Welcome to the first edition of the Big Ten (+ Nebraska) Power Rankings. I will update with a new edition after each week's games have been played. Excitement for the Big Ten is at a fever pitch entering the 2010 season; close attention will be paid to several teams as they jockey for position in the race for the Rose Bowl and beyond.
Before we jump into the rankings, here's a little breakdown of how I settle on these rankings. By and large, I rank these teams based on how the team in question played and how good the opponent is perceived to be. Was there a complete team effort for a full 60 minutes? Did they look good in a loss (or bad in a win)? Was it a road game? Was the opponent a layup? These are the most important factors. Preseason expectations are thrown out the window for the most part; I'm not interested in rewarding a team for playing a poor opponent. What this means, of course, is that the rankings for the first few weeks won't correlate with the expectations of the teams. Minor things such as suspensions or injuries may also be factored into rankings but their overall impact will probably be minimal. Unfortunately, this method of ranking is not an exact science, since I'm unable to watch all 12 teams play in any given week, but hopefully that's not too apparently reflected in the rankings (hah).
So what have we learned so far? Overall it was a fairly ho-hum Week 1, as none of the results or scores should really surprise anyone. The heavyweights took care of business and a couple of teams with rising stock picked up solid wins. The competition gets a jolt next week with a few rivalry games and a few big OOC games against ranked opponents; these rankings could be substantially different next week.