September 26, 2010

Big Ten Power Poll: Week 0

Since Big Ten play is finally, blessedly, starting, here's a power poll for the conference.

  • 1. A Ohio State University (4-0, 0-0)

    Despite what all the numbers say, I'm still not sold on Terelle Pryor. I'm willing to have an open mind that he *could* be good, but I'm withholding my judgment until he plays a key role in OSU winning a road game at UW and/or Iowa. The defense is the strength of this team, and it's up to Pryor to prove otherwise.

  • 2. Wisconsin (4-0, 0-0)

  • 3. Iowa (3-1, 0-0)

    It's pretty close between UW and Iowa for the 2 spot. Both teams have been burned by injuries in the preseason - Jewel Hampton (again) for the Hawkeyes, and Chris Borland for the Badgers. The Hawkeyes are further handicapped by the loss of RB Brandon Wegher to some unspecified personal issues, leaving Robinson as the lone remaining back from their good-looking preseason 3-headed backfield. Iowa's defense is still a class above Wisconsin's, but the main reasons why I rank UW ahead are Scott Tolzien and James White. I've never been that high on Tolzien, but I'm starting to wonder about my evaluation of Stanzi a bit. He throws a lot of picks, but to be fair a lot more has been asked of him in the past year and a half due to Iowa's troubles at RB. But the bigger difference makers are John Clay and James White, both of whom look like they could win B10 offensive player of the year awards if they were solo feature backs. And UW has two of them.

    I think Wisconsin has the edge, but since they play in Kinnick this year you just have to flip a coin to guess who wins when they match up.

  • 4. Denard Robinson (4-0, 0-0)

    I didn't expect much from Michigan this year, but Denard Robinson has certainly put the school back on the map. No wonder RichRod let Mallett go. I don't really see them contending for the title but they're going to be a tough game at home.

  • 5. Penn State (3-1, 0-0)

    Not much shame in losing to the juggernaught that is Alabama, but I'm not sold on their QB. Much like Michigan they won't have much of a shot at a BCS bowl but they'll still be a tough nut to crack at home.

  • 6. Michigan State (4-0, 0-0)

    I can't really say much as all I know about Sparty this season is that they beat the Domers on a trick FG play in overtime. Love it. Since UW plays them next weekend I'll write up some more come preview time

  • Who cares?: Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern

    I don't really know how to rank these guys. They'll get their wins at home against each other, and each of them will likely win a home game against the top 6, but nothing much to see here.

  • 10. Purdue (2-2, 0-0)

    Purdue lost to the Domers and then lost to Toledo last week, but that's not as bad as...

  • 11. Minnesota (1-3, 0-0)

    Goldy beat Middle Tennessee state, and then lost to South Dakota, put up a better game than most thought against USC, and then lost to NIU. Ouch.