Big Ten fighting uphill battle in BCS standings

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The latest BCS standings are out, and quite frankly, Penn State deserves better.

The Nittany Lions remained at No. 8 despite crushing Michigan State by 31 points. I don't see a whole lot of blemishes on Penn State's record -- the Lions notched 10 of their 11 wins by 14 points or more -- but evidently voters see a team that doesn't belong in the first tier.

Utah shouldn't be ahead of Penn State. Neither should Texas Tech, which looked pathetic Saturday night in Norman. Penn State is a last-minute field goal away from an undefeated season, and the Nittany Lions get no credit for annihilating an Oregon State team that beat USC.

The Big Ten is viewed as a mediocre-to-bad league right now, and a very good Penn State team is paying the price. It doesn't really matter, since Penn State is Rose Bowl bound no matter what.

Ohio State remained at No. 10 in the BCS standings despite three dominant November victories. It's a bit surprising Boise State remained ahead of the Buckeyes. Michigan State dropped three spots to No. 18 and Northwestern re-entered the standings at No. 24.

If the Big Ten is going to change its national perception, it will need an extremely strong performance in the postseason.