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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week Three

The more things change, the more they stay the same

NCAA Football: Washington State at Wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll start with a programming note again:

Three (3) commenters... commented last week they prefer the power rankings on a Friday. Common sense and snark, one of them called it. I don’t have much of one, but plenty of the other and am more than capable of being cyber-bullied into doing something that’s actually more convenient for me anyway.

So! Going forth! This column will run whenever Ghostwedge wants it.

1. Michigan (2-0)

Looks like Jim Harbaugh is splitting the baby and having it, too, by virtue of JJ McCarthy going 11/12 for three touchdowns against Hawaii.

It must be nice to have the luxury and confidence and perhaps common sense of playing two quarterbacks in two games to figure out who should be taking the field full-time as the season ages! This isn’t a comment on anything outside Michigan football, just an observation! It’s not like Hawaii or Colorado State or UCONN are FCS teams or in-state doormats or anything! Why experiment?

2. Ohio State (2-0)

I was perusing Ohio State blog Eleven Warriors the other day to check the tea, and this is the shit they’re coming up with: Penalties. They’re mad the Buckeyes are averaging 8 penalties a game, to go along with OSU’s average of... 33 points a game.

Please, I’m bad at math, is scoring 45 points against Arkansas State good?

3. Minnesota (2-0)

The entire Big Ten West needs to take a long timeout and think about what they’ve done by allowing Minnesota to be the only undefeated team in the division two fucking weeks into the season.

It won’t be as bad as the timeout PJ Fleck is going to have to take after running Mohamed Ibrahim 23 times in a game that was 31-3 at half. The first series of the second half saw Ibrahim get the ball five times in six plays! Go and take him, Nebraska!

4. Penn State (2-0, 1-0)

I’m not going to comment on the quarterback situation at Penn State because I’d love for nothing more than to trade quarterback situations with Penn State.

5. Michigan State (2-0)

Looking forward to Michael Penix Jr’s. rematch against Michigan State when the Spartans travel to Washington. Last time he played Sparty, he threw for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 24-0 pantsing during Indiana’s magical 2020 season.

I’m glad to see Penix Jr. is off to a hot start after Iowa totally and completely broke him last season. I’m less glad to see he portaled so far away. Surely a team closer to home could’ve used a quarterback? Right? Right!?!?!?!

6. Rutgers (2-0)

I read something this week that the only power team that’s ever averaged fewer yards per play than Iowa (2.8) was Greg Schiano’s first Rutgers team.

7. Maryland (2-0)


8. Nebraska (1-2, 0-1)

Nebraska dropped its failson coach, which means I get to drop its Nerbaska moniker. Kudos to the Huskers for spending an extra $7.5 million to not wait until October 1st to do it. In reality that figure is a drop in the bucket after the conference secured a TV rights deal worth eleventy billion dollars.

I’m not mad Nebraska changed its coach before Iowa changed its quarterback, you are!

9. Purdue (1-1)

Charlie Jones this season:

21 receptions, 286 yards, 4 touchdowns.

All of Iowa this season:

23 receptions, 201 yards, 0 touchdowns.

10. Illinois (2-1, 0-1)

Illinois’ win over Virginia is somewhat impressive until you realize Virginia has two winning seasons since 2016.

More than anything, I’m fully expecting Bret Bielema to turn Illinois around and then head straight to Nebraska to get back to his beautiful bright red ‘fits.

Mississippi State v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
University of Wisconsin vs Pennsylvania State University Set Number: X86638 TK1 R2 F107

11. Indiana (1-1, 1-0)

If a tree falls and Indiana is playing a football game at the same time, would anybody hear it?

12. Wisconsin (1-1)

Who could’ve predicted Graham Mertz would follow-up a sensational season start with a totally lackluster outing at home against a not-so-great team? WHO?!

After spending some time around Wisconsin Internet (which is just a USB port inserted into a Culver’s Butterburger) I came across this DAZZLING headline:

If this is what the Wisconsin AD thinks of its patrons, then what does the Iowa counterpart think of its fans?

It’s good thing the parallels to Iowa and Wisconsin stop there!


Oh fuck.

13. Iowa (1-1)

The only intelligent thing I can say about Iowa here is also a meme:

But! I can link to something intelligent and ask a question:

Is a 0.0% explosive play rate “good?”

14. Northwestern (1-1, 1-0)

Congrats on losing the Hedge Fund Bowl you penny stock simpletons. Maybe now you’ll finally pay a little more attention in history class where you’ll learn about your rich tradition of being complete ass at football.