Big Ten football rankings: Jim Harbaugh cries over spilled milk

While other CFB giants fall, Big Ten's big boys don't slip

  • Photo

While the college football outside world was going nuts over the weekend with four top-10 teams losing, the Big Ten was as stagnant as a swamp.

Drain the Big Ten!

And now, this week’s B1G performance rankings:

1.

Penn State

3-0 Big Ten, 6-0 overall

The Nittany Lions didn’t play Saturday, which allowed the to leap over Clemson to No. 2 in the coaches’ poll. That proves the theory that the more vacation days employees get, the more productive they will be.
 
2.

Ohio State

4-0, 6-1

Remember when everyone was assuming a third-straight Alabama-Clemson national title game? Remember when Tony Soprano said “Remember when” is the lowest form of conversation?
 
3.

Wisconsin

3-0, 6-0

Freshman Jonathan Taylor of the Badgers is averaging 164.3 rushing yards per game. Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne rushed for 162.2 yards per game as a freshman in 1996. In between, the Badgers haven’t had any good running backs, as long as you don’t count Melvin Gordon, or Montee Ball, or several others.
 
4.

Michigan State

3-0, 5-1

If the season ended today, MSU’s Mark Dantonio would be the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year. If the season ended today, there would be no Dollar General Bowl or Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.
 
5.

Michigan

2-1, 5-1

The Wolverines committed a school-record 16 penalties in their 27-20 overtime win at Indiana. “I tell my 6-year-old not to spill the milk,” Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh said, “And, gosh darn, the next thing that happens is spilled milk. (I say) ‘No penalties, no penalties.’ Try to coach them how to not get the penalties, and we’re getting penalties.” It sounds like he’s crying over spilled milk.
 
6.

Iowa

1-2, 4-2

The Big Ten East is 8-2 against the Big Ten West. Luckily for the Hawkeyes, five of their last six games are against West teams. Unluckily, the other is against Ohio State.
 
7.

Rutgers

1-2, 2-4

Since the Scarlet Knights won at Illinois to end a 16-game Big Ten losing streak, let’s give them a temporary seat in the top half of these rankings and shout Rutgers’ school slogan. Sol iustitiae et occidentem illustra! Translation: We beat a Big Ten team. Really!
 
8.

Purdue

1-2, 3-3

The Boilermakers’ losses were to three ranked teams. If the Boilermakers were in the Mountain West Conference, they might be in the Top 25 right now. But there are no mountains in West Lafayette, so the point is moot.
 
9.

Indiana

0-3, 3-3

That’s 22 straight losses to Michigan after the Hoosiers fell in overtime to the Wolverines Saturday. Indiana has also lost its last 23 games against Ohio State. The good news: The “Hoosier Hysteria” men’s basketball event in Bloomington is this Saturday night.
 
10.

Northwestern

1-2, 3-3

Northwestern markets itself as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team.” Its opponent this week is “Iowa’s Big Ten Team.”
 
11.

Minnesota

0-3, 3-3

“I would have loved to see if there was a few extra minutes on that clock what would have happened,” Gophers Coach P.J. Fleck said after his team’s 30-27 loss to Michigan State. Better three hours too soon than a minute too late, wrote William Shakespeare, who typically came up with better lines than “Row the Boat.”
 
12.

Maryland

1-2, 3-3

A rabbit was loose on the field at Saturday’s Oregon-Stanford game. That’s more interesting than anything you can learn about Maryland football right now.
 
13.

Nebraska

2-2, 3-4

Just-hired athletic director Bill Moos comes from Washington State, where the athletic department owes its university $51.5 million after recording deficits for six straight years, But the school’s football program has gotten better, so there’s that.
 
14.

Illinois

0-3, 2-4

The announced attendance at Rutgers-Illinois was 35,765. The Chicago Tribune reported only about 230 fans were still in the student section by the fourth quarter. Maybe “Illinois’ Big Ten Team” is “This Space For Rent.”
 

1. Penn State (3-0 Big Ten, 6-0 overall): The Nittany Lions didn’t play Saturday, which allowed it to leap over Clemson to No. 2 in the coaches’ poll. That proves the theory that the more vacation days employees get, the more productive they will be.

2. Ohio State (4-0, 6-1): Remember when everyone was assuming a third-straight Alabama-Clemson national-title game? Remember when Tony Soprano said “Remember when” is the lowest form of conversation?

3. Wisconsin (3-0, 6-0): Freshman Jonathan Taylor of the Badgers is averaging 164.3 rushing yards per game. Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne rushed for 162.2 yards per game as a freshman in 1996. In between, the Badgers haven’t had any good running backs, as long as you don’t count Melvin Gordon, or Montee Ball, or several others.

4. Michigan State (3-0, 5-1): If the season ended today, MSU’s Mark Dantonio would be the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year. If the season ended today, there would be no Dollar General Bowl or Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.

5. Michigan (2-1, 5-1): The Wolverines committed a school-record 16 penalties in their 27-20 overtime win at Indiana. “I tell my 6-year-old not to spill the milk,” Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh said, “And, gosh darn, the next thing that happens is spilled milk. (I say) ‘No penalties, no penalties.’ Try to coach them how to not get the penalties, and we’re getting penalties.” It sounds like he’s crying over spilled milk.

6. Iowa (1-2, 4-2): The Big Ten East is 8-2 against the Big Ten West. Luckily for the Hawkeyes, five of its last six games are against West teams. Unluckily, the other is against Ohio State.

7. Rutgers (1-2, 2-4): Since the Scarlet Knights won at Illinois to end a 16-game Big Ten losing streak, let’s give them a temporary seat in the top half of these rankings and shout Rutgers’ school slogan. Sol iustitiae et occidentem illustra! Translation: We beat a Big Ten team. Really!

8. Purdue (1-2, 3-3): The Boilermakers’ losses were to three ranked teams. If the Boilermakers were in the Mountain West Conference, they might be in the Top 25 right now. But there are no mountains in West Lafayette, so the point is moot.

9. Indiana (0-3, 3-3): That’s 22 straight losses to Michigan after the Hoosiers’ fell in overtime to the Wolverines Saturday. Indiana has also lost its last 23 games against Ohio State. The good news: The “Hoosier Hysteria” men’s basketball event in Bloomington is this Saturday night.

10. Northwestern (1-2, 3-3): Northwestern markets itself as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team.” Its opponent this week is “Iowa’s Big Ten Team.”

11. Minnesota (0-3, 3-3): “I would have loved to see if there was a few extra minutes on that clock what would have happened,” Gophers Coach P.J. Fleck said after his team’s 30-27 loss to Michigan State. Better three hours too soon than a minute too late, wrote William Shakespeare, who typically came up with better lines than “Row the Boat.”

12. Maryland (1-2, 3-3): A rabbit was loose on the field at Saturday’s Oregon-Stanford game. That’s more interesting than anything you can learn about Maryland football right now.

13. Nebraska (2-2, 3-4): Just-hired athletic director Bill Moos comes from Washington State, where the athletic department owes its university $51.5 million after recording deficits for six straight years, But the school’s football program has gotten better, so there’s that.

14. Illinois (0-3, 2-4): The announced attendance at Rutgers-Illinois was 35,765. The Chicago Tribune reported only about 230 fans were still in the student section by the fourth quarter. Maybe “Illinois’ Big Ten Team” is “This Space For Rent.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

Like what you're reading?

We make it easy to stay connected:

to our email newsletters
Download our free apps

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.