You're going to see a lot of changes in the pecking order this week and there's a good reason for it. It's because for the first time since I started doing these, conference record actually plays a role in the formula. And since there's only been one game played an 0-1 record has a huge impact on your rank.
Remember, the formula I use compares these teams to each other in different statistical categories, not some set number. So, at the moment, the gap between 1-0 and 0-1 is a lot bigger than say, the gap between 1-1 and 0-2 will be. Which all means that the rankings could see a lot of changes the next few weeks until we get a true "base" of conference games to use.
Though as is always the case, win and play well and you'll be just fine.
Team (Points, Last Week) -- This Week's Games
1. MICHIGAN 14-0, 1-0 (135, 1) -- 1/6 vs Iowa, 1/9 vs Nebraska
2. INDIANA 13-1, 1-0 (131, 2) -- 1/7 at Penn State
3. MINNESOTA 13-1. 1-0 (114, 4) -- 1/6 vs Northwestern, 1/9 at Illinois
4. OHIO STATE 11-2, 1-0 (113, 3) -- 1/5 at Illinois, 1/8 at Purdue
5. IOWA 11-3, 0-1 (96, 7) -- 1/6 at Michigan, 1/10 vs Michigan State
6. MICHIGAN STATE 11-3, 0-1 (89, 6) -- 1/5 vs Purdue, 1/10 at Iowa
7. WISCONSIN 10-4, 1-0 (88, 9) -- 1/6 at Nebraska
8. ILLINOIS 13-2, 0-1 (82, 5) -- 1/5 vs Ohio State, 1/9 vs Minnesota
9. NORTHWESTERN 9-5, 0-1 (75, 8) -- 1/6 at Minnesota, 1/10 at Penn State
10. PURDUE 7-6, 1-0 (63, 11) -- 1/5 at Michigan State, 1/8 vs Ohio State
11. NEBRASKA 9-5, 0-1 (57, 10) -- 1/6 vs Wisconsin, 1/9 at Michigan
12. PENN STATE 8-5, 0-1 (51, 12) -- 1/7 vs Indiana, 1/10 vs Northwestern
So as you've no doubt noticed, the team to fall the furthest this week was none other than our Fighting Illini. And it was expected after the loss to Purdue. It's not that the team played so terribly in the game that it destroyed their stats, it was that this team wasn't that good to begin with statistically. The only thing keeping us in the top five the last few weeks was our record. So when we're hit with the 0-1 record in B1G play, we're going to fall. This will only change once we start winning conference games and playing better defense.
The biggest surprise to me was Iowa, as the Hawkeyes climbed two spots despite losing their only game of the week against Indiana. A lot of Iowa's rise is due to Illinois' fall, as the Hawkeyes have been better than Illinois statistically. But another factor was playing Indiana did some wonders for Iowa's strength of schedule.
And before Michigan State fans come at me either here or on Twitter, you'd be higher if you beat Minnesota, okay? I don't hate you. This is all based on math.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Well, there are two games that stand out this week, and both feature our Illini. Whether it's Ohio State on Saturday or Minnesota on Wednesday, the biggest games of the week will take place in Assembly Hall. Let's hope the Illini can live up to the challenge.
Last week's rankings can be found here.