There are just three Big Ten teams ranked in the Week 14 USA Today poll. But those teams are way up there in the standings.
Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State all show up in the top seven of the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, which leads all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. It's also a vindication for the Big Ten fans who insist the conference can still field strong teams.
Better yet, it appears that the conference will get two BCS bowl berths thanks to those high rankings this year. Wisconsin should win the BCS rankings tiebreaker and win the conference, earning the automatic BCS bid and a Rose Bowl berth, which Ohio State makes another trip to New Orleans for a Sugar Bowl. Michigan State, which beat Wisconsin but never got to play Ohio State, would likely head to the Capital One Bowl, a bit of a disappointment for an 11-1 squad.
But, then, teams that get blown out at Iowa don't usually make it to the BCS, especially when a late-season swoon by the Hawkeyes results in the team being dropped out of the USA Today poll following losses to Northwestern and Minnesota.
The lack of Big Ten depth might be a problem for some who would call the Big Ten the nation's best conference — Iowa's the only Big Ten team even receiving votes in the Week 14 USA Today poll — but Wisconsin and Ohio State won't mind. And other schools shouldn't, either: the conference will split the BCS kitty evenly.
Full Big Ten rankings are as follows:
- No. 4 Wisconsin
- No. 6 Ohio State
- No. 7 Michigan State