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YOUR NOT-AS-EARLY BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS: POST-WEEK 8

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The Buckeyes move up to #1 this week as J.T. Barrett seems to have found his footing. If Michigan State thought they were going to run away with the Big Ten East, they were sadly mistaken.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After week 8, the conference picture is getting clearer but there are still a lot of unknowns. I can foresee Ohio State and Michigan State flip-flopping #1 and #2 spots over the rest of the season, but I think we pretty much have a consensus top three in the Big Ten power rankings when you add in Nebraska. After that, though, things get a little murky, and questions abound. Are Maryland and Wisconsin fringe top 25 teams? Can Iowa or Minnesota make it out of the 40s or will they fall further back during a tough month of November? And are teams 8-14 in the power rankings really only average to below average in true talent?

Okay, maybe that last one is fairly self-evident at this point, but there may still be hope for a few teams. Anyway, I will ramble enough down below. To the power rankings!

For a refresher of how these ratings work, see here. For a reminder of the win projections after week 8, see here.

Post-Week 7 Power Rankings

Rank Nat'l Rank Team Offense+ Defense+ Special Teams+ THOR+ Proj. W% vs Avg. Proj. W vs Avg. Proj. PPG+ vs Avg. Proj. PPGA+ vs Avg. Schedule Win%
1 #13 Ohio State 155 112 116 133 0.773 9.28 37.97 19.74 102 152
2 #18 Michigan State 163 99 102 130 0.749 8.99 39.86 22.77 101 157
3 #20 Nebraska 131 126 138 129 0.741 8.89 32.01 16.55 101 157
4 #26 Maryland 117 127 156 123 0.696 8.35 28.56 16.48 106 130
5 #28 Wisconsin 124 117 80 119 0.664 7.96 30.12 18.54 94 122
6 #45 Minnesota 100 115 138 109 0.584 7.01 24.21 19.08 98 157
7 #47 Iowa 89 129 74 107 0.575 6.90 21.50 15.88 101 130
8 #61 Michigan 79 132 61 103 0.544 6.53 19.12 15.31 103 78
9 #63 Penn State 60 146 127 103 0.540 6.49 14.21 12.16 98 122
10 #70 Indiana 118 87 63 101 0.528 6.33 28.58 25.34 106 78
11 #72 Purdue 106 92 102 99 0.514 6.17 25.70 24.19 105 68
12 #73 Northwestern 69 129 103 99 0.510 6.12 16.60 15.85 107 78
13 #74 Illinois 113 85 50 98 0.500 6.00 27.45 25.76 102 78
14 #76 Rutgers 103 84 121 95 0.479 5.75 24.99 26.11 98 130

1. Ohio State #13, 133 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#7 152 116 113 103 155 37.97

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#53 142 101 156 125 112 19.74

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#29 88 3.78 164 3.32 126

J.T. Barrett and this Ohio State offense under Urban Meyer is downright scary right now. It seems like nothing for them to put up 50-60 points in just about every game, and they are able to do so both through the air and on the ground. Against Rutgers this past weekend, Barrett threw for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also racking up 107 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns. Honestly, though, that was pretty much expected to happen against what was a 5-1 Rutgers team that had yet to really face a top 25 caliber team. This week, however, THOR+ is calling for a possibly interesting game in Happy Valley. I don't personally agree with the projection, but a mixture of home field advantage and the fact that THOR+ currently really likes Penn State's defense (more on that in the Penn State section), is making it so THOR+ is calling for Ohio State to have a down offensive game. Again, I don't know how much I'm buying that, seeing how Ohio State's offense currently looks to be one of the best in the nation. But a close game would no doubt be entertaining during a primetime national spot on a Saturday night in October. I'll probably be watching.

