Hello, as Ben, your usual power ranker is in Europe, I will be taking over the duties this week.
Boy, did the Big Ten not make it easy on me. There were six undefeated teams coming into Week 4, but only two remain now. Instead of a mess at the top - which let’s be honest, the formerly undefeated teams would have all been incredibly wide ranging and easy to separate - we have a whole shit stew of teams who have lost one game.
Hey, at least this week’s bottom feeder was easy to decide.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0)
The Buckeyes have run all over their competition, with their closest game a double-digit win against formerly ranked TCU. They’re a finely tuned machine heading into their matchup in State College, where they will decide the #1 team in next week’s power rankings.
2. Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0)
Penn State looks like a good team, but they’re not without their issues. Slow starts have had them trailing to Appalachian State and Illinois after halftime. Still, they’re undefeated, which means they get placed about the next 12.
3. Wisconsin Badgers (3-1, 1-0)
The Badgers have the inside track to Indianapolis after their victory in Kinnick under the lights this past weekend. At this point, they probably have the best win of all the conference’s one-loss teams, too, outside Maryland’s victory over Texas.
4. Michigan Wolverines (3-1, 1-0)
After losing to Notre Dame in Week 1, the Fightin’ Harbaughs have run rampant against the next three teams on their schedule. Most recently, they took Nebraska out behind the woodshed after Bill Moos said the Wolverines were “running scared” of the Huskers. Good on you, Michigan.
5. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1)
Iowa still has a chance to win the Big Ten West. They’ll likely need to win out to have any sort of opportunity, but hey - there’s a chance.
6. Michigan State Spartans (2-1, 1-0)
Michigan State is only 2-1 after the Week 3 bye and are probably still ranked by virtue of being ranked to start the season. Must be nice to suffer a close defeat to a similar foe and retain a ranking. No, YOU’RE salty.
7. Maryland Terrapins (3-1, 1-0)
The Terps have some solid wins on the resume, boasting a victory against back(??) Texas and a blowout over the Gophers. They also lost to Temple, which is the worst loss of all the 3-1 teams. Maybe 7 is too high.
8. Indiana Hoosiers (3-1, 0-1)
With rutger on the schedule next week, Indiana looks like they’ll start the season 4-1! The bad news for them is that they draw OSU, PSU, and Iowa after that, so it’s pretty conceivable they end up 4-4.
9. Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1, 0-1)
Iowa’s next opponent clocks in at #9 in the power rankings. It was hard to believe in them before conference play opened up, and after they got housed by Maryland of all teams, they certainly don’t look the part right now. Catch me in Minneapolis in two weeks.
10. Purdue Boilermakers (1-3, 0-1)
Purdue won a game, folks! Against a ranked team! What a way to get off the ledge and into the win column. Maybe they can finally get things on the right track after the 0-3 start.
11. Northwestern Wildcats (1-2, 1-0)
Northwestern is coming off a big bye week before they play host to Michigan this upcoming weekend. Hopefully they’re ready for Evanston’s Big Ten Team (shoutout BoilerHawk) to take over Ryan Field. I’ll also be there, mainly to visit Mustard’s Last Stand.
12. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2, 0-1)
The Illini have won two very unconvincing games, but hey, they did compete with Penn State into the third quarter, which is about three more quarters than anyone could’ve reasonably expected them to.
13. rutger Scarlet Knights (1-3, 0-1)
The Scarlet Knights lost to Buffalo after losing to Kansas, sure. They’ve won a game, though, which is more than...