By TOM LEA
MADISON - The fifth edition of the ESPN Wisconsin Big Ten power poll was released Tuesday afternoon. As one of the 13 voters I thought I'd share my ballot with a brief explanation of why I voted each team where I did.
1. Ohio State - - The Buckeyes certainly weren't impressive, but neither was anybody else in the league. I have OSU at No. 1 essentially by default.
2. Northwestern - - Three wins over three BCS opponents, especially compared the patsies most of the Big Ten played in non-conference, is pretty impressive.
3. Michigan State - - Le'Veon Bell is all the offense the Spartans have. If he wears down I worry the offense will look like... well, Wisconsin's.
4. Nebraska - - I haven't learned anything about the Huskers each of their past two wins. Arkansas State and Idaho State aren't totally intriguing wins.
5. Michigan - - I like the way Brady Hoke scheduled. Much respect for a team that played No. 1 Alabama and No. 11 Notre Dame. If only the Wolverines had beat the Irish. That might have salvaged some sort of respect for the league.
6. Minnesota - - The Gophers are 4-0. They didn't beat anybody, but at least they got a win over a BCS conference team.
7. Purdue - - I still think the UW-Purdue game on Oct. 13 is going to serve as a defacto Leaders Division championship game.
8. Wisconsin - - The good news is that the Badgers finally showed signs of improvement. Not sure if it's enough now that Big Ten play is around the corner.
9. Penn State - - Two wins over Navy and Temple has the Lions entering Big Ten play with some momentum.
10. Iowa - - Two home losses isn't a good look for the Hawkeyes, especially since the last came against a Central Michigan team that was 4-19 in its past 23 tries against Big Ten teams.
11. Illinois - - Louisiana Tech is the nation's third highest scoring team. Illinois lost by 28 points.
12. Indiana - - The Hoosiers didn't play last week. No reason to move them up.
Return to: Wisconsin Badgers Blog