Up Next: at #63 Penn State

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 61.3%

Projected Average Score: Ohio State 19, Penn State 14

2. Michigan State #18, 130 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#5 146 109 134 133 163 39.86

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#74 132 99 192 132 99 22.77

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#47 88 3.78 131 3.56 110

If there is one offense with the capacity to be more high-powered than the Buckeyes, it may be the Spartans. Ohio State has come on strong ever since a letdown against Virginia Tech, but Michigan State's offense has been consistently dangerous all year. And going up against Indiana's defense this past weekend, things were no different. Sure, it was a bit of a slow start, as Michigan State only had a 7-3 lead on an Indiana team that was down to a true freshman quarterback. And, yes, the green and white were down 14-17 at one point in the second quarter, but don't worry, they found their stride and rattled off 42 consecutive points for a 56-17 win. Connor Cook continued to look great, but sprinkled in what's becoming a trademark odd interception. Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford both eclipsed 100 yards rushing on the day, and Tony Lippett did Tony Lippett things in the receiving game. Of course, the continued oddity of this Michigan State team is the defense's penchant for giving up big plays; particularly against the run. Just like he did with Iowa's defense last week, Tevin Coleman was stopped for non-harmful gains on a majority of his carries, but was also able to rip off a few huge ones. Unlike he did against Iowa, though, his long run of 65 yards was not able to find the end zone. Instead, it was Shane Wynn who the Spartans allowed to go 75 yards to the house on a double reverse. At this point, it looks like we just have to accept that this defense is going to give up a few big plays every game. It's different than we've come to expect out of a Pat Narduzzi-coached defense, but with an offense as potent as the 2014 Spartans, it definitely gets the job done.

Up Next: vs. #61 Michigan

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 82.6%

Projected Average Score: Michigan State 31, Michigan 17

3. Nebraska #20, 129 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#25 123 125 117 126 131 32.01

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#29 129 107 96 116 126 16.55

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#15 150 4.43 134 3.54 142

The first half of the Nebraska and Northwestern game went just about as THOR+ expected. Both teams were locked in a close game struggle, as the Wildcats went into halftime with a slight lead over the Cornhuskers. The second half, though, went quite a bit different than THOR+ expected. Instead of it being a close game struggle, Nebraska's defense stymied Northwestern's offense, and the big red outscored their opponent 24-0 in the second half. The most notable stat of the second half was the fact that Northwestern's offense was held to just 28 total yards after halftime. Trevor Siemian looked bad and was constantly harassed over the final 30 minutes (Kevin Williams had 2.5 sacks for -24 yards) and Justin Jackson (who ran for 99 yards in the first half) was limited to 29 rushing yards in the same period. On the other side of the ball, the Nebraska offense looked better after the break, as Tommy Armstrong went from a "C" grade in the first half, to an "A" grade in the second half. And it wouldn't be fair to recap a Nebraska game without talking about Ameer Abdullah. He too, put on a much better performance in the second half, and finished with 146 yards on 23 carries and 4 (!) touchdowns, including this fantastic 50 yard run that setup the touchdown that essentially broke Northwestern's back. All in all, it was an inconsistent game for the Huskers, but they were good at the most important time, and that's all that matters. Expect a much more consistent performance next week as Rutgers comes to town.

Up Next: vs. #76 Rutgers

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 85.4%

Projected Average Score: Nebraska 41, Rutgers 16

4. Maryland #26, 123 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#37 96 93 72 101 117 28.56

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#26 115 103 101 110 127 16.48

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#5 217 5.14 114 3.69 166

Whether or not you think THOR+ thinks too highly of the Terps, you have to give them credit for their performance on Saturday. After finding themselves in a 14-0 hole, they didn't panic, and calmly took control of the game. Granted, Iowa made some dumb mistakes, but all teams do; that's just part of the game. Give credit to Maryland, because they took advantage of those Iowa mistakes and capitalized on them. The Maryland run game that had struggled for much of the year was able to find their legs against a defense that is still going through some growing pains. The Terrapins frequently abused the Hawks on the perimeter and quarterback, C.J. Brown, made Iowa pay for over-pursuing in the pass rush. In addition, Iowa's secondary continued to suffer breakdowns as Stefon Diggs caught 9 balls for 130 yards and 1 touchdown, and was singlehandedly responsible for 63% of Maryland's yards through the air. And, finally, what was probably the most shocking part of this game was the fact that Andre Monroe made life a living hell for Iowa's offensive line on all day. When he wasn't hitting Jake Rudock, he was getting leverage on Iowa's manbeast, Brandon Scherff, and pushing him back into a collapsing pocket. All in all, it was a pretty good game by Maryland, and it was a nice conference win. Their introductory tour of the Big Ten continues this week as they get ready to take on Wisconsin, in what is looking like it could be the best Big Ten game of week 9.

