The Big Ten's weak Week 4 slate didn't provide many opportunities to enhance the league's national profile. For the most part, only bad things could happen.
And for Indiana and Minnesota, they did.
But the other eight Big Ten squads took care of business, seven in dominating fashion. As a result, the Big Ten remained No. 3 in the ESPN Stats & Information Conference Power Rankings -- and actually boosted its stock a bit.
As a reminder, these rankings are compiled through "a system that equally weighs the rankings from the AP Poll and a compilation of available BCS computer rankings."
The Big 12 is No. 1 in the power rankings, followed by the SEC. No arguments here. The Big 12 has really impressed me this season.
The Big Ten trails the Big 12 and the SEC by a substantial margin -- the league is 24.5 points behind the SEC and 27.1 points behind the Big 12 -- but leads the Pac-12 by 7.8 points.
The Big Ten saw the greatest jump of any conference after Week 4. Eight teams won games outside of the conference, but only one win was against another AQ conference (Ohio State beat Colorado). The Big Ten has four 4-0 teams all ranked in the AP Top 25 as the heart of the conference schedule begins this weekend.
League play begins Saturday, and it will be interesting to see if the Big Ten can make up enough ground to catch the Big 12 at some point this fall.