1. Ohio State - It's either them or Penn State in this spot, and Ohio State lost less from last season.
2. Penn State - Before the APAKILYPSE, I had Penn State at number three. The front seven, Royster, and Clark should be solid enough to get them a chance at a BCS bowl.
3. Iowa - Facing the toughest in-conference schedule, the offensive line, linebackers and Stanzi will give them a chance. When the PAKI BOMB goes off though, Iowa might be the one sprayed with shrapnel.
4. Michigan State - A slight regression to the mean is inevitable off a year where State pulled off two games where they shouldn't have (Iowa and Wisconsin).
5. Illinois - They have the best QB/WR combo in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, they are coached by the Zooker.
6. Northwestern - See Michigan State's description. This is a decent team that took advantage of turnovers to win against Illinois and Iowa, but there was also a loss to Indiana in there as well.
7. Wisconsin - Question - would anything I say about Bret Bielema surprise you? For instance, if I said Bielema was transported around Madison this summer by a rickshaw driven by John Clay, would you blink? They'd be a couple spots higher if I was sure Bielema would not blow at least one game for the Badgers this season.
8. Michigan - Thanks to Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, it looks like Zoltan Mesko won't have a chance to battle for quarterback. Michigan fans, don't tell me you didn't think about it at least once last season.
9. Minnesota - Started strong thanks to an easy nonconference schedule and the benefit of turnovers. The Golden Gophers took that momentum and used it to lose to every Big Ten bowl team last season and Michigan. They might be a couple spots higher, but I think 5-7 is more likely.
10. Purdue - Two spots of good news for the Boilermakers this year - they won't be the worst BCS team in Indiana, and their coach still rocks a sweet 'stache.
11. Indiana - Last night, the Hoosiers were only able to beat Eastern Kentucky by six points. In Bloomington. I'm comfortable with them being in the basement.