The new Creed album Full Circle comes out tomorrow. You might ask yourself what this has to do with Big Ten football. Well, everything today. You see, during my time at Purdue Creed was in its heyday. They were my favorite band at the time (lame, I know) and their sudden breakup in the summer of 2004 left me searching for a new favorite. Purdue's football program went into a spiral shortly after, but they are currently in the midst of a comeback. Like Purdue, Creed's recent reuniting and comeback haven't had a lot of publicity, but there is hope for the first time in a long time. As a result, we get this week's Rivalry Esq. Power Poll ballot Creed-style with a song for every team.
- Iowa - One (My Own Prison) - "We may rise and fall, but in the end we meet our fate together" - The fate of the Big Ten's national perception may rest on Iowa Ohio State-ing its way to a national title. The Hawkeyes are currently the conference's lone shot at the title, and barring a massive choke job at home they have a one game season coming at Ohio State. Last week proved once again they are not beaten until the final play. As I said in the blogpoll yesterday, if USC didn't want to bitch they should have lost to Washington. Iowa, therefore, has a right to bitch.
- Penn State - Higher (Human Clay) - "But, my friend, I'd sacrifice all those nights If I could make the Earth and my dreams the same" - It certainly looks like is having another season where they would love to get back one night game. An at-large BCS bowl is certainly still a possibility. They may even head back to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl if Iowa plays in the title game. Unfortunately, it is that loss to the Hawkeyes at home that prevents them from going higher.
- Ohio State - One Last Breath (Weathered) - "Please come now I think I'm falling, I'm holding to all I think is safe. It seems I found the road to nowhere and I'm trying to escape." - Amazingly, Ohio State still controls its own destiny. With games against Iowa and Penn State left they can still make a run to the Big Ten title and play in another BCS bowl game. They are down to their last breath, however, in keeping that streak live. The Purdue loss means they are not getting there as an at large candidate anymore.
- Wisconsin - Ode (My Own Prison) - "Adore me as I drift away. Let me hear you say I'm fine." - Is Wisconsin really fine? They have lost two in a row before a much needed bye. Now they face a Purdue team that needs one more reason to believe it can still make a bowl game. Purdue has not played in Madison since Curtis Painter's first start in 2005. Before that, the Boilers had won two in a row at Camp Randall. A loss to the Boilers on Halloween would have the Badgers drifting to the bottom.
- Michigan State - What If (Human Clay) - "The more you hold us down the more we press on." - In four losses this year Michigan State has either held the lead or has been within range to score during the final minute three times. That is as much of a What If season as Purdue has had, if not more. As a result, they are pressing on. Sadly, if they drop one of the next two to Minnesota or Western Michigan they could miss a bowl.
- Purdue - My Own Prison (My Own Prison) - "I cry out to God. Seeking only his decision. Gabriel stands and confirms. I've created my own prison." - If Purdue misses a bowl game it really does have only itself to blame because of all the turnovers. As the Illinois game showed,t hey can win with a subpar effort if they limit turnovers. I believe we're a better team than both Minnesota and Northwestern. If we played them right now I would absolutely pick us again. Just imagine the talk of a Purdue team that would be 4-0 and tied with Iowa atop the standings had the Boilers won those games, especially after the 1-3 start.
- Michigan - Illusion (My Own Prison) - "Am I really happy or is it all just an illusion?" - Note to Michigan: please at least show up in your next big home game. Although, if you want to take another home game off and just wait for Ohio State that is fine with me. At least they will go to a bowl game this year after ending Illinois' misery this week.
- Northwestern - Never Die (Human Clay) - "I won't let go of that youthful soul. Despite body and mind my youth will never die." - What is going to happen next week when Northwestern and Iowa play? Neither team quits until the final minute and both have at least three wins they probably should have lost in that time. Whoever has the ball last is winning this game, and I wouldn't be surprised if one found a way to score two touchdowns on the same play if down 13 with five seconds left.
- Minnesota - Signs (Weathered) - "Time served on the earth doesn't mean you grow in the mind." - It is not a good sign when Adam Weber has been sent to the bench. Minnesota certainly looks they are doing what they did last year: falling into the tank after beating Purdue. Fortunately, Illinois and South Dakota State remain so they can get to a bowl. They might even score this year against Iowa too.
- Indiana - Unforgiven (My Own Prison) - "Lost sight of the irony of twisted faith." - A 28-3 lead blown at Northwestern. Getting blown out by a Virginia team that was dominated by William & Mary. Coming oh so close at Michigan. It certainly was a twisted in faith inside me that had me thinking the Hoosiers could go bowling.
Illinois - Pity For a Dime (My Own Prison) - "So I sat down for awhile. Forcing a smile. In a state of self-denial. Is it worthwhile? Sell my pity for a dime." - No lyric sums up the Illini's situation any better. If they think things are fine with Ron Zook at the helm for another year they are delusional. In reality, they just can't afford to buy him out. It looks like the 2010 Fighting Illini football slogan should be: Lame Duck Hunting. they can even make orange shirts with the classic Nintendo game as a theme.