For the most part, the forecast isn't favorable for the Big Ten.
Michigan State holds steady at No. 9, leading off the Big Ten contingent. Schlabach writes that Michigan State is "quietly becoming the Big Ten's most consistent program, winning 11 games in each of the past two seasons and winning its first bowl game during coach Mark Dantonio's tenure."
But there's a sizable drop-off after Michigan State. Michigan comes in at No. 14, a three-spot drop from the previous power rankings. Keep in mind this backslide comes after the Wolverines signed the nation's No. 7 recruiting class, according to ESPN Recruiting.
Scratching my head on that one. While I can see Stanford moving up after signing a strong class, putting Michigan behind both Arkansas and Kansas State doesn't seem right.
Might need to consult with Mr. Schlabach. That is, if he'll take a call from an area code outside SEC territory.
Ohio State, which didn't appear in the last national power poll, rockets to No. 16 in the latest rundown, as Schlabach writes new coach Urban Meyer "came out swinging in his first recruiting effort in the Big Ten."
Nebraska drops four spots to No. 17, as Schlabach writes that Huskers fans "are getting a little impatient with coach Bo Pelini." The Huskers' recruiting class didn't draw rave reviews from the fans I've heard from, but Nebraska added some key pieces, particularly linebacker Michael Rose. This drop isn't a huge surprise, though, as Nebraska's class didn't crack the Top 25.
Wisconsin actually moves up a spot to No. 18 in Schlabach's poll, despite signing the smallest class in the Big Ten (12 recruits). Both Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech drop behind the Badgers.
No other Big Ten teams made the Top 25. Thoughts?
For what it's worth, here's where I'd rank the Big Ten teams nationally at the moment.
No. 9: Michigan State
No. 11: Michigan
No. 14: Ohio State
No. 17: Nebraska
No. 19: Wisconsin