Wisconsin didn’t play a game this weekend, and fittingly didn’t budge in the latest Land of 10 Big Ten Power Poll, either.
In the poll, voted on by 13 Land of 10 writers and released Sunday, Wisconsin held steady at No. 4 behind Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan. The Nittany Lions received all 13 first-place votes. The Badgers have remained in fourth since the initial poll was released three weeks ago.
In my vote, I kept Wisconsin at No. 3, as I have all season. Penn State stayed at No. 1 after a thrilling 21-19 last-second victory at Iowa. Michigan is No. 2 after scraping by Purdue 28-10. Many fans have made a reasonable argument that Wisconsin should be ranked second in the Power Poll, but I have Michigan there because it has the most impressive win thus far — the season opener against nationally ranked Florida.
Wisconsin’s bye week likely came at a good time for the Badgers with several important players dealing with injuries. It also provides the Badgers with a reset button just in time for the start of Big Ten play against Northwestern on Saturday. And perhaps the Big Ten West could be more interesting than initially thought.
Iowa, which ranks fifth, nearly pulled off one of the most important upsets of the early season before suffering a crushing defeat against Penn State on the final play. Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck and his Gophers are off to a 3-0 start. Northwestern had one shaky performance in a loss to Duke but is 2-1 and has as good of a chance as any team to make a run at the West division. Even Purdue has demonstrated it is a much-improved team this season under first-year coach Jeff Brohm.
This much is certain: it should make for an interesting Big Ten season.
1. Penn State
4. Ohio State
10. Michigan State
Land of 10 vote:
1. Penn State…169 (13)
2. Ohio State…148
11. Michigan State…51