A look at who has the power this week...
The B1G kicked off conference play in exciting fashion this past weekend with Northwestern, Ohio State and Nebraska all winning in dramatic fashion. Penn State continues to roll and Iowa took out the anger, that a week’s worth of bad publicity will create, on their arch-rival. Then there was Purdue’s strange win over Marshall. Here is the updated power rankings.
As usual, these power rankings reflect the team’s performances and injuries compared to the rest of the league, not necessarily the current standings, talent, or a predicted finish for the league, but a fluid representation of where each team currently stands.
12. Illinois (Last Week 12)
The Illini look like a team without a lot of fight in them. When you are a softer team in a league that features great line play, it is hard to get the offense going. In more spread-happy leagues, it is possible to get away with being less physical, but not in the Big Ten.
Now I know people will say Ohio State, Northwestern, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan and Purdue all run spread offenses, but that still leaves four teams in pro-style sets. Ohio State also runs the ball out of the spread a lot more, so I would say the Buckeyes are more power based than West Coast teams. NU also runs the ball a lot. Finally there is Nebraska, which is sort of a hybrid team, but Rex Burkhead is a power back and they run the ball a ton as well.
Long story short, I think first year coach Todd Beckman is used to an offensive system that can thrive in the MAC, but doesn’t have the personnel to run it nor the right system for the league. If a West Coast passing style approach out of a spread worked in the Big Ten, how come Northwestern, Minnesota and Purdue aren’t the best teams in the league? How come Ohio State still runs the ball as often as it does? How come Wisconsin and Michigan State played in last year’s title game? The questions go on and on. I don’t get paid to have the answers, but Beckman does. Between the lackluster team and the fans not showing up, he needs to find answers sooner rather than later. He’ll get a second year for sure, but in today’s college football climate, I’m not a hundred percent sure he would get a third.
11. Minnesota (Last Week 8)
10. Indiana (Last Week 11)
9. Wisconsin (Last Week 9)
8. Iowa (Last Week 10)
7. Michigan (Last Week 5)
6. Penn State (Last Week 7)
5. Purdue (Last Week 4b)
4. Michigan State (Last Week 2)
3. Northwestern (Last Week 4a)
2. Nebraska (Last Week 3)
1. Ohio State (Last Week 1)
More Big Ten Action >> B1G Performance Grades, Week 5