Big Ten Power Rankings Week 2: Don't Short Skirt Wisconsin or Ohio State

Lake CruiseAnalyst ISeptember 4, 2011

Big Ten Power Rankings Week 2: Don't Short Skirt Wisconsin or Ohio State

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    The Iowa River winds its way past the campus of a Big Ten program in Iowa City, but where is the Great Lake of the conference? If you're not familiar with me, I'm him.

    Seriously, folks, I love to report live lakeside, and this year will be no different. Starting in Week 1, the Lake was following the Badgers, Buckeyes and Cornhuskers with great intensity, but the other teams deserve my attention.

    All eyes were on the Big Ten, which appears to be the conference next in line to the reigning SEC. Five Big Ten teams were ranked in the preseason Top 25.

    I'll be watching to see if the Big Ten can surpass the SEC and win a national championship this season. Stay with me all season, and you won't be disappointed. Right now, I'll point you to this entertaining segment called a slideshow. If you're not ready, then learn the routine...

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12. Indiana Hoosiers: Who’s the Mack?

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    The Hoosiers lost to Ball State of the MAC. Yes, you heard what I said. Yet, this young lady was still smiling. Enough said. Next slide...

11. Purdue Boilermakers Squeak By...Middle Tennessee State?

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    Ralph Bolden led the way with 120 rushing yards, but even with a win, Boilermakers fans have to be concerned that their team defeated a squad that finished third last year...in the Sun Belt.

10. Minnesota Golden Gophers: They Almost Killed Killer Southern Cali

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    Late in the game, the Gophers had a chance to stun USC, but Minnesota came up short. While the Gophers were one of only two Big Ten teams to lose last week, if they keep playing hard, then an upset or two will happen for them in the conference.

    They have three very winnable games coming up before Big Ten play starts.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini: They Have Nathan Coming

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    Sophomore quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is one of the best in the nation, not just the Big Ten. He has NFL scouts drooling at the possibilities of what kind of passer he could become.

    Already outstanding, he could keep the Illini in the hunt for the Big Ten Leaders Division. I’ll be watching and bringing you the latest.

8. Northwestern: Wildcats Scratched Eagles; Northwestern Pulled a Tough Game out

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    Northwestern pulled a tough game out over Boston College—a very tough opponent for an opening game.

    If the purple team continues to play solid ball, then they’ll compete in the Big Ten.

7. Michigan Wolverines: Robinson Will Roll

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    The Wolverines scored 34 points in three quarters with quarterback Denard Robinson soaking in the wet and wild conditions. The game ended early due to poor weather—a rarity in football.

    Robinson was solid and should get stronger as the season goes along. Michigan is on their way to reclaiming their mystique, but it probably won’t happen this season.

    Good luck, though, Wolves.

6. Iowa Hawkeyes: "Magic" Marving McNutt Chasing History

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    Tennessee Tech was junior McNutt's and new quarterback starter James Vandenberg’s first victim, 34-3. Tech lost, however, by a combined score of 106-10 last season at Arkansas and (4) TCU.

    Wide receiver Marvin McNutt should quickly become Iowa’s career leader for receiving touchdowns. With 18, two in the first game, he needs four more to pass Tim Dwight and current Hawkeyes television broadcaster, Danan Hughes.

    The Hawkeyes lost Mika’il McCall, their outstanding freshman running back, with a broken ankle. He was going to provide a dynamic duo in the backfield along with sophomore standout, Marcus Coker.

5. Penn State: The Nittany Lions Could Surprise ‘Bama

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    Joe Paterno, left, returns for his 46th season and will be looking to upset No. 2 Alabama this weekend.

    One of the best return men in the nation, Chaz Powell , scored on the season’s opening kickoff for Paterno. It was the second straight year Powell has done it in Penn State’s first game.

4. Nebraska Cornhuskers: Their Offensive Backfield Depth Isn't Too Deep

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    Quarterback-tailback Taylor Martinez started the season much like he did last year, but the new Huskers backfield appears suspect to me.

    Chocked with freshmen and inexperienced players behind Rex Burkhead, the Cornhuskers will get better.

    Their passing game could struggle all season, though.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes: Bucking the Shocking Bad News Trend

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    The much-maligned Buckeyes started the season with a solid and much-needed victory—a shutout over Akron.

    New quarterback, Bauserman performed admirably and the defense looked as staunch as ever.

    Now, they’ll have to keep it up against stiffer and razor sharp competition in the conference.

2. Michigan State Spartans: Mean Green Finally Gets Going

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    The Spartans started slow but eventually turned it on in their competitive season opener.

    Kirk Cousins and B.J. Cunningham had solid passing and receiving games, but they’ll need to develop a secondary receiver.

    The running game is rock solid.

1. Wisconsin Badgers: Badges of Running Back Honors

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    The Badgers lost to TCU in the Rose Bowl last season, but their offense didn’t miss a beat in the first game this time.

    They added the ACC’s best passer from last season, and returning running back duo James White and Montee Ball are the best in the conference. Their defense needs to get better, and I said they will rock some powerhouse teams' boats.

    With that said, it’s time for me to see a man about a boat. Catch me next week on Lake Cruise’s Big Ten Countdown, right here at Bleacher Report.

    Comment and/or contact Lake cruise at lakecruise@att.net