier than expected. The D put the hammer lock on the Northwestern offense and forced 3 turnovers including 2 picks of Basanez who had only been INT'd once all year. Now they get a week off to rest up for Indiana (yep, no looking ahead here).

5) Northwestern (3-2, 5-3): So much for the momentum that the 'Cats had as the hottest team in the conference.

6) Iowa (3-2, 5-3): They had the week off.

7) Michigan State (2-3, 5-3): Hammered the hapless Hoosiers to break their 3 game slide. Which team will show up the rest of the year? I don't know, but the rest of the conference would probably enjoy it if they could show up for the season finale against Penn State.

8) Minnesota (2-3, 5-3): and the Gophers annual tradition of tanking is fully underway.

9) Indiana (1-4, 4-4): Only 2 wins away from bowl eligibility. They get Minnesota at home (winnable), Michigan on the road (not so much), and Purdue at home. Gotta beat Minny this week to keep the dream alive. And if they do can you imagine the hype for the Purdue game? They will get the Boilers at home, a chance to kick them while they are down, and a chance to clinch a bowl berth for the first time in a LONG time.

10) Illinois (0-5, 2-6): Does Purdue really deserve this spot? Probably not.

11) Purdue (0-5, 2-6): That scorching heat you feel is directed squarely at Joe Tiller. Yep, he's on the hot seat.

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