Monday, October 19, 2009

Halfway point

We're four weeks into the Big Ten season, and if anything is certain, it's this: the conference is every bit as mediocre as critics have alleged. If Iowa is the league's best team -- and they most certainly are -- and no one's even close -- and no one is -- that's troubling.

Which makes our losses the last two weeks even more troubling. True, the Badgers have performed about as well as expected. But with Michigan still seemingly not back all the way, Ohio State capable of losing at Purdue, and Penn State beatable, this was a year where the door was open for the second tier to do something special. Unfortunately, it's Kirk Ferentz's team that has barged through.

1. Iowa. They still have to play at Michigan State and Ohio State, but would you pick against them in either of those?

2. Penn State. In line to get blown out by an SEC team in the Capital One Bowl.

3. Ohio State. At least they're not in line to get blown out in a BCS bowl any more, god forbid the national title game. What a terrible offense.

4. Wisconsin. Michigan State has the better record, but their opponents haven't been that tough and we beat them. This is as much a reflection on the conference's weakness as the Badgers' performance thus far.

5. Michigan State. Has rebounded nicely from a rough start, as predicted.

6. Michigan. Beat someone before you bust out the "We're Back!!!" banners.

7. Minnesota. En route to a Glen Mason-esque finish.

8. Purdue. I suppose, they beat Ohio State.

9. Northwestern. Thought they'd be better.

10. Indiana. The game story for the Hoosiers' win over Illinois mentioned their bowl hopes. Uh huh.

11. Illinois. Wow, who saw this coming? That Ron Zook is a heckuva coach.

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