Blog Entry

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings

Posted on: September 29, 2008 12:33 pm

With one month of the season in the books, the usual debate of "Who has the best conference?" continues. Nobody can doubt the SEC is still king, but the conference that ranks No. 2 might surprise you.

Don't be so quick to say the Big 12, because after analyzing the rankings of this week's 120, we see the Big Ten ranks slightly ahead of the Big 12 from top to bottom. Based on an average ranking of 36.63, the Big Ten edges out the Big 12, which has an overall average of 37.83. SEC is first at 31.83.

Before the e-mails of "How can that be? Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas and Texas Tech are all ranked in the Top 10!!!" -- we only have to look at the overall records in the Big Ten.

The Big Ten has two undefeated teams, three with a 4-1 record and zero teams in the conference have a losing record.

And one of those undefeated teams is Northwestern. The Wildcats sit tied with Penn State atop the Big Ten with a 5-0 record, including 1-0 in the conference.

Northwestern is off to their best start in 46 years and jumped all the way from No. 41 to No. 27 this week in the 120. The Wildcats are on the verge of breaking into the Top 25 in the other polls too. They are ranked 30th in the AP poll, 26th in the Coaches poll and 27th in the Harris poll.

Northwestern takes on No. 24 ranked Michigan State on Oct. 11 in what could be a major breakthrough for a team that usually finds itself at the bottom of the conference.

"Our plan going into the bye week is, No. 1, get healthy," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "No. 2 is to stay sharp. I feel like we're getting better each week and growing each week. With that prudent mentality, we'll probably go quick in our practices and won't be out there real long."

Another factor that helps the Big Ten rank ahead of the Big 12 is the lowest-ranked team in the Big Ten is Indiana (No. 74), which stands at 2-2. Texas A&M (No. 84) and Iowa State (No. 90) pull down the average in the Big 12.

The Aggies lost to a Sun Belt school earlier this year (Arkansas State won 18-14) and barely beat Army 21-17. Iowa State is 2-2, but its only victories are against South Dakota State and Kent State.

Here are the overall average conference rankings:

1. SEC -- 31.83
2. Big Ten -- 36.63
3. Big 12 -- 37.83
4. ACC -- 45.67
5. Big East -- 52.5
6. Pac-10 -- 55.3
7. MWC -- 72.75
8. C-USA -- 78.25
9. WAC -- 82.75
10. MAC -- 89.46
11. Sun Belt -- 101

Quick Notes

... The ACC which gets criticized for being one of the weakest conference, is ranked fourth. Despite not having any undefeated teams, the conference has seven teams ranked between No. 31 and No. 49. Florida State (No. 35), North Carolina (No. 36) and Maryland (No. 40) all had big wins this past week, moving up numerous spots.

... The lowest-ranked undefeated school is Kentucky at No. 38. Kentucky defeated Louisville, Norfolk State, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky. It will surely move way up the rankings if it beats Alabama this weekend.

... UCF dropped the farthest in the rankings this week, dropping from No. 76 to No. 100 after losing 58-13 to UTEP, which entered the game at 0-3.

... FIU got out of the 120th spot with a 35-16 victory over Toledo. The Golden Panthers are now ranked No. 114. North Texas fell from No. 118 to No. 120 after losing 77-20 to Rice. The Mean Green are one of only three teams without a win. Army (No. 119) and Washington (No. 101) are the others. The Huskies are ranked so high because it lost by only one point to BYU and by 7 to Stanford this past week.


Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: October 4, 2008 10:42 pm

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings

It's because NU is undefeated you dope.

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: October 2, 2008 11:42 am

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings

Here is a more realistic take on the Big Ten.

1. Penn State
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan State
4. Illinois
5. Wisconsin
6. Northwestern
7. Purdue
8. Iowa
9. Minnesota
10. Michigan
11. Minnesota

Since: Dec 21, 2007
Posted on: October 2, 2008 9:37 am

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings


You think OSU is better than Wisconsin?

I know people think Northwestern is a flash in the pan but number 8 in the conference?

Since: Dec 21, 2007
Posted on: October 2, 2008 9:34 am

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings

Go UB!!!


Who is the coach now at Buffalo?

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 2, 2008 2:35 am

Big Ten Power 11 Rankings

This is how I see that controversial second-place conference, the Big Ten, at the moment.  Thoughts?

1.    Penn State<o:p></o:p>

2.    Ohio State<o:p></o:p>

3.    Wisconsin<o:p></o:p>

4.    Illinois<o:p></o:p>

5.    Michigan State<o:p></o:p>

6.    Michigan<o:p></o:p>

7.    Purdue<o:p></o:p>

8.    Northwestern<o:p></o:p>

9.    Iowa<o:p></o:p>

10. Minnesota<o:p></o:p>

11. Indiana<o:p></o:p>

Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2008 7:00 pm

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings

Damn right! you are the only guy that said anything that makes sense.  Northwestern, like Vandy, or Baylor, or Wake Forest, or Oregon St. come to life about once a decade like clockwork and all of the sudden we are suppossed to thank them for helping the sos or respect them because they play in a tough conference or give them props because they are finally contributing or that they are off to a good start?  These programs are perennial embarrassments to their conferences and to the BCS and should be relegated like Temple and replaced by up and coming programs like UCONN or Boise State or BYU that have national respect and esteem.  Otherwise tic 8221 you are absolutely right that this whole column and people supporting NW so called accomplishment is a joke.  Besides now that conf play is starting it would not surprise me or anybody else if NW ends up with a .500 record. 

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2008 2:50 pm

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings

Because the Big 12 is known for showing up in the big games? You're kidding yourself if you think the BIG 12 is dominant over the Big Ten.

Since: Jul 30, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2008 2:20 pm

Northwestern helps Big Ten in conference rankings

Yawn!!!!! Boring, stupid media trying to stir the pot again!

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2008 12:42 pm


They mean nothing.

I'm from Buffalo, NY and most people here are just getting into college football because the University at Buffalo is finally starting to turn the program around.

So far this year they've beaten UTEP (42-17) and Temple. The lost a close game to Central Michigan 27-25 (hit the upright on a last second field goal attempt) and played Pitt and Missouri tight deep into the 3rd quarter of each game.

UB currently sits at #85 in the CBS poll.

UTEP is 1-3. They beat only UCF (ranked #100)., yet they are ranked #82, even thought hey were trounced by UB.

Figure that one out.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2008 12:11 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

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