As I tried to make clear last week, once everybody in the conference got a conference game under their belts, these rankings would start making a lot more sense. Well, that's exactly what's happened.
And while Ohio State still has a pretty firm grip on first place, the spots behind them have evened out a bit more. Of course, as is always the case in this formula, things are fluid and things can change pretty drastically from week to week.
Well, except for Purdue being in last place. Barring a miracle -- DREW BREES RULED ELIGIBLE AGAIN -- Purdue will be in last place for the rest of the season.
TEAM (RECORD, LAST WEEK) -- POINTS
1. Ohio State (6-0, 1) - 152 -- There's only one team in the Big Ten that's got six wins and two conference wins, and the Buckeyes are that team. In fact, the Buckeyes are the only team in the country that is currently bowl eligible. So, season over. Just forfeit the rest of your games to get ready for that bowl, Buckeyes. This Week: Bye
2. Michigan (5-0, 5) - 134 -- I know, right? You think about all the struggles that Michigan has had this season, and then it finally plays well for a half to blow out Minnesota and suddenly we're looking at a Big Ten that's all Ohio State and Michigan again. Well, the fact of the matter is that statistically the Wolverines have been good the entire time save for a few spots -- turnovers being the big one -- and they improved in all of those spots this week. So now they're climbing. This Week: at Penn State
3. Wisconsin (3-2, 3) - 123 -- While Wisconsin isn't fantastic at everything, the fact is it's at least average in every single statistic I use in this formula. If it weren't for the two losses they'd be ahead of Michigan and just behind Ohio State in points, but alas, those losses happened and they counted. This Week: vs. Northwestern
4. Nebraska (4-1, 9) - 121 -- Yeah, I didn't expect Nebraska to climb this high, either, but I guess it's that Illini Bump. And by Illini Bump I don't mean that you just beat the Illini, I mean you improved across the board statistically because you were playing the Illini. I don't think I'd consider Nebraska the fourth best team in the Big Ten if this were my opinion, but the numbers seem to like them more than the eyes do. This Week: at Purdue.
5. Michigan State (4-1, 7) - 113 -- Michigan State looked really good against Iowa on Saturday. Well, relative to what we're used to seeing from Michigan State. What we don't know yet is whether or not the offensive performance was more a reflection of Iowa's defense, or if Sparty's just gotten some things figured out. We'll get a better idea this week. This Week: vs. Indiana.
6. Iowa (4-2, 2) - 109 -- Iowa's offense seemed to take a step back last week, but that tends to happen when you're facing Michigan State. Personally I still think this is a good team, though it never should have been ranked as highly as it was last week. And here's a fun stat about the Hawkeyes this season. Opposing offenses have had only nine red zone possessions through the first six games. Only one of those possessions resulted in a touchdown. That's pretty fucking good. This Week: Bye
7. Indiana (3-2, 10) - 105 -- So I think we know who the bi-polar team in the Big Ten is going to be this season. Because when you go from losing to Navy at home to beating Penn State at home a few weeks later, shit just ain't right. Of course I think that has a lot more to do with Indiana's inability to stop the run than anything else. It will be very interesting to see how this offense performs against the Michigan State defense this week. This Week: at Michigan State
8. Northwestern (4-1, 4) - 101 -- This seems like too far of a fall for losing to Ohio State, but the truth is that Northwestern just isn't all that great statistically. They're great at creating turnovers, and they're very good on third downs, but everything else is just mediocre. They've mostly been propped up by being undefeated in these rankings, and that's no longer the case. This Week: at Wisconsin
9. Penn State (3-2, 6) - 87 -- I've heard some talk that the NCAA stuff is getting to the Nittany Lions this year, and while I think that probably is playing a role, I also think it has a lot more to do with a true freshman quarterback. Particularly in the kind of offense that Penn State runs. The Freshman Experience features a lot of high and lows, and that's what Penn State is going through right now. This Week: vs. Michigan
10. Illinois (3-2, 8) - 81 -- The Illini didn't just lose last week but they also got worse across the board statistically while doing so. Which moves them down from eighth to tenth. But on the plus side, before the season started who wouldn't have taken being the tenth best team in the conference? WE'RE BETTER THAN TWO TEAMS! This Week: Bye
11. Minnesota (3-2, 11) - 68 -- Having the worst conference record isn't doing Minnesota any favors in these rankings, but the truth is even if they were 0-1 instead of 0-2 they'd still be in the same spot. They'd just have a few more points. As for Jerry Kill and his latest seizure, Minnesota fans won't want to hear it, but I'm sorry. You can say it's not a problem all you want, but it's becoming a problem. When you hire a coach you do so with the presumption that he's going to actually be coaching the games, and you just don't know if that's the case with Jerry Kill. I can't help but feel a change is going to come. This Week: Bye
12. Purdue (1-4, 12) - 33 -- Hey, Purdue. This Week: vs. Nebraska
Last week's rankings can be found here.