Big Ten football rankings: Is Russia backing Michigan?

Meanwhile, freshman Taylor suits Badgers fine

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The Big Ten has two unbeaten football teams left. But no one’s perfect.

That said, here are this week’s Big Ten performance rankings:


Penn State

3-0 Big Ten, 6-0

The Nittany Lions have outscored their foes by a total of 76-0 in the first quarter. They haven’t done too badly in the second, third and fourth quarters, either.


2-0, 5-0

Badger freshman Jonathan Taylor has 767 rushing yards in five games. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley has 649 in six games. Just sayin’. (OK, Barkley also has 395 receiving yards and Taylor has zero.)

Ohio State

3-0, 5-1

The Buckeyes have 891 all-time wins. Nebraska has 892. The two meet Saturday in Lincoln. Then, both teams will have 892 wins.

Michigan State

2-0, 4-1

Mark Dantonio is 8-3 against Michigan. If he’d held satellite camps all over America, taken his team to Rome in the spring, and sold an eight-episode documentary series about his team to Amazon Prime, he’d really be doing well.


1-1, 4-1

The Wolverines are 16th in this week’s coaches’ poll, Michigan State 22nd. MSU won at Michigan Saturday night. There’s an explanation: Russian interference.


1-2, 4-2

In his latest bowl projections, Jerry Palm of says Iowa will play Central Michigan in Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl. Which is, of course, cuckoo.


1-1, 3-2

Purdue’s preseason Las Vegas over/under number for wins was 2.5. Congratulations/condolences to the degenerates who wagered on that.


0-2, 3-2

Their 27-0 win over Charleston Southern Saturday in Bloomington was the Hoosiers’ first shutout since 1993. Coincidentally, the crowd at that game reportedly wasn’t much bigger than 1,993.


2-1, 3-3

Nebraska’s 1997 national-championship team was honored in Lincoln, then the Huskers lost at home to Wisconsin, 38-17. It’s safe to say they won’t be celebrating the 2017 Huskers in 2037.


1-1, 3-2

The Terrapins had 66 total yards and 66 penalty yards in their 62-14 loss at Ohio State. Maryland quarterback Max Fortenschlager was strip-sacked by OSU freshman defensive end Chase Young, a 5-star recruit from the state of — wait for it — Maryland.


0-2, 3-2

The good news: The Gophers’ men’s hockey team beat Union College Saturday, 2-0. Row the Zamboni.


0-2, 2-3

All of Pat Fitzgerald’s assistant coaches have been on his staff for at least seven years. When you go 10-3, like the Wildcats did in 2015, that means your staff is stable. When you’re coming off a 31-7 home loss to Penn State to fall to 2-3, you can remove the "b" from "stable."


0-2, 2-3

The Illini were inside Iowa’s 25-yard line six times, but scored just one touchdown. Jerry Seinfeld said Illinois could take the reservation, it just couldn’t hold the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.


0-2, 1-4

The aforementioned Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin is from New Jersey. So is Iowa’s Akrum Wadley. When Maryland and Rutgers joined the Big Ten, did they know they weren’t required to share their states’ talent?

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