MORE POWER (Rankings)

It's that time o' the week, time to discuss the Boiled Sports Big Ten Power Rankings (or BSBTPRs, for short).

You'll note that the author of this post varies from time to time -- so, too, might the ranking order each of us puts forth. I think by and large we'll agree, but when we don't, just recognize that we're two different little boys, with our own thoughts and feelings.

Away we go.

12. Minnesota -- The Gophers remain terribly hapless. It's hard to believe they could be this bad, so expect them to begin to make strides sooner than later under Coach Kill.

11. Indiana -- Kept the Badgers under 100 last weekend, which many of us wondered if they could do. Sadly, IU and Minnesota do not play this year so we'll be deprived of a true bottom-feeder matchup. This also means that we could legitimately see two teams go winless in conference play. As amusing as it might be, it's not good for the perception of the conference.

10. Northwestern -- It's hard to believe Northwestern is this bad. I don't think they really are, but they aren't pulling any of the usual rabbits out of their collective, entitled, rich-kid asses this year. 2-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play puts them behind the Boilers. 

9. Purdue -- Purdue showed some chops in going toe-to-toe with a flawed but 6-1 Penn State team in the Nittany Kittens' house. However, Purdue is still seriously flawed and has not earned a higher spot than this in my opinion. The schedule in the coming weeks, though, allows Purdue to make some serious leaps up this list if they pull out some wins.

8. Ohio State -- It's tough when you're forced to sort of play by the rules. And for those who often make remarks about how things like free tattoos (or any other perk, be it cars, cash, etc.) don't make a team better, here's your evidence that skirting the rules does lead to a better product on the field. OSU is back to Earth and it is lovely to watch.

7. Iowa -- Not terrible, but not impressive, either. Sort of like graduating from Iowa.

6. Nebraska -- After feasting on Minnesota this weekend, the 'Huskers get their biggest remaining challenge (MSU) in their own building in two weeks. That game will likely decide if NU gets to go to the Big Ten Championship Game in their first year.

5. Penn State -- We don't mean to be disrespectful, but we're going to be anyway. PSU is the worst 6-1 team we can remember. However, they're winning the games they're supposed to and that's all you can ask. Someone is going to crush them at some point, though. A road game at Madison looms on the horizon at the end of the season, which may well determine which of those two get to go to the title game from the Leaders division. And speaking of Wisconsin, PSU has scored less than half the points (52) Wisconsin has (107) in Big Ten play -- and PSU has had an extra game!

4. Michigan -- Knocked back to Earth a bit by MSU, Michigan could sneak into the list of all-time mediocre 6-1 teams, too. Denard is a great athlete; he's not nearly a great quarterback. Having athletic, talented receivers is a nice arrow to have in the quiver, though.

3. Illinois -- Nobody trusts Illinois as a good team because of the man at the helm. However, there are teams that would KILL for a 6-0 (now 6-1) start. Looking at their remaining schedule (@Pur, @PSU, vs Mich, vs Wisc, @Minn), is it that hard to envision an 10-2 finish? Especially since they're politely excused themselves from any chance of pissing people off by being included in national title talk due to an undefeated record that knuckle-draggers from the SEC would scream about until they were redder in the face than usual.

2. Michigan State -- I've been accused of having a secret, unrequited love for Dantonion and the Spartans, but that's not the reason they're here. Of the contenders near the top, they seem to have the most solid combination of offense and defense, they have an excellent quarterback, they're well-coached (I heart Dantonio!) and they just took down the previously unbeaten Wolverines. If they escape from the next two weeks (vs Wisc, @Neb) with at least one win, they have a very legit shot at the title game.

1. Wisconsin -- Nobody is even close. The only thing that will stop Wisconsin this year is themselves tripping on a game or the media deciding a big, "slow" team from the Big Ten doesn't deserve to be in the BCS title game.

Got a different order? Speak up.

Fact Fondue - The Fighting Illini, and a #hashTag

Caution: Handsome Ahead!! (Handsome Hour October 18, 2011)