After dropping down to just three teams in the rankings in week 14, the Big Ten rode the resurrection of the Wisconsin Badgers and the Ohio State Buckeyes to rebound back as a league. The AP Poll has five teams slated in week 15, led by Michigan State at nine. Heading into Rivalry Week, here's where the Big Ten stands in the rankings:
|9||Michigan St. Spartans||20-4||1025||9|
|22||Ohio St. Buckeyes||19-5||214||27|
USA Today Coaches Poll
|10||Michigan St. Spartans||20-4||479||8|
|20||Ohio St. Buckeyes||19-5||162||25|
We're getting into crunch time as far as resumes go, so we're going to limit "Who's Hot" and "Who's Not" to one team from here on out. This weeks award winner? The Ohio State Buckeyes. Building off of a win on the road against the Wisconsin Badgers previous to last weeks rankings, the Bucks' went on the road again and topped the iowa Hawkeyes. A pretty comfortable win against Purdue puts them in position to notch a fourth in a row against Michigan on Tuesday. It's hard to find a hotter team in the conference.
This selection may surprise some, but after turning their season in the right direction, the Northwestern Wildcats simply lost a game they could not lose if they wanted a legitimate shot of dancing in March. Losing a game against Nebraska, that quite honestly they should've won, holds a little more weight to me than two losses by Penn State that didn't have as much of an impact on the conference. You had one job, Northwestern.
Now, class, SMU is new hear, so let's make them feel welcome! Head coach Larry Brown has the Mustangs ranked for the first time since 1984-85 season. For the second week in a row, Syracuse is awarded every first place vote. I'm not sure this will happen again anytime soon, but the top-ten spots in the AP Poll are all represented by a different conference as Michigan dropped out of the top ten this week. The Big Ten was the only conference with two teams in the top-ten last week.