It’s times like these where you look inward and ask, “who am I?”
Just like Zoolander, the ‘Cats are in a time of uncertainty. Week 5: Northwestern 27 Minnesota 0. Week 6: Northwestern 0 Michigan 38. I’ve never seen a team flip from being such a dominant force one week to getting so dominated the next.
So who are we? Are we the team that made Minnesota (who put up 41 points last week) look silly for attempting to play something they called offense? Or are we the team that had so little offense against Michigan it was offensive to the fans?
I’m going to cop out and say the answer is somewhere in the middle. The ‘Cats have established they can beat anybody left on the schedule, but they’ve also established they can lose to anyone left on the schedule. We’re not a great team, but we’re a pretty good one. Maybe Michigan is actually a top 5 team, and used the game against NU as their coming out party. With a HOMECOMING game this weekend against #17 Iowa (#4 in our WLW poll), Northwestern should find out a lot more about what they can do. For now, the ‘Cats sit at #5 in our rankings.
Michigan has vaulted all the way up to number 2, with a game against Michigan State (number 3) up next this weekend. The round robin between those two teams and Ohio State will be very interesting to watch develop, and will likely decide the Big Ten champion as well as the Big Ten representative in the College Football Playoffs. Depending on how those three games shake out, there’s even a possibility that two B1G teams make the Playoffs.
After the top four or five teams, it’s a sea of murky mediocrity. Record doesn’t really matter, with 4-2 Indiana ranked several spots behind 2-4 Nebraska (who keeps finding new ways to lose). The key is that these teams have just begun the Big Ten slate, so these next few weeks against stiffer competition will give us a much better read on where the teams stand.
Before we move on to the rankings, here are a few fancy charts showing where the Warriors have ranked the Wildcats and the other B1G teams over the first six weeks. Let’s hope that purple line will tick back upwards after HOMECOMING this weekend.
|1. Ohio State (6)||97|
|2. Michigan (1)||91|
|3. Michigan State||85|
|7. Penn St.||50|
|8. Minnesota (tie)||46|
|8. Nebraska (tie)||46|