Week 4 AP Top 25: B1G East starting to dominate Top 10
This is a great week in the Associated Press polls if you’re a fan of B1G football.
After a Saturday that saw the conference win three games over ranked opponents, the B1G is well-represented in the AP Top 25 in Week 4.
Five teams have earned a ranking this week and another two earned votes but were left off the list. Iowa fell from its spot at No. 13 and dropped completely out of the rankings following the 23-21 loss to North Dakota State. Nebraska nudged its way into the mix after an impressive win over Oregon.
Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State, well, they remained highly ranked after impressive victories.
There wasn’t much surprise for the B1G when the rankings were released. For the most part, everyone fell about where they should have without much argument.
So what did I take away from this week’s release of the AP Poll?
Related: Week 3 Game Balls: Heroes galore for B1G on Statement Saturday
1.) No injury consideration for Wisconsin – Wisconsin dropped two spots from No. 9 to No. 11 after a 23-17 win over Georgia State. Yes, the Badgers struggled with an 0-2 Panthers team that it should’ve blown out at Camp Randall Stadium. But Corey Clement didn’t see a single snap on Saturday and his absence was partly responsible for Wisconsin’s troubles offensively. I understand the drop, but Clement’s injury should’ve been taken into consideration. This is still a top-10 team.
2.) Nebraska rushes into the rankings – It was a nearly flawless from Tommy Armstrong against Oregon, something Nebraska needed in order to nab a win over the 22nd-ranked Ducks. Running the football has become a strength in Lincoln, as the Huskers are averaging 219.3 yards per game on the ground. After the win over Oregon, Nebraska looks like a team capable of winning the B1G West. Don’t be surprised if the Huskers start hurdling other teams in the rankings in the next few weeks.
3.) The beasts are still in the East – Despite the SEC getting eight teams into the top 25 this week, the B1G is the most represented conference in the top 10. The B1G East dominated Sunday’s release as Ohio State climbed up a position to the No. 2 spot, Michigan held firm at No. 4 and Michigan State had a four-spot improvement up to No. 8. It isn’t likely that the B1G will occupy nearly half of the top eight spots for long, but it just proves how truly dominant the East is going to be this season.
4.) Maryland, yes Maryland, is knocking on the door – Ok, so maybe the Terrapins aren’t really receiving that much attention after a rather bland 3-0 start to the season, but D.J. Durkin has caught the eyes of some of the voters. After a double-overtime win over UCF on Saturday, Maryland found its way into the “others receiving votes,” category, with three points next to its name. Life is going to get more difficult for the Terps once B1G play starts and they probably won’t be anywhere near the top 25 once we hit the heart of the conference slate. But, hey, matching last year’s win total and getting a few votes is a pretty good start for a new coaching staff.
GAME. OVER. @TerpsFootball win it in 2OT. https://t.co/B55EZKL0Ho
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 18, 2016
5.) The B1G is certainly talented enough to earn two bids in the CFP – As long as we have a four-team bracket, I’m of the belief that no conference will get two teams into the playoff. Yes, that includes the mighty SEC. If by chance, though, the selection committee did do the unthinkable, the B1G will certainly be in that discussion. Ohio State dominated Oklahoma. For two-and-a-half quarters, Michigan State owned Notre Dame. Wisconsin beat a good LSU team. And Michigan? Well they may not have a significant win on their resume yet, but that’s going to change. The top of the conference is as good as it’s ever been and the East is arguably the best division in college football. Don’t be surprised if three or four teams are still in the playoff discussion at the end of the year.