We've got a hierarchy of sorts coming into Week 9 of Big Ten football, and for all we'll learn about all 12 teams this week, one thing that won't be happening is that hierarchy getting upset in any grand fashion because everyone's playing an opponent who's more or less on the same footing.
Ohio State and Penn State are 1-2 in the Big Ten Power Rankings for this week, and the "Big Ten Bowl" should provide a definitive answer to who the best team in the conference is.
Michigan and Nebraska also face off in the other prime-time game, and whoever comes away with a victory, there is a strong favorite for the Legends Division berth in the Big Ten Championship.
Iowa and Northwestern are two fading teams who could desperately use a win to revitalize their slim division title hopes; they're meeting in Evanston this week.
Purdue and Minnesota are now fighting for bowl eligibility, and a loss here could relegate either team to the "staying home for Christmas" column.
Indiana and Illinois are fighting to see who's not the worst team in the Big Ten.
If there's any matchup of teams who aren't in the same boat this week, it's Michigan State and Wisconsin, two teams moving in very different directions over the past couple weeks. It's been all Bucky up and Sparty down in October, and we'll see if that trend continues.
So let's actually take a look at these games, yes?