The Big Ten (11): Three Weeks in and We Still Don't Know Much

Jack StentwillerContributor ISeptember 20, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines on the sidelines during the game with the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

With three weeks completed, there still seem to be more questions than answers in the Big Ten football season. The conference has a combined 22-8 record! Although, we still do not know much about this conference, here is what we know about its teams:

Penn State: They are better than Temple.

Wisconsin: They needed OT to beat a WAC team at home. Fresno is no pushover, but this is Wisconsin in Randall. C'mon.

Illinois: Got the snot beat out of them by a retooling Missouri team. Illinois, like Ron Zook, are pretenders.

Purdue: Couldn't handle Northern Illinois at home.

Michigan State: One win. Montana State.

Indiana: They got their first win yesterday—against a school that doesn't have a direction in front of their name. It was against the juggernaut Akron Zips.

Northwestern: Played close at Syracuse. That seems about right.

Minnesota: Played Cal tough at home. About a middle of the road Big Ten team.

Of the 11, I see three teams that have shown something so far:

Michigan: No matter how they finish, this year is certainly a move in the right direction. Watching Rich Rodriguez absolutely out coach South Bend's most eligible Nutri-System candidate had to be very satisfying for Wolverine fans.

Ohio State: Played respectably against USC, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I was not a fan of the ultra-conservative play calling of Jim Tressel, seemingly thinking three points was a big enough lead against USC.

I think they are the fifth or sixth best team in the country—which is nothing to be upset about, but unreasonable Buckeye fan will still think I'm disrespecting them.

Iowa: I like Iowa.

Yes, they have absolutely underachieved in recent years. Yes, they did have a close call against N Iowa. But, they can rush the football.

I actually think close calls like N. Iowa can galvanize a team. They are 3-0 and still have Arkansas State on the schedule. They are, however, on the road against Penn St. and Ohio State. Next weekend at Happy Valley will be telling.

The Big 11 is certainly the third best conference in America at best. Watch out for Michigan in the future, however. I love Rich Rodriguez being involved in the most successful college football program in history.