Up Next: at #28 Wisconsin

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 39.0%

Projected Average Score: Maryland 21, Wisconsin 25

5. Wisconsin #28, 119 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#29 69 148 82 107 124 30.12

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#44 110 106 96 121 117 18.54

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#90 69 3.58 91 3.86 80

After a bye during week 8, the Badgers get two weeks to game plan for a matchup at home against the above mentioned Maryland Terrapins. THOR+ likes Wisconsin in a close game, but I'm not really sure what to think about this matchup. On the one hand, I have a hard time being confident in Wisconsin playing anybody outside of the bottom of the conference, strictly because of the mess they have going on at quarterback. But, on the other hand, Melvin Gordon is simply amazing, Corey Clement isn't bad either, and it's hard to imagine those two not galloping for over 100 yards a piece in just about any game. And when I think about how Iowa was running the ball successfully against Maryland before they inexplicably stopped doing so, I can see why Wisconsin would be favored at home. Like it does so often for Wisconsin, this game probably comes down to whether or not Joel Stave or Tanner McEvoy can avoid making costly mistakes.

Up Next: vs. #26 Maryland

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 61.0%

Projected Average Score: Wisconsin 25, Maryland 21

6. Minnesota #45, 109 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#65 84 100 90 107 100 24.21

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#46 130 99 150 91 115 19.08

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#18 150 4.43 129 3.58 139

The Gophers narrowly avoided a pretty large upset in week 8 by hitting a 52 yard field goal and intercepting a final Austin Appleby pass to seal a 39-38 close call win. Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of this game was the fact that Minnesota's defense, the alleged strength of this team, struggled mightily with Purdue's speed on offense. In total, the Gophers gave up 298 yards rushing on 35 carries (8.5 yards per carry), and while performing better against the pass, they did give up a 55 yard bubble screen touchdown to Danny Anthrop. The offense, meanwhile, had no problem against Purdue's weak defense. David Cobb was the main star on offense for the Gophers, finishing the game with 194 yards and a touchdown, and being responsible for 43% of Minnesota's total offensive yards on the day. But Mitch Leidner wasn't bad himself, accounting for 84 yards and a touchdown with his feet, and 165 passing yards and 2 touchdowns with his arm, including this beauty. It wasn't the prettiest game for our rodent neighbors to the north, but they got the victory, and that's all that matters. As for this weekend, they will try to avoid another upset on the road at Illinois.

Up Next: at #74 Illinois

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 45.5%

Projected Average Score: Minnesota 24, Illinois 27

7. Iowa #47, 107 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#85 96 84 116 113 89 21.50

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#23 130 102 110 99 129 15.88

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#104 75 3.65 60 4.10 67

This offense sucks. Sure, Iowa's Offense+ rating isn't in the dumps the way it was earlier in the season, but it's still the 85th best offensive unit in the nation, according to THOR+. But there are only so many times someone can say something before they get tired of reiterating it, so I'm moving on to the defense. That side of the ball is still a good unit, but they are young and prone to big plays this year, which is something we aren't quite accustomed to. Over the past decade and change, Iowa's defense has made their ultimate goal to limit big plays; not losing leverage on the opposing team and keeping everyone in front. This year, however, a young and inexperienced group of linebackers seems to lose contain on the outside more than we are used to, while a partially young and inexperienced secondary seems to have breakdowns from time to time. It sucks, but that's the reality for this defense this year. They have a lot of talent, and will probably be hell on opposing teams next year, but this year they have a big play problem.

Up Next: Bye Week

8. Michigan #61, 103 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#97 61 106 34 86 79 19.12

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#18 101 128 28 128 132 15.31

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#113 116 4.08 6 4.50 61

It has actually been nice to have a week where we didn't have to hear about the Brady Hoke saga in Ann Arbor. But, alas, everything good must come to an end, and here we are with this potential massacre presented to us this week. In recent years, the Michigan/Michigan State game has been competitive and interesting to watch. Sadly, though, this year's version doesn't look to be of the same quality. Normally it's a battle of two teams with very good defenses and passable offenses, which keeps things close. This year, the Spartans decided to flip the script, and possess one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, while the Wolverines are just a raging dumpster fire of incompetence on the offensive side of the ball. For Michigan to win this game, there are three things they need to do. First, Michigan State has a knack for giving up the big play on the ground this year. Unfortunately, I don't see anybody on Michigan capable of exploiting that weakness. And with a putrid offensive line and no Derrick Green (who was never a homerun threat, in the first place), taking advantage of that chink in the armor just seems unlikely. Second, Michigan can't turn the ball over.  This also seems doubtful, seeing how Michigan is the worst team in the Big Ten in turnovers per play, and Michigan State is the best team in the Big Ten in forcing turnovers per play. Finally, Michigan needs to slow the Michigan State offense down with their defense. If there is one thing that Michigan has done fairly well this year, it's play defense. Regrettably, the problem with this matchup, is that Michigan is vulnerable in the secondary, and Connor Cook, Tony Lippett, and co. own one of the best Passing+ ratings in the nation. So, to rewind, if Michigan can run the ball and hit a couple of home runs, take care of the ball, and find a way to slow this Spartan offense down, they have a chance. The odds of all those happening are not high, of course. If I were to put a number on it, I would say the odds of that are probably something like, I don't know, 17%?

