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State of the Union: General W.T. Sherman's Big 10 Blogroll

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WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN is a General Assignment Reporter for The Rivalry, Esq.  He lives in Lancaster, OH with his wife, Ellen, and eight children.  In addition to sports blogging, Sherman enjoys fireworks, competitive poker, and teaching Jim Tressel new swear words.

Let's face it, it's been an improbable week for the Big 10 devotee.  On one end, No. 5 Ohio State got whipped in the wild west and the high flying Michigan offense finally showed it can put up six: turnovers, that is.

Yet, then there's Mark Schalbach, who ranked the conference third out of the eleven FBS soldiers.

This begs the question: if the Buckeyes are college football's new bed-wetters, and the Wolverines look more like dancing Chippendales than athletes, who showed up for the ten?

The other guys.

No. 10 Wisconsin's wham bam thank you mamn win at No. 21 Fresno, No. 17 Penn State's firestorm in Syracuse, and Iowa's Cyclone couching put a blue collar wrench in the rest of the nation's plans to write off the rust-belt. 

Minnesota managed to stay undefeated, along with Northwestern -- Michigan State showed Schnellenberger why the North is a lame place to play in the rain, and Illinois saved its scalp by hanging onto an onsides kick and a narrow victory over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Even Purdue's double-overtime loss to a ranked Pac 10 Oregon was a moral victory -- although 'Makers fans are still boiling over the squandering of a 20-3 lead at halftime.

So, two weeks out from in-conference play: who are the teams to beat in the Big 10?

02ba8076-47a1-4809-b45a-c794186a0db9_medium Sherman thinks Joe Pa's omnipotence will help Penn State hold onto the rails.

Sherman says it's a bear battlefield with the point potence of the Nittany Lions, and brawn of the Badgers leading the crowd.  Not far behind is everyone's favorite fallen Buckeyes, who with Chris Wells look like New Years Day bowl material and without him look like alphabet soup.

After that, it's a competitive vortex with the Spartans and Illini most likely to keep their heads above water.