As November rolls around, the Big Ten race is as crazy as we’ve ever seen it — especially out west where four teams enter the final four weeks of the season with just one conference loss each. However, things are much more murky on the other side of the ledger, as the Big Ten East is two teams and then good luck figuring the rest out.
Last week we saw more craziness, including Wisconsin pitching just its 5th shutout in school history, Maryland backing up its bluster before the game with Penn State with a shocking win in Happy Valley and Iowa scoring 48 points.
Seriously, who saw any of those coming heading in to Saturday. It all gives a major challenge to our distinguished group of panelists, who are as follows:
Andy Coppens – talking10.com (@AndyOnFootball & @MTBadgers)
Kevin McGuire – Nittany Lions Den (@KevinOnCFB & @TheNLD)
Ross – Black Heart Gold Pants (@RossWB and @BHGP)
Phillip Rossman-Reich – Lake The Posts (@RiseNU & @LakeThePosts)
Kevin Recio – On the Banks (@OTB_SBNation & @KevRecio)
Ken Kohl – The Buckeye Battlecry (@The_BBC)
Andy – The Daily Gopher (@yorka1982 & @TheDailyGopher)
Hondo Carpenter – Spartan Nation (@HondoCarpenter)
Dave Fitzgerald – talking10.com (@BuckeyeFitzy)
Paul Dalen – CornNation (@paul_dalen & @CornNation)
Joshua Henschke – Maize ‘N Brew (@joshuahenschke)
So, how does that panel see the Big Ten after 10 weeks of action? Let’s get to the poll…
– This marks the first week that I’m not the only vote for Ohio State to take the top spot in the East power poll. R–E-J-O-I-C-E!!! For me the difference remains defense, where Ohio State continues to play well up front and appears to becoming very dangerous in the secondary as well. Its going to be fun on Saturday to say the least.
– Just how bad is the Big Ten East? Maryland is the third best team in the East. That doesn’t say much about the strength of the East as the Terps have been kicked badly by the two top teams its played so far (Ohio State and Wisconsin). It also shows how badly the NCAA sanctions hurt Penn State (see its offensive line) and how bad Michigan has been at developing talent under Brady Hoke. It’s nearly the exact opposite in the West.
– That West division has four teams with just one loss heading in to Week 11, and it appears our panelists have settled in to a clear hierarchy among those four. Nebraska and Wisconsin have really separated themselves from the pack, and had it not been for a single 3rd place vote for UW, we would’ve had a tie up at the top of the poll. Iowa and Minnesota are still on the outside looking in at the race. Given what takes place this weekend, it will be interesting to see how this division shakes out next time around.