The good news: The Big Ten is one of just three conferences with five-or-more top-25 teams in the latest AP or USA Today coaches poll.
The bad news: Ohio State is not among the Big Ten's elite.
Small wonder considering OSU's performance last week against Michigan State.
Wisconsin leads the conference reps. The Badgers are fourth in the AP poll and fifth in the coaches poll. Michigan, also unbeaten, appears at No. 11 in the coaches poll and is 12th in the AP rankings.
Nebraska checks in at No. 14 in the AP and No. 15 in the coaches poll.
Illinois, the conference's third unbeaten unit, is 16th (USA Today) and 19th (AP).
Michigan State is now No.20 in the coaches poll following last week's 10-7 triumph at Columbus.
The Buckeyes and Penn State, meanwhile, are also receiving at least one vote in one or both polls this week.
Here's this weekend's Big Ten projections with Michigan State and Wisconsin experiencing bye weeks:
AT PURDUE (2-2)
Gophers are involved in a mighty struggle with lone victory a 29-23 nod over Miami of Ohio. Purdue's resume not much better, but this one's in West Lafayette.
AT INDIANA (1-4)
Though Illini could be overlooking Hoosiers with Ohio State looking the following week, that should matter little. Illini, 35-17.
AT PENN STATE (4-1)
Nittany Lions need to prove they could be outside factors in Leaders Division race.
The question is, can Joe Pa mount some semblance of offensive consistency. Nittany Lions, 20-17.
AT NORTHWESTERN (2-2)
Somehow, I expect the Wolverines to be tested outside the Big House.
Though just 2-2, NU has been in every game.
OHIO STATE (3-2)
AT NEBRASKA (4-1):
This won't define Buckeyes' season, though another shabby performance will have Luke Fickell in scalding hot water.
Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org