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Big Ten Power Rankings, Week Nine

It's been two weeks since we took a look at how the conference stacks up. It's been a busy two weeks.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The last time BSD released a set of power rankings, Northwestern was coming off a tough loss to Ohio State in a back-and-forth battle they easily could've won. Then a couple days ago they lost to Minnesota. Penn State had just been obliterated in Bloomington, then, well, we all know what happened next. The good news is this: Ohio State's still Ohio State, Purdue is still Purdue, Up is still Up and Down is still Down. But as it turns out, there's a lot of room for disagreement in between them.

This week's theme: Zoolander

Rank Team Why?

(7-0, 3-0; Last week: #1) "They're *in* the computer."

As much as us Penn Staters are hoping for an upset this week, the Buckeyes' schedule the rest of the way is pretty damn soft. And the big question on everyone's minds in this, the final year of the BCS, is whether an undefeated Ohio State team would make the MNC game. We know the writers' inclination, but will the Sagarin, Massey, and Billingsley metrics be as forgiving?


(5-2, 3-1; Two weeks ago: #3) "What is this, a center for ants?"

I've been riding the Badger bandwagon for a while now, but it should be unfathomable to anyone who's watched college football this season that Wisconsin's currently unranked. Their two losses were an absolute screwjob in the desert against Arizona State and a loss by a touchdown in Columbus. Their number of votes in the Coaches poll has to be at least three times that size.


(5-1, 2-0; Two weeks ago: #6) "It's that damn Hansel. He's so hot right now!"

Nebraska has done about as good a job as Husker fans could've imagined at putting their inconceivably terrible loss to UCLA behind them. Then again, they've also played San Diego State, Illinois, and Purdue, head to Minneapolis this weekend, then face a reeling Northwestern. We may not get a sense of how good Nebraska is until they play Michigan in three weeks.


(6-1, 2-1; Two weeks ago: #4) "But they won't be looking for...not us."

I feel like Al Borges just realized Jeremy Gallon is really good at football. Thank you for that, Al, because I feel like if he'd known that last week, we might not have had as much fun on the bye as we did. The Michigan offense torched Indiana, presumably because the Wolverines didn't try running into the line 30 times. It's almost like Devin Gardner is a spread quarterback or something.


(6-1, 3-0; Two weeks ago: #5) "Don't ask questions. Just give in to the power of the tea.."

Michigan State hasn't played anyone remotely good, and their offense has gone from "looking like it's about to break through" back to "TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF NOW", but it is tough to find much fault with that defense, which has now outscored the opposing offense three times this season. Holy crap.


(4-2, 1-1; Two weeks ago: #10) "I'm sorry that good-looking people like us made you throw up and feel bad about yourself."

Actually, Michigan, we're not sorry.


(4-3, 1-2; Two weeks ago: #7) "Todd, are you not aware that I get farty and bloated with a foamy latte?"

Iowa's settling in quite nicely to the middle of the conference, right back where they belong after last year's disaster. And they did what mediocre teams often do: play a nearly flawless first half against a disinterested front-runner, then get blown out in the second half after that far better team makes the necessary adjustments. Don't feel bad, Iowa, it's not like anyone expected you to even come that close.


(3-4, 1-2; Two weeks ago: #8) "I'm a hand model, mama. A finger jockey. We think differently than the face and body boys... we're a different breed.?"

I wonder if a Big Ten team has ever scored 47 points--in regulation, no less--and lost before. Either way, the Hoosiers have a quarterback controversy, but still the conference's most innovative and annoying-as-hell-to-defend defense, and even if they can't really defend too well (I mean, really, even Sparty put up 42 on 'em!), they're at least fun to watch.


(5-2, 1-2; Two weeks ago: #11) "By the way, you were wrong about my outfit. It's the Cheryl Ladd collection and I got it at JC Penney's. On sale!"

Yes, I was wrong! Well not about Minnesota's outfit, but about its bowl prospectus, because after beating Northwestern, the Gophers (checks Minnesota's schedule, sees they're not playing Purdue) are pretty much assured have a decent shot at playing December football.


(4-3, 0-3; Two weeks ago: #2) "Listen to your friend Billy Zane. He's a cool dude."

I could've understood the Ohio State hangover, and going on the road to face a fired up Wisconsin team was always a recipe for disaster. But to follow that up with a loss to Minnesota? At home? Without their head coach? Sure, the Wildcats are banged up, but they're not very good right now, either.


(3-3, 0-2 Two weeks ago: #9) "Pretty soon, they'll be reading *our* eugoogaly!"

Remember when Illinois was in the top half of these here rankings? Whoops. Since then they've been obliterated by Wisconsin and Nebraska and the schedule doesn't let up until Thanksgiving. Sounds like Tim Beckman will be spending a bowl season at home. What a shame.


(1-6, 0-3; Two weeks ago: #12) "I'm not an ambi-turner."

Derek Zoolander couldn't turn left. Purdue can't win. To their credit, Purdue at least played a solid defensive game against the anemic (but prone to occasional bursts or competence) Michigan State offense, but their offense was outscored by Sparty's D which generally is not a recipe for winning.