The first weekend of Big Ten Conference got off to a great start.
Penn State is the current "it" team in the Big Ten, and with their big win over the Illini on Saturday they are the team to beat in the Big Ten.
They are being chased by a hungry pack of teams though. The Buckeyes are starting to look like the team everyone thought they would be and have a big test this weekend in Madison.
The Spartans are cruising and gaining momentum on the legs of Javon Ringer, the Badgers look to prove they are a better team than they were at the Big House, and the Wolverines are hoping to prove they can keep it up.
The Big Ten Power Rankings are voted on by 12 Big Ten Community Members:
JB: Jason Barczy; KS: Keith Shelton; BL: Brett Lissenden; RW: Ryan Womeldorf; CB: Cody Blubaugh; MG: Molly Gray; IL: Isaac Luber; AL: Adam Lindemer; NC: Nino Colla; JG: Joe Guarr; SW: Sam Wenk; KG: Kristofer Green
1. Penn State Nittany Lions (12) 132
KS: They're looking like the front runners to win the conference
JB: Not completely sold on them yet, but we'll find out here real quick.
RW: Big win at home vs. Illinois and, to date, the team to beat in the Big Ten.
IL: Beat Oregon State, who beat USC, and Illinois, who was ranked.
AL: Showed against Illinois why they belong in the Top 10 nationally.
KG: Penn State has been almost flawless so far this season. Can the Nits stay focused all season?
2. Ohio State Buckeyes 118
KS: They don't scare the top tier BCS teams, but in conference they could run the table again.
JB: With the return of Wells the Buckeyes should be a lot better.
RW: Slowly shaking off the beating USC gave them. They have a few tough teams to get through in the coming weeks but have all the talent in the world to do so.
IL: Still unsure if they're a good team because all they did is beat a Minnesota team who gets two or three conference wins a year if they're lucky, but they seem good.
AL: Beat Minn by 13—not impressed.
KG: The Buckeyes have found a running game. With the return of Beanie Wells and the swift feet of Terrelle Pryor the Buckeyes are starting to heat up.
3. Michigan State Spartans 101
KS: Javon Ringer for Heisman? Has a nice ring to it.
JB: Probably has the top rushing offense in the country, too bad Brian Hoyer is so Hoyer-able.
RW: Quietly taking care of business thanks to Javon Ringer. They hit a rough stretch near the end of their schedule, so it'll be interesting to see how they handle it.
IL: Ringer has led this team to success and they could be a good team.
AL: Javon Ringer an early Heisman candidate.
KG: Sparty is looking good! Ringer is masterful and should be a lock to visit New York this December.
4. Wisconsin Badgers 89
KS: That second half collapse against Michigan wasn't encouraging. This team will
still impress though.
JB: Still better than Michigan State after the collapse this weekend.
RW: Still a very dangerous team despite the choke-job at the Big House.
IL: After a loss to a questionable Michigan team, I have seen that all they can really do is run, and they are not that good.
AL: The Michigan game was not true Badger football.
KG: The Badgers had better get their offense in order. The defense had a major meltdown in the second half of the Michigan game.
5. Northwestern Wildcats 83
KS: They're 5-0 for the first time in over 40 years, but MSU looms.
JB: I'm surprised they're still undefeated—that was until I looked at their schedule.
RW: 5-0 for the first time since 1967. They are going to worry anyone that plays them, though I don't see this lasting.
IL: Haven't proven much, but 5-0 is still undefeated. They should be able to win some conference games and end up in a bowl game.
AL: Will probably fall in the coming weeks.
KG: Northwestern has been a little lucky and a little good this season. Luck won't win against the big boys in conference.
6. Illinois Fighting Illini 72
KS: Illini fail their first big test and will look for redemption next week.
JB: Athletes are there, coaching is not.
RW: Struggling to get it done against tough opponents, the defense needs to step up.
IL: Great offense, bad defense, and 2-2 with two losses to top teams, but you can't put them at the top being .500.
AL: Lost to Penn State, but they are still a threat.
KG: Illinois showed improvement against Penn State, but not enough.
7. Michigan Wolverines 62
KS: Comeback win over Wisconsin was huge, but turnovers are still a major issue.
JB: Win against Wisconsin was impressive, but for three quarters the Wolverines looked worse than Indiana.
RW: Huge win at home and showcased the defining difference between Rich Rodriguez and Lloyd Carr: halftime adjustments.
IL: Were killed by Notre Dame, which is embarrassing, but have rebounded nicely.
AL: Which Michigan team shows up this week?
KG: Michigan may have had their "A-Ha" moment in the second half of the Wisconsin game.
8. Minnesota Golden Gophers 45
KS: Gophers are showing improvement from last season.
JB: For years the Gophers had a rushing game that could rival anyone's, but these days it's been stale.
RW: Despite the loss to OSU last week, the Gophers are a surprise at 4-1. They are moving the ball well, but that defense could haunt them.
IL: 4-1 may seem good, but as we all know, Minnesota is lucky to win one or two conference games, and I expect them to end up at 4-8 or 5-7.
AL: Definitely rebuilding, possibly going 0-8 in conference.
KG: Minnesota showed fight in the fourth quarter against Ohio State, but they proved they were not quite ready for the big boy table.
9. Iowa Hawkeyes 33
KS: Back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and Northwestern spells trouble.
JB: Oh how the mighty have fallen. It amazes me that Kirk Ferentz still has a job.
RW: Staying afloat despite everything that is going on with the AD. Kirk Ferentz needs to get things rolling if he wants to keep his job.
IL: Lost to a mediocre Pitt team and do not look good.
AL: Lost to Northwestern—not good.
KG: Shonn Greene is the Hawkeyes offense. The sooner Kirk Ferentz realizes that the better.
10. Purdue Boilermakers 31
KS: Either Notre Dame is back, or Purdue has regressed.
JB: Curtis Painter is the best QB in the conference, but other than that, can anyone name another Boilermaker on the team?
RW: A high-powered offense is doing its part, but the defense has been lacking.
IL: I had them ahead of Michigan, but they lost to Oregon, who started their third string quarterback, and then got killed by Notre Dame.
KG: What happened? They actually look to be getting worse.
11. Indiana Hoosiers 25
KS: If every team on their schedule was in the FCS, the Hoosiers would be sitting pretty.
JB: If only they could recruit football players like they do basketball players. Can someone get Kelvin Sampson on this?
RW: After a throttling at the hands of the Spartans, Indiana faces a favorable point in their schedule. They have Minnesota, Iowa, and Central Michigan in the next five weeks.
IL: Haven't proven anything and are .500.
AL: Good players, could be dangerous.
KG: Where is the spark this team played with last season? They are flat and unimpressive in their last couple of outings.
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