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Big Ten Week 3 Power Rankings

There are some really good teams in the Big Ten. None of them are in the West.

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Cade McNamara’s former backup has the Wolverines playing well.
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Week two of the college football season has come and gone and we’re starting to settle in to some patterns. Some rhythms. We’re getting some idea of who is actually good and who is Nebraska.

One thing we aren’t getting into a rhythm is who you’ll see on the by line for this segment as we’re still working through some technical difficulties on the back. This week you’re back to me. As a quick reminder, here’s how JP had things a week ago.

Week 2 Big Ten Power Rankings

1. Michigan
2. Penn State
3. Ohio State
4. Wisconsin
5. Iowa
6. Maryland
7. Minnesota
8. Michigan State
9. Rutgers
10. Illinois
11. Indiana
12. Purdue
13. Nebraska
14. Northwestern

Now, time for the new and improved week three rankings.

Week 3 Big Ten Power Rankings

1. Michigan

I had Penn. St in this spot first and then switched them out for the team that has earned the top spot over the last few years. Michigan has looked good to start the season. The schedule has been a joke, but they have been doing to bad teams what a championship contender is supposed to do, they smoke them. A suffocating defense, and the same dominant running game have been on display, but the scariest part of Michigan this year is the improvement of JJ McCarthy. After two games, the junior signal caller is 48/55, for 558 yards and 5 touchdowns. That’s dominant. Even if McCarthy is 70% of what he has shown so far, this Michigan squad should be a legitimate favorite to win the National Championship.

2. Penn. St

As I said, they would be #1 on this list if I formulated it by eye test alone. Penn. St has been everything that we all said they had the potential to be. Drew Allar has looked fantastic, the tandem of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen in the backfield have complimented each other well, and the defense has looked nasty. Wins over West Virginia in game one and Delaware game two aren’t the best in the landscape of college football, but they have taken care of business. A game that looked much trickier pre-season against Illinois is next followed by a white out against our beloved Hawkeyes.

3. Ohio. St

Buckeye fans are still not accustomed to seeing OSU ranked at #3 in the BHGP power rankings, but there is simply no where else they can be slotted. We know they are good, but how good will not be answered for another few weeks when they come to where this writer is sitting right now and play Notre Dame.

What we do know, is that Kyle McCord did look better on Saturday connecting on 14 of 20 pass attempts for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. What we also know, is that this performance came against the Penguins of Youngstown. St.

What should trouble Buckeye fans is the fact that Ohio. St rushed 27 times for 123 yards in this game. Listen Buck Nuts, (particularly the ones who work at my office) I am well aware that is good for 4.5 yards a pop and that TreVeyon Henderson averaged 11.2 yards a carry. I’m just not confident yet that this offensive line is ready to mix it up with the big boys just yet. And with a quarterback who still is an unknown commodity, it’s a bit of an uncomfortable spot for the Bucks to be in.

4. Iowa

Just as sure as the sun rises in the East, and American politics is as annoying as hell, The Iowa Hawkeyes win in Ames. Seriously, the BHGP chat made mention to playing this game 3 out of every 4 years to skip the pollical bulls*** that preceded this game and I’m all for it. Back to the game though. With their 20-13 strangulation of the Cyclones Saturday, the Hawks have now won six straight games at Jack Trice Stadium. And while the final score was somewhat close, the game was never really in doubt. The defense and special teams showed up in a big way on the road combining for 10 points when you consider the 7 from Sebastian Castro’s pick 6 and 3 points taken from the Clowns on Logan Lee’s brilliant field goal block after ISU’s first drive.

The offense wasn’t spectacular we all know it. There were some positives to take out of Saturday though with the first being that Jaz Patterson is an animal and should get more carries moving forward after his 10 carry, 86 yard performance. The second positive was that we are beginning to see more deep shots being implemented into the offense. Cade McNamara wasn’t great, but he made the makeables and showed he just needs to shake off the rust to really open up this passing attack.

Iowa has Western Michigan up next so hopefully that serves as the setting to clean up the offense just enough to feel a little bit of confidence heading into Happy Valley the following week.

5. Maryland

Maryland is probably too high on this list but the rest of the conference is wallowing around in their own filth. The Terrapins are 2-0 after games vs Towson and Charlotte. Good for them. It was a little hairy vs Charlotte for a while too so that probably doesn’t bode well for Mike Locksley and Co. moving forward. As I said though, Maryland is ranked #5 because they are the best of a bad situation.

6. Michigan. St

Well this ranking sure isn’t going to last long. Even if they had Mel Tucker at the helm moving forward, this Spartan team hasn’t shown enough to prove that it would’ve held up in the Big Ten East anyways. The sleeziest program in the conference hosts Washington this weekend and I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping they get their doors blown off.

7. Wisconsin

The Dairy raid looked bad in a loss to Washington. St in Pulman. You know what, that’s all I have to say. Wisconsin was bad and we should all be happy.

8. Minnesota

God this team is terrible. A lucky win against a Nebraska team that refuses to hang onto the football followed by a 25-6 win over a terrible MAC team in Eastern Michigan to start 2-0 is such a PJ Fleck move.

Athan Kaliakmanis continues to suck eggs going 10/15 for only 117 and a pick. That may sound efficient enough to some, but the Gophers relying on their run game alone to win the West just isn’t going to work. I can’t wait until Fleck attempts the same strategy vs Michigan in a few weeks.

This canoe is unbalanced, and it’s probably going to tip against North Carolina this week.

9. Purdue

Another year, another schizophrenic Boilermaker team. On a week-to-week basis, this team could look like the second worst in the Big Ten or the fifth best. Hudson Card looked better in the second game going 23/34 for 248 albeit with no TD’s. The rushing attack impressed on the road in a tough environment. Devin Mockobee rumbled for 95 yards on 21 carries while former Hawkeye Tyrone Tracey totaled 51 yards on only 4 touches.

The story of the game however was the Boilermakers defense. Granted, wet conditions resulted in fumbles by Va. Tech but holding a power 5 opponent not named Iowa under 300 yards of offense on the road is impressive.

A night game at home vs Syracuse is next on deck as Purdue tries to keep this train rolling.

But screw Purdue.

10. Illinois

What in the world is going on with Illinois. For all the hype surrounding this defense, especially the defensive line, this team has been nothing more than suspect. After a sketchy win vs a MAC team week one, and an absolute shellacking to Kansas in week two, Bert needs to right the ship fast.

Against the Jayhawks, Illinois allowed a whopping 539 yards. Those yards were split 277 through the air and 262 on the ground so there isn’t really a saving grace to any part of this defense at the moment. Next week is Penn. St. Not the best team to be playing while figuring out your defense.

11. Rutgers

A daunting opening two weeks featuring the Fitz-less Wildcats and Temple Owls results in Rutgers being 2-0. I don’t know what this means, but their record is better than Wisconsin’s, Illinois’, and Nebraska’s, and that makes me giggle.

12. Indiana

Mike Woodson and Co. beat the Indiana State Sycamores Saturday. If Larry Bird had dressed, the outcome would have been different.

13. Northwestern

You-TEP, I-TEP, Northwestern fans-TEP for UTEP football. With the win Saturday, Northwestern guarantees a 1-11 record for the 2023 season. Wait, they still play Nebraska…

14. Nebraska

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!! More of the same from the Corn Suckers. Turnover after turnover after turnover. This was so predictable from a quarterback whose main prerogative is to run the ball. I might be beginning to feel sorry for this defense which looks to be improved… but like a stale fart in the wind, these feelings also pass.