Here are this week's rankings, ranked in order of fast-food burger chains.
14. Purdue (2-7 overall, 1-4 B1G)
13. Maryland (2-7, 0-5)
The Terps at least look more competitive under Mike Locksley, but still cannot get a conference victory.
12. Rutgers (3-6, 1-5)
Outscored 146-33 since their stupid, improbable comeback win over Indiana. But with a final stretch that includes Nebraska, Army, and Maryland, Rutgers could likely extend their bowl streak to 10 out of the past 11 years.
11. Minnesota (4-5, 1-4)
It's sounding like Tracy Claeys will lose the "interim" tag as Minnesota head coach soon. The Golden Gophers held their own against Michigan and OSU, but Claeys will definitely need to work on clock management if he gets the full-time gig.
10. Indiana (4-5, 0-5)
The fourth-quarter dropoff in play is concerning, but here's something else that worries me. In the past two games, Indiana's offense has only scored a combined 16 points in the second half. That won't work.
STEAK N SHAKE
9. Nebraska (4-6, 2-4)
I know that Indiana gets the #CHAOSTEAM twitter hashtag, but Nebraska football has had a whole bunch of corn-fueled chaos this year. And after losing to Purdue last week, the Huskers won over Sparty thanks a very questionable touchdown call, in which Brandon Reilly appeared to go out of bounds before catching the game-winner, but was apparently pushed out, according to the B1G refs. For a team that's had a lot of bad breaks this season, this was a cathartic victory in Lincoln, and likely assured that Mike Riley won't be a one-season wonder.
8. Illinois (5-4, 2-3)
Yesterday morning, AD Mike Thomas was fired after a tumultuous tenure in Champaign. Under Thomas, allegations of abuse arose against the football and women's basketball teams, thanks to social media. These incidents, along with the aftermath of the situation at Missouri, demonstrate the power that student-athletes have and the difference they can make through Twitter or other sites. This is not a bad thing.
7. Penn State (7-3, 4-2)
Christian Hackenberg is the quarterback that has provoked the most #wellactually hot takes in college football this season. He'll have some great 6-10 seasons with the Texans or the Niners in his future.
6. Northwestern (7-2, 3-2)
Pat Fitzgerald punted down by 1 and inside the Penn State 40 late in this game, yet the Wildcats got the ball back with enough time left to kick the game-winning field goal. Big Ten football, everyone!
5. Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1)
After Saturday's win over Maryland, Wisconsin now has at least 8 wins in 17 of its past 20 seasons.
4. Michigan State (8-1, 4-1)
"Sparty No" is back in our lives. Let us all rejoice. Then get back to arguing whether or not Connor Cook is elite.
But seriously, MSU has been hanging by a thread in the fourth quarter of so many games in the past two years, that something like this was bound to happen eventually.
3. Michigan (7-2, 4-1)
Up 25, having just scored a touchdown against Rutgers, and what does Harbaugh do? Why, he goes for 2 of course, because he's Jim Harbaugh. It won't be as funny when he does the same thing to the Hoosiers over the weekend.
2. Ohio State (9-0, 5-0)
Until a game-clinching fourth-quarter touchdown run, Cardale Jones looked mortal once again for the Buckeyes. Yet he'll be back on the bench once J.T. Barrett returns from suspension for the Illibuck game. Although the MSU game on Nov. 21 won't have the same meaning now that the Spartans have lost, Ohio State's still in a fine position for the postseason. And as of today, they'd probably be one of my four playoff teams (along with Clemson, Alabama, and Baylor). Yet, they've been knocked of the top of the rankings this week because of...
1. Iowa (9-0, 5-0)
Indiana put up a heck of a fight for about 48 minutes on Saturday, but this Iowa team knows how to finish ballgames, and they closed the deal in Memorial Stadium to improve to 9-0. The question now though: is a win over one of the B1G East teams that improbable? Michigan State's flaws were on display Saturday night, the Hawkeyes should know how to defend Michigan QB Jake Rudock since he is an Iowa transfer, and Ohio State is vulnerable if they play an inconsistent game. If Jordan Canzieri comes back healthy and C.J. Beathard continues his productive play, then the Hawkeyes have a case.
It's been a crazy college football season thus far. And now I've talked myself into Iowa going 13-0.
Fasten your seatbelts, because even though the season is winding down, the craziness and excitement of college football is only beginning.