This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big Ten fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.
Michigan State now has the honor of being the highest ranked team within the Big Ten after one week of action. Unfortunately the Spartans aren't ranked in the top ten, which has become somewhat of a trend for all Big Ten teams as of late. That being said, it's hard to say that this ranking for the Spartans isn't accurate.
While beating Boise State is something very few BCS programs can say they've done in recent seasons, the Spartans didn't exactly blow the doors off the Broncos. If we were just ranking the Spartans based off the performance of running back Le'Veon Bell then this is a top ten, maybe even a top five team. Unfortunately for Michigan State it's hard to get past those three interceptions that Andrew Maxwell threw as the quarterback looked shaky in his first start.
Speaking of things that looked shaky, hello there, Wisconsin. If teams were actually being ranked for the way they played last week rather than on reputations right now, the Badgers wouldn't even be in the top 25.
Everybody knew coming in that this Wisconsin squad probably wasn't as strong overall as the 2011 team, but struggling at home against Northern Iowa? Wisconsin needed to make a defensive stand late in the fourth quarter to hold the Panthers off, and while Montee Ball may have rushed for 120 yards, he needed 32 carries to get there.
14/UR. Ohio State
Of all the Big Ten teams I saw play this weekend the Buckeyes were far and away the most impressive. Now, Ohio State can't be ranked in the coaches poll because of some past discretions, but the AP ranking may be a bit low. If Wisconsin can claim the 13 spot than Ohio State should at least be 12 because the Buckeyes looked a lot better than their division rivals.
In fact, if the first week of play is any indication, the Big Ten better be thankful that Ohio State isn't eligible for the conference title this season.
The second-most impressive team in the Big Ten this week was Nebraska, with Taylor Martinez doing most of the impressing. Now, the odds of Taylor keeping his Week 1 pace throughout the season and finishing 2012 with 4,248 yards, 60 touchdowns and a completion percentage of 75% are somewhere between LOL and ROFLMAO, but it's still a very promising sign for the Cornhuskers.
The only question at the moment is how much time Rex Burkhead will have to miss. Nebraska will need him in conference play.
I'd be willing to bet that Michigan finds itself higher than 19th when the season comes to a close, but at the moment, this ranking is too high. I'm sorry, I know it was against Alabama, but did anything Michigan do Saturday night in defeat scream "top 20 team" at you?
No, I didn't think so.
Also receiving votes: Northwestern got a vote thrown its way in the Coaches Poll, but that's it for the rest of the Big Ten.