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Sunday, September 23, 2012
Big Ten in the latest polls

By Adam Rittenberg

After another rough weekend in the Big Ten, it's time to take a look at the latest polls. The good news: nonleague play is over.

Only three Big Ten squads remain in the AP poll, as Michigan fell out following its 13-6 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday night, dropping from the rankings for the first time in more than a year. I wonder if the Wolverines would have fallen out had they fallen by a similar margin in a higher-scoring game (say, 35-28). Ohio State and Michigan State both move up despite less-than impressive victories Saturday against UAB and Eastern Michigan, respectively. The Buckeyes move up two spots to No. 14, while Michigan State moves up a spot to No. 20. Nebraska also moves up three spots after its thrashing of FCS Idaho State.

Despite a 4-0 record and wins against three major-conference teams, Northwestern didn't make the AP rundown. Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats are the first team out at No. 26. Michigan is two spots behind Northwestern in receiving votes. Wisconsin and Purdue also are receiving votes in the AP rankings, but Minnesota, at 4-0, didn't get a single vote. That's a bit surprising, given the mediocrity throughout college football.

Michigan State is the Big Ten's highest-ranked team in the coaches' poll at No. 18 (Ohio State isn't ranked because it's not eligible for postseason play). Both the Spartans and No. 20 Nebraska move up two spots in this week's poll, while Wisconsin moves up to No. 23. Although the Badgers looked a bit better against UTEP, their continued coaches' poll ranking is ridiculous (much like Boise State's AP ranking). Northwestern also checks in just outside the rankings at No. 26. Michigan fell from No. 17 to out of the poll and is third among others receiving votes. Minnesota receives 11 votes in the coaches' poll, while Purdue receives four.

Here's a full look at where the Big Ten teams rank in the polls:

AP

14. Ohio State
20. Michigan State
22. Nebraska

Northwestern is just outside at No. 26, while Michigan is No. 28.

Coaches

No. 18 Michigan State
No. 20 Nebraska
No. 23 Wisconsin

Northwestern is just outside at No. 26, while Michigan is No. 28.