16/UR. Ohio State
Congratulations, Ohio State, you are now carrying the Big Ten flag as its highest ranked team in either poll though you aren't even allowed in the Coaches Poll. I really don't have an issue with where the Buckeyes are ranked, as 16 seems about right. Still, it says a lot about the start to the season that the Big Ten has had that it can't -- and shouldn't -- get a team ranked higher than 16 right now. The SEC has five teams, the Big 12 four, the Pac-12 three, the ACC two and then independent Notre Dame all before we get to a Big Ten team -- a Big Ten team that can't play in a bowl.
I'm fine with one-loss teams being ranked this early if they lost to somebody that matters, much like Michigan did to Alabama and USC with Stanford. Still, neither team should be ranked as highly as they are. Michigan should be in the 20s at the moment and allowed to climb back up. Yes, it has won two straight since that loss, but a close win over Air Force and a blowout of UMass doesn't exactly scream "18th best team!" to me.
21/20. Michigan State
The Spartans fell 11 spots in the AP poll and 10 spots in the Coaches Poll following their loss to Notre Dame , and deservedly so. While the defense played well against the Irish in large part, the problems on offense only became more glaring. Notre Dame's defense is good, but it shouldn't be holding anybody to 3 points at home. The Irish showed the Big Ten on Saturday night that if you contain Le'Veon Bell, you contain this Michigan State offense.
Want to know why Nebraska is ranked? When people fill their ballots and get to the bottom, they stop caring and just think, "Nebraska is usually good." And the Cornhuskers are. But their two wins are against Southern Miss and Arkansas State. That's not enough to overcome the UCLA loss.
I would ask the coaches if they have any idea how to rank teams, but I already know they don't. For some reason, a Wisconsin team that lost at Oregon State and barely managed to beat teams like Northern Iowa and Utah State at home deserves to be ranked in the minds of coaches or their SIDs. They don't. They don't even deserve to be considered. One of the first things any responsible voter should think before filling out a ballot is, "Well, I'm not putting Wisconsin on it." Seriously, while Wisconsin is ranked, Northwestern (3-0 with all wins against teams from AQ conferences) is not. The polls, ladies and gentlemen!
Also receiving votes: The previously mentioned Northwestern Wildcats continue to receive some votes, just not enough to crack the Top 25.