There's finally a new number one team at the top of the Big Ten Power poll this week. Let's run it down:
1. Iowa - Beat Penn State at Beaver Stadium during a whiteout. That will get you the number one spot almost every time.
2. Ohio State- Whenever they beat a good team, I'll consider them for the top.
3. Penn State - Not to take away anything from the Hawkeyes, but Penn State did more to lose that game than Iowa did to win it.
4. Michigan - ...And here's where the drop-off begins. They've done more than any other team to be here, but I feel like the fourth-best team in the Big Ten shouldn't edge Indiana and Notre Dame. The other shoe will drop soon, and please let it be this week.
5. Wisconsin - After a near-death experience of a game against Fresno State, the Badgers found their footing against Wofford and stomped Michigan State last week. In retrospect I probably should have put them fourth, but Michigan's been more consistent over the course of the season.
6. Minnesota - Hey, this team might be decent after all! However, Northwestern (near-loss to EMU, loss to Syracuse) and Cal (wrecked by Oregon) aren't as good as we thought at the season's start.
7. Indiana - All they've done is win all their games before the Michigan game, and they nearly won that one as well. It's hard for me to rank them any lower when the teams below them have been far from competent.
8. Northwestern - The good news - Mike Kafka has been much better than anyone could have hoped. The bad news - the defense would let the retirees at Shady Hills Retirement Home put up at least 28 points.
9. Michigan State - Yes, the quarterback controversy is a bit of a problem. However, think about this - for every finger you point at the QB position, there are four that point right back at the secondary as MSU's main concern.
10. Purdue - A tip for Big Ten coaches - when the other team has a ball with less than a minute left and looks discombobulated, calling a timeout may not be the best course of action. Just sayin'.
11. Illinois - Will Juice Williams end his career at Illinois with a 2-10 season - just like he started it? That possibility is gaining steam every week the offense sputters.