Rating the 2011 Non-Conference Slate: Big Ten

And this time I was right! This is totally not the Big 12. See, for starters, there are twelve teams, so it’s obviously the Big Ten. Sheesh.

  1. Ohio State (1.25 legit, 0 DI-AA): Akron, Toledo, @Miami, Colorado. You have to feel for the Buckeyes, and their back-and-forth saga over the past few weeks. When the massive scandal at Miami broke, surely OSU partisans gave themselves a chance against a depleted Hurricane squad. Well, not any more, as most of the current players involved have been suspended for only one game while the Ohio 5 Minus One will still be on the bench. Even so, they should still beat the other three OOC teams.
  2. Michigan (1, 0): Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State. Here by virtue of not playing any DI-AA teams, pretty much.
  3. Pennsylvania State (1, 1): Indiana State, Alabama, @Temple, Eastern Michigan. If it weren’t for the Sycamores (a.k.a, “Hey, remember when Larry Bird went here?” State University) this would probably be the best schedule in the Big Ten, despite the rating. It may well still be. I’ll touch on this throughout the season, but I think Alabama will be back in a big way this year.
  4. Minnesota (1, 1): @Southern California, New Mexico State, Miami, North Dakota State. The rating isn’t wrong – that’s the Miami in Oxford, OH. Unfortunately for the Gophers, a sign of progress will probably be solidly beating NMSU and NDSU, much less this particular Miami (not to mention USC).
  5. Michigan State (1, 1): Youngstown State, Florida Atlantic, @Notre Dame, Central Michigan. Well, CMU just isn’t the same with Dan “Rust Belt Tebow” LeFevour, so pretty much all to get excited about here is the road trip to South Bend.
  6. Purdue (1, 1): Middle Tennessee State, @Rice, Southeast Missouri State, Notre Dame. Rated below Michigan State because they get the Irish at home.
  7. Wisconsin (0.75, 1): Nevada-Las Vegas, Oregon State, N-Northern Illinois, South Dakota. I think the only way to get a team more opposite of Wisconsin matched up is if they played Oregon itself, but this will have to do.
  8. Iowa (0.75, 1): Tennessee Tech, @Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Louisiana-Monroe. I have a feeling we underrated Pitt this year, but years of mediocrity of under the Wannstache can do that.
  9. Illinois (0.5, 1): Arkansas State, South Dakota State, Arizona State, Western Michigan. Did you know that Ron Zook is still actually the head coach at Illinois? Yeah, I know! I’m as surprised as you are. Well, suffice it to say that if UIUC managed to drop any of these games beside Arizona State he might finally get canned. And what happened to that matchup against Mizzou? That was fun.
  10. Northwestern (0.5, 1): @Boston College, Eastern Illinois, @Army, Rice. Well, they’re Northwestern. Can you blame them?
  11. Nebraska (0.5, 1): Tennessee-Chattanooga, Fresno State, Washington, @Wyoming. I think the most wrong I was about anything all of last season was the damn Holiday Bowl, when Washington stomped on Nebraska. But seriously, I still don’t see how the Huskers won’t end up 4-0 against this schedule. Well, unless the Wyoming home brown unis simply beat them into submission with ugliness. (Note: they are objectively ugly. I like them, personally, but I also enjoyed using pink/purple/green as a motif in my Create-A-School teams in old versions of NCAA football.)
  12. Indiana (0.5, 1): N-Ball State, Virginia, South Carolina State, @North Texas. The game with Ball State is in Indianapolis, which is understandable. Less so is the road trip to Denton, which I hope was a 2-for-1.

And next, at long last, the Big 12. Provided it still exists tomorrow.