BOZICH | Big Ten Power Ratings: Can Spartans or Buckeyes make th - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Big Ten Power Ratings: Can Spartans or Buckeyes make the playoff?

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Mark Dantonio of Michigan State (left) and Urban Meyer of Ohio State have tried to coach their one-loss teams into playoff consideration. Mark Dantonio of Michigan State (left) and Urban Meyer of Ohio State have tried to coach their one-loss teams into playoff consideration.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Every week the college football wise guys select the four teams that look like the teams that will qualify for game's first playoff. Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler would not like their lists.

You know the names: Mississippi, Florida State, Mississippi State, Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, Auburn, TCU, Georgia, Arizona State and a million SEC teams to be named later.

Don't forget these two names: Michigan State and Ohio State.

The temptation was to kick both teams to the discard bin after each lost in early September. But the Spartans and Buckeyes continue to win, win, win. Four in a row by the Buckeyes. Five straight by the Spartans.

Michigan State has surged to fifth in the coaches' poll and eighth in the writers' Associated Press Top 25.

The computer rankings, at least four that were part of the old Bowl Championship Series, are not as dazzled by the Spartans and Buckeyes. Michigan State's average ranking from the Sagarin, Colley-Matrix, Billingsley and Anderson/Hester formulas is close to 13, while Ohio State's is 16.5. That's a long way to top four.

The Spartans figure to earn a break because their only loss (46-27) was on the road at Oregon. Ohio State lost at home, 35-21, in its second game to Virginia Tech. But the Hawkeyes have adjusted to life without quarterback Braxton Miller, and Urban Meyer's team has averaged 56 points while beating Kent State, Cincinnati, Maryland and Rutgers.

Ohio State visits Michigan State Nov. 8. If either team wins out, including the Big Ten championship game, beware. You have been warned.

BIG TEN FOOTBALL POWER RATINGS

1. (1 last week) Michigan State (6-1) – If the Spartans win out, including the league championship game, they belong in the four-team playoff, right?

2. (2) Ohio State (5-1) – If the Buckeyes win out, including the league championship game, they probably belong in the four-team playoff, right?

3. (3) Nebraska (6-1) – If the Cornhuskers win out, including the league championship game, they still won't make the four-team playoff.

4. (4) Minnesota (6-1) – Jerry Kill can really coach. We're talking about Minnesota, people.

5. (5) Wisconsin (4-2) – The Badgers are positioned to win their next three against Maryland, Rutgers and Purdue.

6. (9) Maryland (5-2) – The Terps have won two of their first three in the league and have a good shot to go 4-4.

7. (6) Penn State (4-2) – With two losses, and two byes, the Nittany Lions have not won a game since Sept. 20.

8. (7) Iowa (5-2) -- Giving up 38 points and losing at Maryland was not part of the plan in Iowa City.

9. (10) Rutgers (5-2) – The Scarlet Knights need one more win for bowl eligibility – and will likely have to get it against Indiana (Nov. 15).

10. (8) Northwestern (3-4) – Just when it appeared that the Wildcats had turned their season around with wins over Penn State and Wisconsin, they stumbled against Minnesota and Nebraska.

11. (12) Michigan (3-4) – The Wolverines are working on their longest winning streak of the season – one.

12. (11) Indiana (3-4) – Even a bye week doesn't figure to be enough to help Kevin Wilson solve his quarterback problem.

13. (13) Purdue (3-5) – The Boilermakers should have won at Minnesota. They did not.

14. (14) Illinois (3-4) – Remember this name: Kirby Wilson. People are mentioning him as the new Illini coach. Why? He played there.

SOURCE: Dr. Bo's Vast College Football Knowledge.

GOING, GOING, GONE (Big Ten leaders in most rushing and receiving plays for 20 yards or more).

1. Tevin Coleman, Indiana, junior halfback; Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin, junior halfback, 15.

3. Mike Dudek, Illinois, freshman receiver; Tony Lippett, Michigan State, senior receiver, 14.

5. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska, senior halfback, 12.

6. Leonte Carroo, Rutgers, junior receiver, 11.

7. Danny Anthrop, Purdue, junior receiver; Kenny Bell, Nebraska, senior receiver; Josh Ferguson, Illinois, junior halfback; Akeem Hunt, Purdue, senior halfback, 9.

SOURCE: cfbstats.com.

CROWD CONTROL (ranking Big Ten programs by average home attendance this season)

1. (1 nationally) Ohio State 106,770

2. (3) Michigan 105,907

3. (6) Penn State 99,806.

4. (10) Nebraska 91,341.

5. (18) Wisconsin 78,857.

6. (20) Michigan State 74,781.

7. (23) Iowa 67,548.

8. (41) Rutgers 50,876.

9. (45) Maryland 48,352.

10. (46) Minnesota 47,920.

11. (54) Indiana 41,795.

12. (58) Illinois 40,215.

13. (59) Northwestern 39,345.

14. (62) Purdue 36,339.

SOURCE: stats.ncaa.org.

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