Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, August 9, 2013

Taylor Martinez
US Presswire

The highly respected Phil Steele released his 2013 Initial Power Ratings on Friday, and the list is certain to get the attention of Big Ten fans. For starters, Big Ten preseason favorite Ohio State lands at No. 4, behind reigning national champ Alabama, Oregon and Texas A&M. Ohio State fans won't like that. Nebraska? The reigning Legends Division champ comes in at No. 27, and is the fifth (!) Big Ten team.

[ 2013 Initial Power Ratings ]

Before you get too upset, understand that this is just one of Steele's nine sets of power ratings. He refers to this one as his Plus/Minus ratings, which he feels most closely resembles the general perception of each team heading into 2013. Read more about the ratings here.

No. 4: Ohio State
No. 17: Michigan
No. 18: Wisconsin
No. 19: Northwestern
No. 27: Nebraska
No. 30: Michigan State
No. 34: Penn State
No. 60: Iowa
No. 75: Indiana
No. 76: Minnesota
No. 86: Purdue
No. 95: Illinois

What do you think? My biggest gripe would be that the Huskers, as mentioned above, are the fifth Big Ten team. I know all about Nebraska's issues on defense, but the offense is going to be terrific and the schedule is very manageable. Even if the defense is awful again, Taylor Martinez and company have the ability to outscore just about every team on their slate.

[ RELATED: Check out's countdown of the top 25 players of 2013 ]

Another interesting thing: Two of Steele's top three Big Ten teams reside in the Leaders Division. That's not a crazy prediction, but most experts feel the Legends Division is the far superior division.

About Brent Yarina senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature "Clothes Call," which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina's RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.