Where Does the B1G Stand in CBS Sports Top 129?

CBS has finally released its Preseason Top 125. The top 5 are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Ohio State
  5. Wisconsin

Makes sense, but in all honesty, nobody really cares about any other teams enough to rank them this early. Nothing really matters until Week 1. None the less, as a blogger, I must analyze the list. So Where does the Big 10 Rank?

  1. Ohio State (4th overall)
  2. Wisconsin (5th overall)
  3. Penn State (8th overall)
  4. Michigan State (10th overall)
  5. Michigan (13th overall)
  6. Iowa (32nd overall)
  7. Northwestern (42nd overall)
  8. Nebraska (43rd overall)
  9. Purdue (45th overall)
  10. Maryland (59th overall)
  11. Indiana (70th overall)
  12. Minnesota (78th overall)
  13. Rutgers (84th overall)
  14. Illinois (93rd overall)

Not surprised by this list. Yes personal bias would probably move Illinois above Rutgers but at least we are not the last P5 team (Oregon State, Kansas and Virginia) rank below the Illini. Clearly we can see that there is a clear tier system. Ohio, Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan are Tier 1. There is a significant drop off to Tier 2 of Iowa, Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue and Maryland. The last Tier consists of Indiana, Minnesota, Rutgers and Illinois. Pretty fair evaluation.

Illinois this year thus has 2 Tier 3 games, 5 Tier 4 games and 2 Tier 1 Games. Illinois has OOC games against Kent State (127th Overall), Western Illinois (FCS) and USF (60th overall). Kent State and Western should be locked in wins. If we can win our Tier 3 games and steal a Tier 2 game, I’ll be happy. That puts the Illini at 5-7 for the season, which would be palatable going into Year 4 of Lovie Smith. Look out of a complete preview of the Illini next week.

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