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YOUR STILL-WAY-TOO-EARLY BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS: POST-WEEK 4

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Ann Arbor may be up in flames after this weekend, but week 4 was a bounce back for the Big Ten.

Ed Zurga

Three 200-yard rushers? Two teams scoring 60+ points? Only one conference loss? Surely I can't be talking about the Big Ten, can I? Well, put your party hats on, guys and gals. The Big Ten wasn't road kill this past weekend! Indiana knocked off an SEC team not named Vanderbilt on the road; Sparty and Bucky stomped the ever-loving hell out of two MAC teams like they should have; oh, and Iowa, Maryland, and Nebraska went 3-0 against the ACC. Sure, Michigan continues to be a tire fire, but neither Purdue or Northwestern lost to an FCS team this weekend! WOOOO GO BIG TEN!

To the power rankings!

Because it's still early in the season, preseason projections are still heavily influencing each team's ratings. The preseason projections will slowly get stripped out, and will be fully out of each team's THOR+ rating after they have played five games.

For a refresher of how these ratings work, see here. Also, the numbers that are listed under categories ending in "vs. Avg." represent a team's projected winning percentage, number of wins out of a 12 game schedule, points per game, and points allowed per game if they were to play an average college football schedule. Finally, the categories with a "+" sign are adjusted for strength of opponent. Turnovers, you will notice are not. That's because turnovers can be highly influenced by luck. In the future, I will probably try to adjust these better for luck, but that takes some time that I don't have right now.

Post-Week 4 Power Rankings

Rank Nat' Rank Team Offense+ Defense+ Special Teams+ THOR+ Proj. W% vs Avg. Proj. W vs Avg. Proj. PPG+ vs Avg. Proj. PPGA+ vs Avg.
1 #11 Wisconsin 147 126 107 136 0.790 9.48 39.72 20.15
2 #12 Ohio State 139 128 93 132 0.765 9.17 37.49 19.70
3 #21 Nebraska 132 123 124 127 0.726 8.71 36.15 20.86
4 #25 Michigan State 140 108 125 125 0.707 8.48 38.20 24.04
5 #33 Maryland 105 136 172 122 0.686 8.23 30.46 17.99
6 #42 Penn State 78 147 114 112 0.610 7.32 22.97 15.62
7 #43 Indiana 123 103 47 111 0.601 7.21 33.58 26.10
8 #49 Minnesota 95 122 87 107 0.573 6.88 26.70 21.49
9 #53 Iowa 79 142 5 105 0.561 6.73 22.72 18.18
10 #54 Illinois 109 107 47 105 0.560 6.72 29.87 25.20
11 #59 Rutgers 108 98 123 104 0.549 6.58 30.27 26.46
12 #60 Michigan 86 124 95 104 0.549 6.58 24.99 21.32
13 #71 Northwestern 76 121 91 97 0.499 5.98 21.69 21.51
14 #108 Purdue 73 73 64 72 0.310 3.71 21.48 33.04

1. Wisconsin #11, 136 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#7 89 144 86 116 147 35.88
Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#28 110 114 108 116 126 16.51
Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#51 94 3.85 120 3.64 107

After a week off, the Badgers came out and sandblasted the Bowling Green Falcons, helping to avenge Indiana's embarrassing loss to them from the Saturday before. I don't know if we necessarily learned anything we didn't already know about Wisconsin, however. The defense looked good enough against a MAC team, while the offense relied heavily on the running game. Melvin Gordon put up a video game-like stat line of 13 carries, 253 yards (19.5 yards per carry!!!), and 5 touchdowns. And if that wasn't insane enough, Tanner McEvoy ran for 158 yards and a score, while Corey Clement had 111 yards and 2 touchdowns, and even the third string running back, Dare Ogunbowale, almost  reached the 100 yard mark, rushing for 94 yards on 14 carries. In total, this Badger offense threw the ball only 18 times out of 79 total offensive plays. That means they ran the ball 61 times, and of those 61 carries, the Badgers rushed for 644 yards on the ground. That box score is pretty amazing to look at really; I don't care if they played Bowling Green. Again, though, here is the question we are all wondering heading into conference play: How will Wisconsin do against the Big Ten when the box is stacked and the opposing team is daring Tanner McEvoy to beat them with his arm? That could be the difference between a special season, and a mediocre one.

