Big Ten: Final 2013 Power Rankings
Final Look at 2013 Big Ten
The 2013 football season saw many highs and lows for the Big Ten conference. The parity in the Big Ten was outstanding, and the storylines entertained fans of each team on a weekly basis. The Conference had many shining movements to be proud of and few moments that were regrettable.
Coaches were in the news in a big way throughout the 2013 season. Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini made news for an audio recording that was secretly made two years ago following a game with the Ohio State Buckeyes in which Pelini shared some less than desirable personal thoughts about Cornhuskers fans. The faithful fans forgave their coach as the comments were made in the moment. They stood by their often fanatical coach, who is often criticized for his passion, and their loyalty was rewarded with a season-ending Bowl Victory over an SEC opponent, the Georgia Bulldogs.
Other coaches like Michigan State Spartans' Mark Dantonio and Northwestern Wildcats' Pat Fitzgerald were rumored to be candidates for potential head coaching positions at different institutions, while Ohio State Buckeyes' Urban Meyer was criticized for how he disciplined his team. Bill O’Brien of Penn State had another amazing season, and Jerry Kill of the Minnesota Golden Gophers led his team to an outstanding season while sidelined for medical reasons at times.
Teams like the Cornhuskers, Buckeyes and Wolverines suffered many detrimental injuries in 2013. Through these injuries, stars like Kenny Guiton were made. Here is one last look at the Big Ten and how I would rate the teams in the conference.
12. Purdue Boilermakers
The Purdue Boilermakers were unable to gain a victory in Big Ten play and had the worst season of all Big Ten teams. They did find the quarterback of their future in freshman Danny Etling, however.
11. Illinios Fighting Illini
The Fighting Illini probably hoped for more during their senior quarterback’s final season, but Nathan Scheelhause will go out a winner regardless. The Illini’s offense had their best season in recent history, and a young coaching staff will keep things exciting at Illinois.
10. Northwestern Wildcats
The Wildcats had high hopes, but a schedule that was front-loaded with extremely difficult games was hard to overcome.
9. Michigan Wolverines
The Wolverines had a disappointing 2013 season as all of their offensive firepower was not enough to overcome injuries, particularly to their offensive line that had been expected to be a strength for coach Brady Hoke’s team.
8. Indiana Hoosiers
The Hoosiers' passing attack is for real, and coach Kevin Wilson has his team on a steady path to relevance in the Big Ten. The return of quarterback Nate Sudfeld will be big for the Hoosiers.
7. Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Golden Gophers had to overcome the health concerns of head coach Jerry Kill, but fans may have gotten a good look at what may be the best overall staff in the conference as the team did so.
6. Penn State Nittany Lions
Unfortunately for Penn State, Bill O’Brien will not be returning to Happy Valley. But, what he did in his time at State College should forever be remembered. He effectively saved the school from falling into mediocrity following a tragedy. O’Brien also recruited freshman Christian Hackenberg, who led the Lions in 2013 and will be back return to do so for the foreseeable future.
5. Iowa Hawkeyes
The Hawkeyes could have potentially leapfrogged the Huskers on this list had they won their bowl game. In the ever-competitive world of college football, a lot of emphasis is placed on non-conference performance, particularly in bowl games against SEC opponents.
4. Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Cornhuskers did drop games to the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Iowa Hawkeyes, who are both below them on this list. The Huskers suffered many injuries in 2013, two of them to key members in Spencer Long and Taylor Martinez. The Huskers still had a great season and won nine games once again.
3. University of Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers had a very good season under their new head coach Gary Anderson. The Badgers implemented a new defense with great success and proved that their same old rushing attack is a mainstay in college football.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes had an amazing season and had they defeated the Spartans in the Big Ten Championship game, they could have competed for a national championship and potentially won. Instead, the Buckeyes dropped their final two games of the season and will have to wait another year to take home some hardware.
1. Michigan State Spartans
Until the Big Ten Championship game, the Spartans were the third-best team in the conference. Their outstanding performances in Indianapolis and in the Rose Bowl proved that they were underrated all season.