When I was in high school, we went to a 12-Man Battle Royale at the long-gone International Amphitheater, near the long-gone Stock Yards on the South Side of Chicago, which still standing but wobbly.

I don’t remember all 12 combatants, but I believe Baron Von Raschke outlasted an all-star cast that included grapplers like Vern Gagne, the Crusher, Mad Dog Vachon, Cowboy Jack (later Blackjack) Lanza and two guys named Red (Lyons and Bastien). I think Dick the Bruiser had the night off. But it might have been the Crusher.

The object was to throw the other guys out of the ring. Last man standing was the winner.

Which brings me to this year’s Big Ten basketball race.

Please don’t get too exorcised about these Power Rankings. There’s going to be a lot of fluidity in this season’s Battle Royale. Some teams will get thrown out of the ring. Some may even climb back in, just as they did on that long-ago night at the Amphitheater. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.