Up Next: vs. #114 South Florida

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 96%

Average Score: Wisconsin 54, South Florida 11

2. Ohio State #12, 132 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#13 123 104 72 90 139 34.04

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#26 154 104 133 131 128 16.12

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#77 57 3.46 129 3.58 93

The Buckeyes had a bye week in week 4, giving them two weeks to prepare for a Cincinnati team that I'm not 100% sure what to make of right now. The Bearcats didn't play a game until week 3, then came out of the gate and beat a decent Toledo team 58-34, and then squeaked by a bad Miami of Ohio team 31-24. Judging by Cincinnati's first two games, I don't think Ohio State should have much trouble putting up points against this defense. That is, of course, as long as the Buckeye line can give J.T. Barrett adequate protection. What could make this game closer than Ohio State fans would like, however, would be to see the Buckeyes struggle to stop Gunner Kiel and Cincinnati's offense. Luckily for the Buckeyes, their pass defense has been superb this season, so they should be fine.

Up Next: vs. #41 Cincinnati

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 81%

Average Score: Ohio State 42, Cincinnati 22

3. Nebraska #21, 127 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#18 140 129 126 136 132 32.12

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#36 116 106 68 111 123 17.34

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#26 111 4.03 137 3.52 124

You have to give credit to Nebraska. After a lousy couple of weeks for the conference, the Cornhuskers beat a Power 5 conference team in a primetime game. Ameer Abdullah looked great again, as he was another Big Ten running back to go over 200 yards on the ground this past week. It took him 35 attempts, but he had a 6.5 yard per carry average, which is undoubtedly good (taking that many hits, of course, is not so ideal). Abdullah was so good against Miami that Tommy Armstrong Jr. only had to throw the ball 13 times all game to beat the Hurricanes (which was something that probably was ideal for Nebraska). On the other side of the ball, though, not everything was quite as positive. Outside of Randy Gregory, the defense probably didn't have their best game, seeing how they gave up 31 points. Yet despite those 31 points allowed, the offense scored 41, and it was enough to get the job done against the first real opponent they've faced all season. So, good job, Nebraska. Way to make the conference look respectable for one night.

Up Next: vs. #54 Illinois

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 79%

Average Score: Nebraska 39, Illinois 20

4. Michigan State #25, 125 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#12 135 105 129 109 140 34.26

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#52 110 112 172 114 108 20.66

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#24 97 3.87 153 3.39 125

All you need to know about Michigan State's game against Eastern Michigan can be observed from this Vine:

However, I should probably do my weekly explanation on why Michigan State isn't higher in the power rankings. Essentially, it boils down to their strength of schedule and their Defense+ rating. For the strength of schedule portion, Oregon helps in that department, but outside of the Ducks, Michigan State has played Jacksonville State and Eastern Michigan. The former is an FCS team and the latter somehow is now the 127th ranked FBS team in the nation, according to THOR+ (thanks, Buffalo!). Oregon also fell a few spots in the eyes of THOR+ this past weekend, when they struggled at Washington State. As for Sparty's Defense+ ranking, that Oregon game is still haunting them. Yes, 48 points to Oregon is pretty common for many teams and doesn't look as bad when you adjust for strength of opponent, but it also doesn't help in a small sample. Next week, the Spartans face #96 Wyoming, so they probably aren't going to get a great boost in the strength of schedule department from that game. But if they can hold Wyoming's offense in check, they may get a boost in their Defense+ rating. Otherwise, it may not be until week 6, against Nebraska, when they get a chance to shoot themselves higher in the power rankings.

