Hello, and welcome to the Big Ten Power Rankings for another season! To determine which clubs in the conference have a legitimate shot at winning the championship and which are just playing for the position, we will assess each team’s performance in the forum each week.
The ground rules are straightforward and limited in number: Each team’s current standings are considered when ranking them. It is not the amount of work done or where a team is ranked in the polls; instead, it is how well each team performs in that particular season.
The methodology for determining the rankings does not necessarily focus on the outcomes of games played on the field (although those do count, as they are a prominent and tangible data point). Instead, it considers, more generally, which of the two teams would win 51 of 100 matches if they were played at a neutral site (or more).
These rankings are entirely based on my opinion. As the author, I have the freedom to adhere to the guidelines however strictly or laxly I see fit, and if you disagree with the order of the items, you are in the wrong. The lengthy off-season is almost to a close, and Week 0 of the regular season is drawing ever closer, so let’s get to it!
1. Ohio State
Shocking! I know. However, Ohio State is hands down the most incredible team in the conference. It is reasonable to assume they will maintain their position as number one until they are dethroned. In the first week of the season, there will be a great test when Notre Dame comes to town; yet, I find it somewhat comical that the Irish are ranked fifth.
Now, this is the crux of the matter. After literally, everything went their way in 2021, Michigan was hit hard with a significant loss. It’s great that you were able to capitalize on the opportunity and make the playoffs, but I’ll be shocked if the Wolverines even come close to defending their title in 2022. Behind Ohio State, you could make a reasonably great argument for three or four teams as being second best. Because I don’t have anything else to go off of, I’ll rely on recruiting to rank the Wolverines here.
Certain things in life include passing away, paying taxes, and Wisconsin having a solid running game and defense. The Badgers will play football using this strategy for a very long time after both you and I have passed away, the sun has transitioned into its red giant phase, and even after the heat death of the universe. They have no end in sight.
4. Michigan State
I had every intention of ranking Michigan State University lower on this list. How much longer will the ragtag group of outcasts be able to maintain their winning streak? But in contrast to Ohio State University, as long as the Spartans can maintain their performance, I’ll have to presume they can pull it off until they prove otherwise.
Since there isn’t much else to go on at the time, I’ll look at how well each of these teams has performed off the field. The sections in this tier are all likely interchangeable with one another. Iowa is a weaker version of Wisconsin, but I would be very shocked if they could match their performance from the previous year. However, they are probably the second or third-best team in the Western Conference, and if everything breaks their way, they might have a shot at competing for a spot in the conference championship game once again.
6. Penn State
PSU has always seemed to me to be shrouded in mystery. The offense was so bad at times that it was almost laughable the year before, but when Sean Clifford was hurt, the club was ranked fourth and was winning 17-3 away from home against the team that was ranked third.
Before that injury, Penn State was a competitive team in the previous season, regardless of how the offense performed. However, the fact that everything fell apart due to just a couple of injuries is somewhat damning, so let’s shift the Lions into this tier and see how things go, shall we? This team will be tested in the first week of the season as they travel to Purdue.
I want to dislike the Gophers, and the years 1999 and 2019 will always hurt me. But they’re just so lovely. How will they be? Who can say? They’ll probably beat one or two teams they shouldn’t, but they’ll lose to Illinois for no reason.
Since a few years ago, Purdue’s main strengths have been a great offense and a defense that barely holds on. Very crazy and very interesting. But can the Boilermakers make anything without David Bell? Time will tell, but the first game of the season against Penn State will mean a lot to both teams.
Have you thought about why Nebraska is getting votes? Even without the name brand, they had a bad season in 2021, and Scott Frost is back as their coach. So, brand name, I guess? In any case, I’d say this is about where the next level starts.
Like Purdue, Maryland is just an unorganized team. I expect them to be good, but since I can’t place them, I have to go by what I’ve seen in the past: they’re in the bottom third of the conference.
Just like Minnesota, I can’t dislike Rutgers. They have changed who they are and how hard they try under Greg Schiano. Maybe one of these years, it will help on the field.
The bottom tier goes from here to the end. I have no idea what is going on down here at all. It’s like when it rains, and the water goes down the drain. How does it get there? Do rats live in there? Is there a stream nearby? Teenage mutant ninja turtles? Who can say?
I’m calling it now: Northwestern will finish as one of the top three teams in the West. Why? Because it’s an odd year, and the Wildcats can’t be the same from one year to the next.
In 2021, the Hoosiers had one of the worst college football seasons ever. You might think they could come back, but I’m still mad about 2020, so you’re going to the basement.
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