American football

A few B1G teams are already sleeping in 2022, plus other very early notes in the Top 25

Ryan O’Gara | 2 hours ago

One of my favorite things to do the morning after a National Championship is to look at all the “Way Too Early for Top 25 Rankings” articles from the national media.

I don’t think these things should be taken seriously, because a lot is going to happen in the next eight months – training changes (Jim Harbo?), spring training, more transfers and, unfortunately, injuries. And then, of course, the actual games will determine the ranking.

But these ratings are an interesting window into how some of the most prominent members of the media view certain shows. I looked at 8 of them: ESPN, The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, 247, CBS, Action Network, Athlon, and Sporting News.

some notes:

Minnesota, Bordeaux are underrated

I’m a little surprised I don’t see more love for Minnesota and Purdue, both of whom finished 9-4, won bowling games and got back the starting QBs. There was only one outlet for the Minnesota rating (athletic, 18) and only one for Purdue’s rating (SI, 24th).

I know Minnesota can lose up to 4 starters up front from a really good offensive line, but this one works just as well as anyone else. Kirk Ciaroca, the offensive coordinator for the 2019 team that finished in the top 10, is back in his previous role. Tanner Morgan is back in QB, as is first goalie Chris Ottman Bell. Star full-back Mohamed Ibrahim, who sustained a season-ending injury in the season opener, is making a comeback. This team won 9 games after losing their MVP early on, including eventually defeating rival Wisconsin to keep the Badgers out of the Big Ten Championship. Consider: Minnesota ranks 16th among the Power 5 teams over the past three years with 23 wins. That’s how many there are in Wisconsin, that’s equal to the number of Kentucky, which is more than Pennsylvania and Auburn.

Purdue is entering the season with plenty of momentum coming off his best season since 2003. Boilermakers have appeared in the Top 25 for the first time since 2007, beating two of the Top 3 teams (Iowa and Michigan State). They then went out and beat the SEC team in their home state in bowling, despite losing in the first round of their NFL Draft picks. Aidan O’Connell will likely be the No. 2 B1G QB entering 2022, behind only CJ Stroud. There is a lot to get excited about in West Lafayette.

Ohio State is seen as a contender for the national title

The Buckeyes are ranked either second or third by each port, and it’s not hard to see why: The Buckeyes might have the best attack in the country yet again. CJ Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be among the best nationally in their positions. The question will be whether new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles can run this side of the ball. The worst case scenario seems to be Ohio State in the shootout with a good chance of winning, as in the Rose Bowl against Utah. The possibility of the Buckeyes winning a national title hinges on defense.

Who knows about Wisconsin?

I’m not sure what Brett McMurphy (Action Network) knows about Wisconsin, but he has the Badgers all the way at number six. There are other outlets, such as Sports News (unranked) and Athletic (24th) that are not buying Badgers.

I was as high as anyone in Wisconsin before this season (I had the Badgers go to CFP), but they didn’t have that kind of season. And now they are likely to lose 3 key players in this great defense, including American Leo Chenal. Additionally, Graham Mertz, who had a shaky second season early in the season, lost his Top 3 gun. So far, Wisconsin plays in Ohio, Michigan and Iowa. This is a difficult timetable.

Michigan State of Michigan respected

Michigan started this season outside the top 25, and Michigan State wasn’t even close to anyone’s radar before this season, but both could be in the top 10 or 15 for the start of next season. Michigan was at 11 or better in 7 out of 8 rankings (Work Network was the exception), while Michigan was 11 or better in 5 out of 8. Expectations are high in 2022 in Michigan.

The media is paying attention to the struggles of Pennsylvania

None of the past five seasons have started worse than 19 in the AP pre-season poll, but I believe that streak ends in 2022. Nittany Lions cracked in the top 25 in only 4 of the 8 rankings, and only Action Network Penn State had a better 20 Penn State are 11-11 in the last two seasons and 8-10 in the B1G game, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

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