Up Next: vs. #96 Wyoming

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 90%

Average Score: Michigan State 46, Wyoming 11

5. Maryland #33, 122 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#60 104 99 70 93 105 25.44

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#15 110 106 121 106 136 14.47

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#1 207 5.03 137 3.52 172

The Terps also helped the Big Ten restore a little bit of respectability by going on the road and beating an ACC foe in Syracuse. Of course, Syracuse isn't great at football, but getting a win on the road against what THOR+ thinks is an around average team, is admirable. And, yet again, Maryland showed that the strength of their team is the defense and special teams play. Will Likely continues to find ways to score, despite not playing on offense, and the special teams had another blocked punt this weekend. Yes, Maryland's defense did give up some yards against Syracuse, but they bent more often than they broke. As Iowa fans, I think we can all appreciate that. Anyway, all of this is lining up for an intriguing game at Indiana this Saturday, as we get to see Maryland's defense and special teams against Indiana's offense. It should be a fun one.

Up Next: at #43 Indiana

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 45%

Average Score: Maryland 26, Indiana 27

6. Penn State #42, 112 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#97 100 78 91 90 78 18.74

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#6 119 135 119 123 147 11.80

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#43 131 4.23 97 3.82 114

James Franklin's bunch essentially had themselves an in-season scrimmage in week 4. Massachusetts is not a good football team, and they looked like it against Penn State. As a result, there's not a whole lot to analyze here. Penn State did what they should against lowly UMass. Next up is Northwestern, who shouldn't give the Nittany Lion defense any trouble, but I'll be curious to see how Hackenberg and the offense look against a decent Northwestern defense.

Up Next: vs. #71 Northwestern

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 73%

Average Score: Penn State 22, Northwestern 11

7. Indiana #43, 111 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#27 113 123 129 121 123 29.99

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#61 103 104 68 108 103 21.74

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#124 70 3.59 24 4.36 47

Leave it to Indiana to bring home the banner win for the conference in week 4. They really went on the road to Mizzou and won? That happened? Yes, yes it did. Missouri's SEC speed struggled to keep up with a lumbering Big Ten offense with a slow, plodding back like Tevin Coleman. Coleman missed a quarter due to an injury, and still finished with 132 yards on 19 carries. Oh, and he also had 3 catches for 57 yards, including this beauty that set up the game-winning touchdown. In all honesty, though, I have no idea how Indiana won this game. Missouri outgained them in yards per play 5.93 to 5.8; Missouri had the ball for 7 minutes longer; and Indiana was 1-14 on third downs, for crying out loud.  But, hey, a win is a win and the Big Ten will take it. Did you know that this is the first time that Indiana has beaten a ranked opponent since 2006 when James Hardy abused Adam Shada all day long? Remember that? Yeah... Thankfully, James Hardy is long gone and he can't hurt us anymore. Anyway, I'm curious to see what this means for the Hoosiers moving forward. Are we underrating them, or are they still the same old Indiana they've always been?

Up Next: vs. #33 Maryland

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 55%

Average Score: Indiana 27, Maryland 26

8. Minnesota #49, 107 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#70 53 100 47 106 95 22.95

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#40 120 104 160 97 122 17.61

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#92 85 3.75 89 3.88 87

Minnesota put to work a similar game plan as Wisconsin and Nebraska on Saturday, when they decided to pretty much not throw the ball. Like at all. Chris Streveler got his first start at quarterback with an injured Mitch Leidner sidelined, and well, the offense didn't miss much of a beat. The Gophers ran the ball down San Jose State's throat all day, to the tune of 380 yards; and Minnesota only had 387 yards of total offense in this game! For those who are not mathematically inclined, that means Minnesota had 7 (!) passing yards for the entire game. Even better, their one and only 7 yard pass completion came with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter. Streveler's final line as a passer was 1-7, 7 yards, and 1 interception. As hilarious as that line is, it's not like Streveler needed to throw the ball against San Jose State's weak defense. Instead, he ran the ball 18 times for 161 yards (8.9 yards per carry) and had 1 touchdown. He teamed up with running back David Cobb, who put on a performance similar to Ameer Abdullah, carrying the rock 34 times for 207 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and 2 touchdowns. Of course, Minnesota's offense still didn't look as sharp as fans would have liked, thanks to problems with turnovers and penalties that killed drives. This game plan worked against San Jose State, but will it work next week in the Big House?

