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Big Ten Poll Reactions, Week 4

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

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.

(AP/Coaches)

14/UR. Ohio State

Bust out the champagne because the Big Ten has a team back in the top 15! Why? I don't really know. After the weekend the conference had, every Big Ten team should be sliding down the rankings, not up. And while Ohio State might actually be the best team in the conference right now, it still trailed UAB 9-0 before "pulling away" to win 29-15. That's two weeks in a row the Buckeyes have looked only better than average.

20/18. Michigan State

After losing to Notre Dame last week, the Spartans dropped 11 spots in the AP poll and 10 spots in the coaches poll. After struggling to beat Eastern Michigan the Spartans climb one spot in the AP poll and two spots in the coaches poll. That makes sense, right? When you're trailing mighty Eastern Michigan 7-6 at home after 43 minutes of play before finally finding the end zone a few times in the fourth quarter, you have to get a bump in the polls for that. You just have to.

22/20. Nebraska

One of the oldest unwritten rules of college football is that if you beat Idaho State, you're going to get respect. So after beating Idaho State 73-7 this weekend it's no shock to see the Cornhuskers climbing multiple positions in both polls. If only Nebraska was playing Rhode Island Tech next week instead of Wisconsin. A win there could catapult it to the top 10.

UR/23. Wisconsin

On Saturday CBSSports.com colleague Bryan Fischer joked on Twitter that Wisconsin was piling on UTEP late in its win and that it would "move up five spots in the Coaches Poll at least." Yeah, well, you were wrong Fischer! The Badgers only moved up one spot! Now if you don't mind me I'm going to be over here hitting myself in the head with a hammer to try to get a better idea of how these coaches think.

UR/UR. Northwestern

Normally I'd save Northwestern for the also receiving votes section, but I'd like to go on a little rant here if you'd oblige me. At the moment the Wildcats are ranked at 26 in both polls, which makes absolutely no sense. Northwestern is a team that has beaten Syracuse, Boston College and Vanderbilt this season, along with a win against FCS South Dakota. That's a win against the Big East, ACC and the SEC, and the Wildcats can't crack the top 25.

Yet Michigan State -- which did beat a good Boise State team -- gets to remain ranked despite having a loss on its record, and two wins against MAC teams. Then there's Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have beaten teams from Conference USA, the Sun Belt and wherever Idaho State is from, have lost to UCLA, and are ranked as well. Michigan had to lose twice to finally leave the rankings.

I know the Big Ten is bad this season, but the pollsters aren't much better at ranking the teams within it.

Drop Outs: Michigan

Michigan is now 2-2 on the season, and though those losses are against Alabama and Notre Dame, the Wolverines looked very bad in both losses. Two wins against Air Force and Massachusetts aren't enough to keep this team ranked right now.

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