It’s mid-June, and that can only mean one thing: preseason ranking time. Magazines are hitting the newsstands, and diligent bloggers everywhere are analyzing and debating the predictions—the Great Steele likes Georgia only slightly better than Penn State, you say?
The media will assemble in Chicago next month to vote on the conference favorites and likely award winners, but we have you covered for now. The fine Northwestern blog Lake The Posts has compiled the prognostications of fellow conference bloggers and released the first-ever Big Ten Bloggers preseason rankings.
According to guys that write in their mothers’ basements, the Big Ten should shake out like this (11W ballot rankings in parens):
|1 (1)||Ohio State: No shocker here. LTP notes that Wolverine blog Maize & Blue Nation turned in the only ballot that didn’t have the Buckeyes at the top. Cute.|
|2 (4)||Penn State: Conference bloggers (and Steele) both like the Nittany Lions a little bit more than we do. They have a lot of talent coming back and the Morelli curse is lifted, but Joe Pa (and staff) get a no-confidence vote out of us.|
|3 (2)||Wisconsin: We’re so conflicted. On one hand, Wisky should be tough in ‘08, but on the other hand we’re convinced that Bielema will destroy everything that Barry built.|
|4 (3)||Illinois: Buckeye fans probably have good reason to be a little more bullish on the Illini than the conference at large.|
|5 (6)||Michigan State: As much as we’re Dantonio believers, it’s hard to escape that “Little Brother” bit.|
|6 (5)||Michigan: The rest of the conference bloggers seem to agree with us that year one of the Rodriguez era may be a little bumpy.|
|7 (9)||Iowa: Our colleagues think a little higher of Iowa than we do, which is basically that Ferentz has lost the program.|
|8 (7)||Purdue: Painter is back for his ninth season, but that’s about it in terms of returning talent.|
|9 (8)||Northwestern: Bachér and Sutton are poised for big seasons. We’re not sure they’ll go 8-4 as LTP insists, but they’ll be dangerous.|
|10 (10)||Indiana: With the loss of Hardy, the Hoosiers’ season hinges on whether or not Keller returns from suspension.|
|11 (11)||Minnesota: Mmm.. Tight ends. But seriously, those loaded (by Gopher standards at least) classes will pay off some year. Just not this year.|
So, not too much divergence from our peers. How does your top 10 11 look?
Iowa is starting to recover from the devastating flooding of last week, but help is still needed in the area. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had underestimated the scope of the issue until reading about it at BHGP. The Iowa City video that they link to is jaw-dropping: residence halls and power plants underwater.
Since it’s fashionable these days to think of Buckeye fans as knuckle-dragging baby-eaters, I can’t think of a better way to help dispel that notion than to take up Hawkeye State’s request and make a donation to the American Red Cross that serves the region.