The season is well underway so I guess I had better get my Big X predictions posted. Here we go.
1. Ohio State: The best in this conference and quite possibly the best in the land. It is a toss up I think between Alabama, Ohio State and perhaps Oregon. Boise State and maybe TCU can not be ruled out completely also. I do not think that any one in the Big X will be able to take these guys down this year. Perhaps Penn State but that is doubtful. Ohio State would have to have a bad day indeed to lose any regular season games this year.
2. Penn State: JOPA is still around and has himself a pretty fine football team here. A bit on the young side apparently and perhaps not worthy of a number two ranking in the Big X. Before last Saturday I would have probably put Iowa in this spot but they looked pathetic against Arizona.
3. Iowa: Pretty good team that will reach a decent bowl game but not ready to compete with Ohio State. They have a lot of work to do to be a top 10 squad for sure.
4. Michigan State: Dantonio had an apparent heart attack after the game with the Irish on Saturday and I hope he make a full and quick recovery. Will Mark not being at the helm hurt the Spartans as the season progresses? Not sure, but I do not see anyone except perhaps Northwestern or maybe Wisconsin that can take this spot from them.
5. Northwestern: It is pretty tough to win here in the Big X but the Wildcats have been holding their own the last few years. The rest of the Big X appears to be average (and below) and Northwestern may be a cut above that.
6. Wisconsin: They seem to be over rated to me. Granted they are 3-0 at this point and hold a number 11 ranking in the AP poll but I do not think they are a top 25 team. Time will tell. They will not be tested this week but meet Michigan State in 2 weeks.
7. Illinois: Ron Zook is under fire here, but it must be noted that Illinois is a pretty hard place to find consistency. I think Zook has been doing as good a job as anyone could be expected to. At this point the Illini are 2-1 and may be able to slip into a decent bowl game.
8. Purdue: Not sure if this years' Boilermaker squad is even worthy of this spot. They fell to the Irish in game one and have not been really tested since. The next two games will tell a good bit. They face an improved Toledo team and then meet Northwestern.
9. Michigan: Rich should have stayed in West Virginia. I do not see the Wolverines doing much this year. The schedule only gets harder from here on out.
10: Indiana: Another hard place to win. The Hoosiers are 2-0 at this point and will likely go 3-0 after next week but then conference play begins. They will have some trouble being successful I would imagine.
11. Minnesota: Tim Brewster's club actually held on for a while against USC and I was hoping for a major upset but of course it did not happen. Probably this squad should be 0-3 at this point instead of 1-2. I would look for the Gophers to start hunting for another coach but to be honest, this is one of the hardest places to win in the college game.