Big Ten places four teams in the final polls

January, 9, 2009
1/09/09
10:45
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The polls are out, and four Big Ten teams are in the final rankings. 

As the only Big Ten team to win its bowl, Iowa finally cracked the Top 25 at No. 20 in both the Associated Press and coaches' polls. Two other Big Ten teams -- Penn State and Michigan State -- moved down the rankings, while Northwestern fell out following its overtime loss to Missouri. 

Penn State finished at No. 8 in both polls, marking the team's 22nd final top 10 ranking under head coach Joe Paterno.

Ohio State actually moved up a spot to No. 9 in the final AP Poll, a good indication of the respect the Buckeyes regained with their performance against Texas in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes fell one spot to No. 11 in the final coaches' poll.

Michigan State finished No. 24 in both polls, dropping from No. 19 in the AP and No. 18 in the coaches'. 

I voted Penn State at No. 8, Ohio State at No. 12 and Iowa at No. 20 in my final ballot for the ESPN.com Power Rankings. I might have weighted bowl victories more than most. Both Michigan State and Northwestern dropped out of my rankings, but not by much. And because Northwestern performed better in its bowl and finished the season stronger than the Spartans, who peaked in early October, I think both teams are in the 26-30 range. 

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