Videos by OutKick
The first AP Poll of the season is out, and some Big Ten fans might be fired up with the rankings.
The conference had just four teams appear in the opening AP rankings of the season. Most notably, the Ohio State Buckeyes came in second, only behind the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Michigan is eighth, Michigan State is 15th and Wisconsin is 18th.
So, how should Big Ten fans feel about the first AP Poll of the year? The answer is simple. It shouldn’t really matter.
It’s the poll going into week zero and week one. If the voters want to disrespect the conference, so be it. That’s an error on their end. Yes, it’s disrespectful and insane only four teams were ranked, but let’s stay focused on what matters.
All the Big Ten can do is get to work. It’s not where you start in life. It’s where you finish, and college football sums up that mindset and attitude better than just about anything.
Now, let’s run down the teams that did appear.
#2 Ohio State:
Clearly, the Buckeyes deserve to be here. C.J. Stroud is going to be a top NFL pick and could win the Heisman this season.
There’s no beef here at all. The Buckeyes are going to be a dominant team and 100% deserve the ranking they got in the initial poll.
If anything, this ranking feels a bit low. Michigan is going to be good with Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy dueling it out for QB1 reps.
It’s fair to note Michigan lost some pieces from 2021. Most notably, Aidan Hutchinson is now playing for the Detroit Lions after terrorizing B1G offenses last season.
However, there’s no reason to think Michigan can’t push for a much higher ranking than eighth in America.
#15 Michigan State:
Similar to my thoughts on Michigan, the Spartans are going to almost certainly be solid in 2022, but replacing Kenneth Walker III is going to be one hell of a tall task.
Having said that, this ranking is very low. The Spartans have to replace an excellent running back, but a solid core exists for Mel Tucker.
Expect them to finish higher once the season is over.
This, my friends, is a joke of a ranking. Did defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard quit without telling anyone? I don’t think so, and that means Wisconsin’s defense is going to be elite, once again.
The Badgers also have the best running back in the conference in Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi is a nice RB2 option. Add in the fact Graham Mertz has reportedly developed and is more confident, and there is a lot to like.
Yes, there are pieces that need to be replaced on the D and we only have one proven WR – Chimere Dike – but overall, buy Wisconsin like we’re a stock that is about to explode!
Unbelievably disrespectful ranking! If I could bet my life savings on Wisconsin finishing higher than this without my girlfriend immediately leaving me, I would do it right now.
As for Iowa (third receiving votes), Penn State (fourth receiving votes) and the rest of the Big Ten that got left out, it’s insulting but right now, it’s time to get to work.
The Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes are both going to be very solid. Anyone who doubts that doesn’t know much about their programs or history.
For all my Big Ten fans out there, let me know in the comments what your thoughts are!