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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 3

The Big Ten West is ... fine

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Notre Dame Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

So the Big Ten had a pretty solid showing this week. Just don’t ask Illinois. Or Iowa I guess. Guhhhhhhhhh.

Ohio State is starting to look like Ohio State, and maybe Michigan State isn’t skipping a beat with Connor Cook gone! Big Ten play finally starts this week, unless you’re Minnesota or Purdue or Indiana (look at that trifecta!) and there’s some good conference matchups already.

Through three weeks, this is my Big Ten power rankings. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

  1. Ohio State (3-0): Oh look at that, the Buckeyes are here to play some football. J.T. Barrett lit it up, throwing for 4 touchdowns while accounting for over 200 yards of offense. All 4 of those touchdown passes were hauled in by Noah Brown, who people should maybe start covering. Ohio State had the ball for a full 10 minutes longer than the Sooners in this one too. It really wasn’t even as close the box score tells.
  2. Michigan State (3-0): Watching Michigan State beat down on Notre Dame will never, ever get old. Yeah, the Irish kinda sorta made it a game towards the end, but let’s not forget the Spartans were leading 36-7 late in the third quarter. Sparty put up over 500 yards of offense, and I can’t wait to see how they play against Michigan and Ohio State.
  3. Michigan (3-0): Was really looking forward to seeing Jim Harbaugh get handed his first dumb loss at Michigan, but Colorado ruined that from ever happening. The Wolverines sputtered on offense a little, but Jabrill Peppers, man. That guy is something else.
  4. Nebraska (3-0): Pretty surprised by what Nebraska was able to do against Oregon. No, this isn’t the Oregon team we’re used to seeing, but Tommy Armpunt put in probably the best game of his career, and his receivers are just plain scary. Gotta point out, though, Oregon went 1-5 on 2-point conversions, and lost by three …
  5. Wisconsin (3-0): The Badgers descended back to earth after just squeaking by Georgia State at home. Wisconsin appears to be in the midst of a quarterback controversy, and had some problems with the running game without Corey Clement. Wisconsin’s next four games are Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Iowa. That sounds like fun.
  6. Iowa (2-1): Iowa’s 2-1, nothing to see here.
  7. Indiana? (2-0): This is where things get dicey. A lot of teams had a bye this week, for some reason, so it’s tougher to rank them. I like Indiana and hope the best for Kevin Wilson (until they play Iowa) so I’m going to put them here.
  8. Maryland? (3-0): I wanted to put Maryland higher, I really did. But playing in overtime against Central Florida after coughing up a fourth quarter lead is not how you get higher on this list.
  9. Minnesota? (2-0): Minnesota was on a bye, and that’s a win all day for the Gilded Rodents. They play Colorado State this week, and if you recall, it took some magic for Minnesota to get over the Rams last year. A loss will not surprise me here.
  10. Penn State? (2-1): I saw a Tweet saying something to the effect that Penn State has lost seven defensive starters to injury, and is playing with two third-string cornerbacks. They’re currently 19-point underdogs for when they go to Ann Arbor this week, and frankly I don’t think that’s enough.
  11. Purdue (1-1): Another team coming off the bye, Purdue is actually a 4.5-point favorite at home against a usually competent Nevada team this week. I have nothing left to say about Purdue.
  12. Illinois (1-2): We shouldn’t be dwelling on Illinois’ loss to Western Michigan, but rather be asking ourselves, after beating Northwestern and Illinois, are the Broncos elite? #RowTheBoat.
  13. Northwestern (1-2): Look at that, the Wildcats get in the W column with a win over a decent (?) Duke program. Wins are going to come few and far between for jNW for the rest of the year, however. Its next six games are as follows: vs. Nebraska, at Iowa, at Michigan State, vs. Indiana, at Ohio State and vs. Wisconsin. That’s almost as bad as Wisconsin’s run through the gauntlet.
  14. Rutgers (2-1): Like Purdue, I have very few intelligent things to say about Rutgers. So let’s just leave at this: if Iowa doesn’t take care of business this week, it’s going to be a sad, sad couple of days in our comment sections.