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Big Ten Review: Rankings at the End of the Beginning

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It seems as if everyone who is anyone is ranking the Big Ten these days. I'm probably not anyone, but who cares, I can rank teams, too.  After all, we're at a good point in the season to make some vaguely educated guesses about how a given team's Big Ten season might go.  Even though most of what we've seen at this point has been Big Ten teams losing to ranked opponents, playing tight games with an unimpressive Notre Dame squad, and hosting and beating the living playoff system out of FCS schools, we nevertheless have four weekends of this college football season in the books.

Rather than just completely speculating on which teams are ranked higher than others, I decided to actually go ahead and pick every conference game this year. I even compiled those picks into a table (call it a matrix if you want to sound important and confuse your junior colleagues) that's after the jump.

Just to be clear, this table is garbage. Mike Gundy says "and the editor that let it come out is garbage." (Sorry, Mike.) Three-fourths of it will probably be inaccurate.  I call it garbage-i.e. something you can throw away-to illustrate that this is just a picture of how I feel about these teams and these games today. I reserve the right to change my opinion tomorrow.  But enough qualifying; onto the rankings:

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0)-during his Heisman trophy acceptance speech, Terrelle Pryor will unbelievably call the Downtown Athletic Club, "too city."

2. Penn State Nittany Lions(6-2)-Vastly improved by the end of the year, with another bowl win.

3. Wisconsin Badgers (6-2)-I'm interested in seeing what happens against Sparty on Saturday. Don't have a good feel for this team at all.

4. Michigan State Spartans (5-3)-speaking of Saturday, I wouldn't be surprised to see them beat Wisconsin...or lose by 20.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3)-I see them not playing particularly well in Kinnick after this coming Saturday. That doesn't make much sense.

4. Northwestern Wildcats (5-3)-Dan Persa finally made a mistake -- he threw his first INT of the year against a mediocre Central Michigan team--but Northwestern played better than their five-point margin of victory indicates.

7. Michigan Wolverines (4-4)-The maize and blue's defense is just too bad for them to be particularly strong in the Big Ten.

8. Indiana Hoosiers (2-6)--Maybe even a bowl game.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-6)-Adios, Senor Zook.

10. Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-7)-Adios, Senor Brewster.

11. Purdue Boilermakers (0-8)-See you next season, Danny Hope.

 Date

ILL

IND

IOW

MICH

MSU

MIN

NW

OSU

PSU

PUR

WIS

10-2

OSU-L

MICH-L

PSU-W

@ IND-W

WIS-L

NW-L

@ MIN-W

@ ILL-W

@ IOW-L

BYE

@ MSU-W

10-9

@ PSU-L

@ OSU-L

BYE

MSU-L

@ MICH-W

@ WIS-L

PUR-W

IND-W

ILL-W

@ NW-L

MIN-W

10-16

@ MSU-L

OOC

@ MICH-W

IOW-L

ILL-W

@ PUR-W

BYE

@ WIS-W

BYE

MIN-L

OSU-L

10-23

IND-L

@ ILL-W

WIS-L

BYE

@ NW-L

PSU-L

MSU-W

PUR-W

@ MIN-W

@ OSU-L

@ IOW-W

10-30

PUR-W

NW-L

MSU-L

@ PSU-L

@ IOW-W

OSU-L

@ IND-W

@ MIN-W

MICH-W

@ ILL-L

BYE

11-6

@ MICH-L

IOW-L

@ IND-W

ILL-W

MIN-W

@ MSU-L

@ PSU-L

BYE

NW-W

WIS-L

@ PUR-W

11-13

MIN-W

@ WIS-L

@ NW-W

@ PUR-W

BYE

@ ILL-L

IOW-L

PSU-W

@ OSU-L

MICH-L

IND-W

11-20

@ NW-L

PSU-L

OSU-L

WIS-W

PUR-W

BYE

ILL-W

@ IOW-W

IND-W

@ MSU-L

@ MICH-L

11-27

BYE

@ PUR-W

@ MIN-W

@ OSU-L

@ PSU-L

IOW-L

@ WIS-L

MICH-W

MSU-W

IND-L

NW-W

total

2-6

(5-7)

2-6

(6-6)

5-3

(8-4)

4-4

(8-4)

5-3

(9-3)

1-7

(2-10)

5-3

(9-3)

8-0

(12-0)

6-2

(9-3)

0-8

(2-10)

6-2

(9-3)

 

So, that's a fairly predictable bracket, with a couple of upsets thrown in to make things interesting. What do you think will happen? Where do you think the Big Ten teams rank?