Big Ten Poll Reactions, Week 10: Northwestern's bye week pays off

Big Ten Poll Reactions, Week 10: Northwestern's bye week pays off

By Tom Fornelli | Staff 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:


5/UR. Ohio State

Where would Ohio State be in the BCS rankings if it weren't ineligible this year? At the moment, Louisville is the "forgotten unbeaten" but are barely ranked in the top 10 of both the Coaches and AP polls. Would Ohio State be in the title conversation, or would it be behind Alabama, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame? I'm guessing it would be in fourth or fifth and without much chance to improve thanks to a weak Big Ten this season. So, in a way, maybe it's better for Ohio State that it isn't eligible this year. It's actually saving itself from further frustration.

18/16. Nebraska

Nebraska got by Michigan State thanks to a questionable pass interference call -- by questionable, we mean horrible -- that gave the Cornhuskers another chance. That said, Nebraska didn't just get the break; it took advantage of it. Now the Huskers are still the frontrunner in the Legends Division, and they move up in both polls. With a few more wins and another couple of breaks, the Huskers could put themselves in position for a BCS berth even if they don't win the Big Ten.

UR/21. Northwestern

Last week, Pat Fitzgerald was asked what his team was going to do with its bye week and he said that they'd be studying because midterms were coming up. Well, the coaches who vote in the Coaches Poll must have been really impressed with the team's study habits because the Wildcats moved up five spots from 26 to 21 this week. Everybody must have gotten an A.

Others receiving votes: Northwestern also received votes in the AP Poll, but there are four other teams separating it from the Top 25 over there. Michigan is probably a win away from breaking into both polls as well. Then there's Wisconsin, which gets plenty of love from the coaches but doesn't receive a single vote from the media, and Penn State, which showed up on some AP ballots as well.

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February 20, 2017


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