After finishing 2017 ranked No. 17, Northwestern dropped out of the Amway Coaches Poll, which was released on Thursday.
The 65 coaches (Pat Fitzgerald is not one of them) who make up the Amway Board of Coaches ranked Northwestern 30th in the country a year after the Wildcats finished 10-3. The complete rankings can be found here.
Five Big Ten teams made the top 25, and three slotted into the top 10. While head coach Urban Meyer is on paid administrative leave as the university investigates whether he knew of domestic assault allegations against an assistant, Ohio State doesn’t want for talent and are ranked third.
Wisconsin slots in at No. 7 following an undefeated regular season and a Orange Bowl win. Trace McSorley leads Penn State at No. 9. Rounding out the Big Ten representatives are No. 12 Michigan State and No. 14 Michigan.
You can quibble with the fact that Northwestern beat Michigan State last year and was probably better than Michigan, but both teams from the Mitten return a ton of talent and have stable quarterback situations.
Northwestern can’t say the same, at least not yet. The Wildcats still aren’t regarded as “big boys” in the Big Ten, but they will have plenty of chances in 2018 to prove they belong in the top tier.