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.
8/UR. Ohio State
Is there any question of which team is the Big Ten's best at this point? While the Buckeyes and Cornhuskers played a very entertaining first half that was back-and-forth, Ohio State pulled away in the second half and put a beating on
I went on a bit of a rant about this on Twitter on Sunday morning, but Michigan doesn't deserve to be ranked. Sorry, Wolverines fans. The only reason Michigan is in the Top 25 is because it's Michigan. It's certainly not the way it has played football. The Wolverines have played two ranked teams and looked terrible in both of those games, getting blown out of the water by Alabama and turning the ball over six times against Notre Dame. There are quite a few other teams out there that deserve this spot far more.
Also receiving votes: Michigan didn't make the Coaches Poll, but it did get enough votes to finish No. 28. Then there are Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Penn State who all got some votes in one or both polls. Of those four teams, Northwestern and Penn State are the only two who deserve any consideration at the moment.
As for the Big Ten as a whole, you've surely noticed there are only two Big Ten teams ranked in the AP Poll and none in the Coaches Poll. This is the first time in the history of the Coaches Poll that it doesn't have a Big Ten team, but it's important to remember the coaches aren't allowed to vote for Ohio State. That being said, when there are more Big East teams ranked than Big Ten teams, that's not a good thing for the conference. The Big Ten obviously doesn't really have anyone to blame but itself for this, but I don't think the conference is nearly as bad as many of the voters seem to think. I think the narrative of the Big Ten being horrible is what's influencing votes more so than the actual play of the Big Ten.
The problem is that until somebody besides Ohio State starts playing well -- and Penn State is playing well, but those first two losses haven't been forgotten yet, nor has the last year in Happy Valley -- there just isn't anything the Big Ten can do to salvage its reputation with fans or voters.