INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
Independence nearly matc ... »
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Big Ten power rankings for people who think there should be a Prohibition for people who are drunk with power.
1. Ohio State (4-0 overall, 1-0 conference): Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are 32-1 in Big Ten regular-season play. So Ohio isn’t much of a battleground state in that regard.
2. Michigan (5-0, 2-0): On one play in the Wolverines’ 14-7 win over Wisconsin, Michigan had 10 players line up single-file like a centipede. Then quarterback Wilton Speight clapped, they all headed off in different directions to form a power set, and the play was a run up the middle. It was as if football were actually a game.
3. Wisconsin (4-1, 1-1): There were 16 punts in the Michigan-Wisconsin game. Louisville-Clemson, it wasn’t. Heck, Baylor-Iowa State, it wasn’t.
4. Lamar Jackson (4-1): If you watched him quarterback Louisville Saturday night, you saw a magician. He has 14 passing touchdowns and 14 rushing touchdowns this season, and has escaped 1,414 tackles.
5. Nebraska (5-0, 2-0): The Cornhuskers were uninspired, listless, even dull in their 31-16 win over Illinois. Nebraska loves those terms when it already has as many regular-season wins as it claimed all last season.
6. Maryland (4-0, 1-0): The Terps went for and got the two-point conversion after scoring first against Purdue. Which proved important, since they won by just 50-7.
7. Indiana (3-1, 1-0): Beating Michigan State in overtime gave the Hoosiers the Old Brass Spittoon for the first time since 2006. Not that it mattered, since they gave up chewing tobacco in 2007.
8. Penn State (3-2, 1-1): The Nittany Lions’ locker room was raucous after their overtime win over Minnesota. “Have you guys ever seen the movie ‘Soul Plane?’ That’s what it looks like in there,” said Penn State Coach James Franklin. Seriously? Tom Arnold was in “Soul Plane,” and he may not even have seen it.
9. Minnesota (3-1, 0-1): Just once, Floyd of Rosedale says, he’d like to attend a football game in a region where a vegan lifestyle is more in vogue.
10. Northwestern (2-3, 1-1): The Wildcats have a bye week, which will help give the Cubs some much-needed attention in Chicago this week. Did you know they’re in the playoffs?
11. (tie) Iowa (3-2, 1-1) and Michigan State (2-2, 0-2): Last December, they met in the Big Ten title game. Saturday, they lost to Northwestern and Indiana, respectively. Being nostalgic normally means you’re going back more than 10 months.
13. Illinois (1-3, 0-1): Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, but it played Saturday in Lincoln, Neb. We in Iowa are unfairly caught in the middle.
14. Texas (2-2): A source told ESPN that Texas coach Charlie Strong won’t be fired during the season. Texas athletic director Mike Perrin said “I’m not evaluating Charlie, per se. I’m evaluating everything.” Never trust an athletic director who says “per se.” Or anyone else who does, for that matter.
15. Rutgers (2-3, 0-2): The Scarlet Knights completed 3 of 16 passes at Ohio State and were outgained 669 yards to 116. They’ll have to study the film, clean up some mistakes, and stop wishing they had a game this season against ...
16. Purdue (2-2, 0-1): The rushing yardage Saturday: Maryland 400, Purdue 10. “There is a list that goes on forever on what we could have done differently,” said Purdue quarterback David Blough. Uh, 400-10 is all the list you need.