It’s 10 weeks down, four weeks to go in the college football regular season and the 10 is represented throughout the BCS standings. How the conference fares from this point forward is partially in their own hands but also at the mercy of other outcomes as well.
At the top of the rankings, as far as Big 10 teams go, are still the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes. As expected, their win over Purdue did nothing to help boost the Buckeyes’ standing. With a bye this week, their only hope to move up is for one of the teams in front of them to lose. No. 3 Oregon plays against No. 5 Stanford on Thursday night, No. 2 Florida State will be at Wake Forest and No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 13 LSU. Ohio State could move up to No. 2 on Sunday night if there are upsets in two of those three games.
Next in the standings for the Big 10 is No. 17 Michigan State Spartans, up five spots in the rankings by virtue of their win over the Michigan Wolverines and some losses by teams that were in front of them. The Spartans are idle this Saturday, so there isn’t anything they can do on the field to help make their case themselves this week.
However, the Spartans could benefit from losses by teams currently in front of them. In addition to the Alabama-LSU and Oregon-Stanford contests, there is a matchup this Saturday between No. 6 Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma. Michigan State could be in the BCS top 15 on Sunday night without playing a game.
The third and final Big 10 team in this week’s edition of BCS standings is the Wisconsin Badgers. Their win over Iowa didn’t do anything to boost their standing, as they sit in the exact spot they occupied last week. This week’s home game against BYU may not do much to boost their position either. Like Michigan State, they should benefit from losses by teams in front of them if they win their own game.
Michigan and Nebraska dropped out of the rankings because of their loss and narrow win, respectively. The Cornhuskers and Wolverines play each other this week in Ann Arbor, but it’s uncertain whether the winner of the game will play their way back into the standings by winning the game.
To know for sure how the Big 10 will look in the Week 11 standings, we’ll have to wait for Sunday night. Fans of the conference should be encouraged that it could have a team in the top two, another in the top 15, another in the top 20 and a fourth at the bottom of the rankings if things work out well.