This was perhaps the most boring week of college football since the start of the season. Five of the top six teams in the Big Ten were off this week, as well as four of the top five AP teams - and the only one of those five that played took on Wofford. Woof. But the bottom half of the B1G was indeed active, so let’s see how the rankings shake out.
As a reminder, this isn’t a ranking of teams based on record, or place in the polls, but rather my assessment of how the teams are playing at the time. If two teams met on a neutral field and played 100 times, a team that wins 51 times gets ranked ahead of the team that wins 49 times.
Let’s see what we got this week, shall we?
1. Ohio State
2. Penn State
This is going to sound odd, but only beating Maryland 38-7 almost caused me to drop the Wolverines in these rankings. Michigan just looked sleepy to me, so hopefully it was just them not getting up for the Terps.
Okay, for as much guff as I gave Michigan, I’m going to reverse course and say that Indiana looked really good in their 34-3 win over Northwestern. NW and UMD are cellar-mates in these rankings, but Michigan should be better than Indiana. That Indiana looked as good if not better than Michigan is fun.
8. Michigan State
The Illini took care of business against Rutgers, winning 38-10. Lovie just needs one more win this season to get to bowl eligibility, but the next two games are tough. May need the final game against Northwestern to clinch a postseason berth.
The only movement in these rankings came because Purdue defeated Nebraska 31-27. We’ll get to Nebraska next, but Purdue, despite injuries, looks like a competent team. Props to Jeff Brohm.
I hate to poop on any team too much (even Rutgers!) but the whole “Nebraska is a playoff contender” thing just really rubbed me the wrong way. Could be some resentment that I’ve harbored since the 2012 Matt Lehman non-touchdown which I witnessed in person, up close and personal. Could be that Scott Frost was some sort of wunderkind for what he did at UCF, and the national media just fawning over him - only for him to blame anyone but himself whenever Nebraska loses. But whatever the cause may be, watching this season unfold for the Cornhuskers has just been one helping of schadenfreude after another. Finger lickin’ good.
The Terps lost 38-7 and now need to go 3-0 to end the season if they want to make a bowl game. Given that they’re up against OSU this week, that seems unlikely.
I still don’t get why Northwestern is this bad.
I get why Rutgers is this bad.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, your updated standings!
With practically everyone on a bye, the top nine teams all remain the same: OSU, PSU, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State, and Illinois all stand pat. Purdue moves up the rankings, while Nebraska and Maryland both drop. Northwestern and Rutgers are steady in the cellar.
Let’s see what week 11 brings us!