Friday, February 22, 2008

Thank God For Power Rankings

Who Has The Power?

Especially in February, when we haven't learned anything about anyone yet because all the players have been, you know, getting in fights actually going to class.

Anyway, we're all addicts so lets look anyway. ESPN's Pre-Spring (I know) Power Rankings:

1. OSU - Laurinaitis always comes up in these discussions despite the fact that he is probably the reason they were hammered by LSU in January. The middle was very soft in that game yet no one seems to want to learn the names of any other players. That being said they are solid, again, and in addition have everyone at home except Wiscy and Zook. (Note: they do have USC on the road, but that's obviously not going to stop them from winning the league.)

2. Wisconsin - Why? Because "The Badgers are ridiculously deep at running back." So what? They do get PSU, OSU and Illinois at home, which is nice. But what did they do last year that makes anyone think they are that good?

3. Penn State - Defense will be solid, of course, everyone is back on the offensive line. Royster looked great. All the receivers are back. Need a QB though. It's impossible to tell how good the starter will be, but I have to think whoever has been doing these rankings doesn't think much of the Big Ten when teams 2 and 3 are both starting rookies under center. PSU also plays OSU on the road, and it's going to be tough to beat them when Paterno is committed to punting the ball unless we get inside their 25 yard line.

4. Illinois - Yes, Juice is back. And no Brent, he is not "The Juice", that's a different guy. Their defense was pretty terrible last year, but they are aggressive and that pays off against conservative coaches. Again, the Big Ten doesn't look that strong next year so it's not that hard to believe that a team like Illinois could win it.

5. Michigan - I doubt this. There are going to be serious growing pains and they play at Penn State and at Ohio State with what will probably be a rookie QB not named Terrelle Pryor.

6. Purdue - I'm having one of my "why the hell am I doing this" moments, but it's too late to turn back now. Painter is back for his 7th year, but loses Dorien Bryant, Dustin Keller and Fulmer Cup extraordinaire Selwyn Lymon. Look for a lot of average football from Purdue in 2008.

7. Michigan State - They are recruiting well but will still probably lose to Michigan, meaning their season is a failure. And no, the Land Grant trophy doesn't mean anything.

8. Northwestern - Not sure how they ended up ranked this high. Write this down because you won't hear it ever again: "The Wildcats are stocked with skill players." Um, ok. I'll believe that when I see it.

9. Indiana - I don't care who they have coming back, they lose Hardy, who absolutely owned King last season. Without him Indiana might have been shutout. Until they replace him with another 1st round type player I'm not ready to call their offense "exciting".

10. Iowa - BHGP is pissed. This is classic: "How the Hawkeyes can win the league title: Kidnap Terrelle Pryor." That reeks of a reporter not wanting to actually do any research...which I'm sure is the case when you get down to #10. I know the feeling.

11. Minnesota - Losing to North Dakota State will do that to you. They had, supposedly, the nations worst defense and, according to the ultra thorough ESPN report, "They can't" win the league.

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