Up Next: at #60 Michigan

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 39%

Average Score: Minnesota 19, Michigan 24

9. Iowa #53, 105 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#95 98 81 101 113 79 19.04

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#11 92 122 85 98 142 13.11

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#128 78 3.68 -69 5.06 5

There were two noticeable changes on Saturday for Iowa's offense, and they both seemed to be the difference in this game. First, Iowa finally seems to have reverted back to the Ken O'Keefe playbook, as we witnessed more power formations and more play action passes in the first half, than we had all year long. This seemed to not only help the passing game, but the run game also looked better because of it, too. Of course, Ken O'Keefe isn't some savior, and going back to his playbook in the first half still only saw Iowa's offense manage 7 points at halftime. The second adjustment came after halftime, when Iowa finally switched quarterbacks (due to Jake Rudock getting injured, apparently), making the offense actually look dangerous and leading to 17 points. The combination of the play action passing game mixed with Beathard's abilities, actually made Iowa's offense look like a possible threat to score.

I don't want to sit here and bag on Jake Rudock; he did have a decent first half, in which he helped engineer a touchdown drive, and was royally screwed out of another possible one when Damond Powell dropped an interception right into Pitt's lap. That being said, the offense still only generated 7 points while he was in the game. Now, we generally hear that Rudock is the preferred starter because of his decision-making skills and his ability to go through his progressions. And it's with that setup that I present to you Exhibit A:

Jake_1_medium

This is the play that Jacobi mentioned on Monday. This pass play was designed for the quarterback and blockers to roll toward the left sideline. I can't tell you for sure what Jake is seeing on this play, but it most definitely is not the wide open Jacob Hillyer at the bottom of the picture. He is supposed to be the ultimate decision maker and checkdown passer, after all, isn't he? If so, you would think he would make the pass to the open Jacob Hillyer, right? Wrong. This was Iowa's last offensive play of the first half, by the way, and instead of moving the chains, it led to a punt because Rudock missed the open man on his side of the field. And I'm not the only one who was wondering where Jake was looking on this play. So was Hillyer:

Jake_2_medium

Again, I don't want to bag on Rudock, but if Beathard is going to take heat for missing a check down on his incomplete touchdown pass against Ball State, Rudock should also take heat when he doesn't keep the chains moving.

Anyway, I just want to leave you with some stats:

Quarterback % of Offensive Plays Passing+ Offense+
Rudock 86% 88 58
Beathard 14% 184 96

In a small sample size, Iowa's offense has been better under C.J. Beathard this year; and if Powell hadn't bobbled that ball against Ball State, the Offense+ rating would be 144, or 44% above average, instead of 4% below average (small samples have large swings). Keep in mind, that the Offense+ rating includes the entire offense, and not just the passing game. If we look at Beathard's Passing+ rating, there is no question who has moved the ball better through the air this year. Rudock's numbers would be a little better than they currently are if Powell didn't drop that ball last weekend too, but the effect would be fairly minimal, since he's seen so much more playing time than Beathard this year. What I'm trying to say, is that based on a small sample size, this offense under Beathard has looked something like a league average unit, while it has looked only slightly more effective than Kansas under Rudock; and that's in a much larger sample size. That should be more than enough reason to give Beathard a look as the starter. Last year he was a toolsy prospect, that still didn't quite understand how to play the game at this level, and it showed with his erratic play. Now, it's a new season. And thus far, he's shown an increased understanding of the game to go with his cannon for an arm. Let's see what you've got, CJB.

Up Next: at #108 Purdue

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 62%

Average Score: Iowa 25, Purdue 18

10. Illinois #54, 105 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#48 112 94 68 101 109 26.43

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#53 80 111 69 105 107 20.94

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#123 55 3.44 39 4.25 47

Tim Beckman continues to pull out close games against opponents that he probably shouldn't be having to pull out close games against. This time it was Texas State, who came into Champaign and tallied 475 yards of total offense. Sure, they ran 99 plays, but the Bobcats' quarterback finished with 336 yards passing and 4 touchdowns on 7.8 yards per pass attempt. Meanwhile, Texas State's main running back also went for 117 yards on the ground, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Texas State's offense is not terrible by any means - THOR+ has them as the 61st ranked offense in the nation - but they aren't exactly a unit that should be doing that to a Big Ten team. The Illini won this game mainly because Josh Ferguson went berserk, ripping off 190 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 carries, while hauling in 4 catches, 43 yards, and 1 touchdown in the receiving game. Ferguson's performance was impressive, but the rest of the team's left something to be desired. Despite being 3-1 on the season, this game was close enough that people in Champaign are becoming worried about what these close games against mediocre teams mean for the rest of the season.

