If you notice, the Big Ten's standings in the polls have shifted dramatically. Michigan still hangs around in the back half, and Michigan State is a top ten team on the basis of a good win in week one and a textbook "how to crush a MAC team" win in week two, but the rest of the Big Ten is:
An Ohio State team that we still know very little about.
Nebraska clawing furiously to stay in the top 25 after losing to UCLA.
Not Wisconsin. You don't get the benefit of the doubt when you barely crack 200 offensive yards against Oregon State.
A week ago I wrote about how it looked like the Big Ten was finally poised to begin asserting itself on the national scene again and how this season could be the precursor to a coming out party in 2013 as two or three teams compete for a BCS invite.
Then two of the Big Ten's favorites go out an choke against middle of the road (being generous here) Pac-12 teams, Iowa loses a field goal kicking contest to Iowa State, and Penn State explores heretofore unheard of ways to blow games against Virginia. Overall the Big Ten went 6-6 in week two with wins coming against the likes of Central Michigan, UMass, New Hampshire, Vanderbilt, and UCF while losing games to ALL THE PAC-12 TEAMS, Notre Dame, and Iowa State.
When Michigan's 31-25 nail-biter against Air Force looks like the second or third best win in the conference, you know you've got issues.
Here's the ballot:
The rest of my justifications and ramblings after the jump
- Alabama stays number one -- the king stay the king -- because you can't fault a team for slowly pulling Western Kentucky's limbs out of the sockets. LSU gets the bump to number two based on a similar beat down of Washington (equivalent to Bama's Michigan win give or take). USC is the loser this week after taking way too much time to put away Syracuse.
- Georgia makes a move into the top five after a good win over new conference-mate Mizzou. Florida State gets bumped down because it still has yet to play anyone with a pulse.
- The ACC teams hold steady at 11 and 12 right now, pending the inevitable two losses that each will suffer this year.
- Ohio State may not be playing anyone that is all that talented, but the Buckeyes have looked good and Braxton Miller looks dangerous. In week two that is enough to move up.
- The 16-20 range is reserved this week for teams that didn't necessarily impress, but move up anyway thanks to a whole bunch of junk games by teams above them.
- I left Florida out last week, but a solid win over TAMU is enough to jump the Gators firmly in the back end of the top 20. Tennessee hangs on as well, while Stanford stays at 25 because I still don't know what to think of the Cardinal.
- Wisconsin and Arkansas both fall out of the top 25. Arkansas takes the biggest tumble, but c'est la vie when you lose to Louisiana Monroe. The Badgers didn't lose bad, but this is two straight games where Wisconsin has looked only "meh" on offense.