Up Next: at #21 Nebraska

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 21%

Average Score: Illinois 20, Nebraska 39

11. Rutgers #59, 104 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#55 110 96 63 109 108 26.17

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#71 89 97 92 117 98 22.87

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#29 119 4.11 127 3.59 123

New Jersey's finest came away with what I thought was one of the best wins of the weekend. Even though they were seen as underdogs by THOR+ and Vegas, they went on the road to Navy and left with a victory, nonetheless. But while beating Navy was a nice addition to the win column, the Scarlet Knights suffered a huge blow when running back Paul James tore his ACL in the second quarter of Saturday's game. How big of a loss is this for the season? Well, James had 7 carries and 96 yards in the second quarter before the injury. He was also averaging 5.8 yards per carry, 30 yards per catch, and was responsible for 7 Rutgers offensive touchdowns this season. SBNation blog buddies, On the Banks, say that Rutgers has enough options with Desmon Peoples and Justin Goodwill, that they should be fine. I imagine they will be for Tulane, but no Paul James is a major loss for that offense after week 5.

Up Next: vs. #85 Tulane

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 76%

Average Score: Rutgers 39, Tulane 21

12. Michigan #60, 104 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#87 69 118 12 82 86 20.70

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#34 105 129 50 112 124 17.17

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#71 137 4.30 52 4.15 95

If you thought Iowa had tumbled after their loss to Iowa State, check out what's going on over in Ann Arbor. They went from the THOR+ top 25 to begin the season to #60 now, and the crazy thing is that they still have a little bit of the preseason projections propping them up. At this point, Brady Hoke is a dead man walking, barring some kind of miraculous turnaround during conference play. For that to happen, though, they need to figure out the offense. Devin Gardner is not a quarterback in the system Brady Hoke wants to run. This is evidenced by the horrible Passing+ rating above and the eye-gougingly painful Turnover rating that has been largely due to Gardner's 6 interceptions this year. It would seem that Hoke needs to make the change to Shane Morris, who is a better fit for the offense that Hoke wants to run. Morris hasn't looked very good in limited time this year, but he was a highly-rated recruit, so there should be hope that he will get better as the season goes on. Devin Gardner is not going to get better. He's a red-shirt senior, who is not a quarterback in this system. If Brady Hoke wants any shot to save his job, he needs to figure out a way to run an offense that fits Gardner's abilities, or he needs to go all in with Shane Morris. Because right now, what this Wolverine offense is doing isn't manball. What this offense is doing is sludgefart.

Up Next: vs. #49 Minnesota

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 61%

Average Score: Michigan 24, Minnesota 19

13. Northwestern #71, 97 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#100 75 85 100 96 76 18.15

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#42 99 110 104 89 121 17.85

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#83 65 3.54 117 3.67 91

Pat Fitzgerald got a little chippy in his post-game press conference after a 24-7 win against Western Illinois. Sadly, his press conference was more entertaining than anything his offense managed to do on the day.

Up Next: at #42 Penn State

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 27%

Average Score: Northwestern 11, Penn State 22

14. Purdue #108, 72 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#103 67 83 90 88 73 17.54

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#104 90 77 79 84 73 28.67

Special Teams Rank Special Teams Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. Special Teams Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#113 103 3.95 24 4.37 64

Speaking of beating directional schools, Purdue took care of business against Southern Illinois in week 4. Hopefully the Boilermakers thoroughly enjoyed that victory, because they now move to the portion of the schedule where they are not favored in any of their games for the remainder of the year. Of course, after typing that, I am fully aware that Iowa is about to visit them on the road this weekend and either: a) win a game that was way closer than it needed to be; or b) lose in embarrassing fashion, a week after getting our collective hope up.

Up Next: vs. #53 Iowa

THOR+ Projected Chances of Winning: 38%

Average Score: Purdue 18, Iowa 25