Up Next: at #18 Michigan State

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 17.4%

Projected Average Score: Michigan 17, Michigan State 31

9. Penn State #63, 103 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#114 86 74 97 77 60 14.21

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#6 119 142 102 113 146 12.16

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#27 162 4.56 98 3.81 130

Let's just get down to it, THOR+ is probably giving Penn State way too much credit here. A combination of home field advantage and really liking Penn State's defense is what is causing it to project Ohio State to only score 19 points this weekend. After what we've seen in recent weeks, Urban Meyer's offense will probably put up at least 30, and with an offensive line that looks to be even worse than Michigan's, Christian Hackenberg is probably going to be wearing Joey Bosa all game long. The Nittany Lions' inability to move the ball should result in the Buckeyes dominating the field position battle, which makes the probability of scoring even higher. And even if Penn State does find a way to hold Ohio State's offense under 30 points, I still think the Buckeye defense has at least one score in them, whether that be a Hackenberg pick six or a sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown. THOR+ is calling for a close game here, but I'm having a hard time seeing it.

Up Next: vs. #13 Ohio State

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 38.7%

Projected Average Score: Penn State 14, Ohio State 19

10. Indiana #70, 101 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#36 78 135 122 112 118 28.58

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#87 92 102 47 101 87 25.34

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#124 48 3.37 40 4.24 44

A 56-17 loss at the hands of Michigan State? Ouch. Without Nate Sudfeld, though, what did we expect? I mean, Tevin Coleman can only do so much on his own. Zander Diamont may have a bright future ahead of him, but I think we all knew it probably wasn't going to be on full display this past Saturday. And we all knew there was no way in hell that this defense was going to slow down that Spartan offense, so it's time to move on. Now the Hoosiers have a bye week to rest up and get ready for a game against a team from the state of Michigan that seems much more vulnerable than the one they played on Saturday.

Up Next: Bye Week

11. Purdue #72, 99 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#51 67 116 94 112 106 25.70

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#82 96 100 71 89 92 24.19

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#51 107 3.98 105 3.76 106

So close. So damn close. But, for as much of a stomach punch as this past weekend was to Purdue fans, at least it is evident that this team is making huge strides on offense. Ever since the switch to Austin Appleby at quarterback, Purdue has looked like a brand new team on that side of the ball. Appleby has not looked like the second coming of Drew Brees, but he has looked a million times better than Danny Etling looked when he played Iowa. Anyway, while it's nice to have a quarterback that doesn't look completely overmatched, it's been the run game that has been behind the resurgence of this Boilermaker offense. Against Minnesota, it was Raheem Mostert going for 115 yards on 5 carries (thanks to this 69 yard almost touchdown run) and it was also Akeem Hunt, who had 98 yards on 17 carries. Appleby even brought a duel threat element to the table, picking up 79 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, and when you sprinkle in 3 touchdown passes, it wasn't a bad 38 point offensive day. Now maybe Purdue can use the bye week to beef up that defense.

Up Next: Bye Week

12. Northwestern #73, 99 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#104 71 82 133 115 69 16.60

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#21 122 114 108 99 129 15.85

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#64 96 3.87 104 3.77 100

Northwestern's Defense+ rating took a blow after giving up 38 points to Nebraska this past weekend. That's the main reason for them dropping to 1% below average, overall. THOR+ still really likes their defense, but when you have an offense that struggles to find the end zone you need an elite defense more than you need a very good one. Despite having found a very nice running back in Justin Jackson, this team still has some huge issues on the offensive side of the ball. The main one right now, is probably quarterback play. Trevor Siemian is not healthy, and that's affecting his performance. Is it time to give someone else a try at the quarterback spot? That may be something for us to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks, as they prepare to visit Iowa City.

Up Next: Bye Week

13. Illinois #74, 98 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#41 106 97 67 82 113 27.45

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#88 81 86 54 99 85 25.76

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#121 22 3.09 76 3.97 49

THOR+ is calling for at least one upset in the conference this week, and it is Illinois at home against Minnesota. The Gophers' defensive performance against Purdue last weekend changed the projection of this game from a close Minnesota victory last week, to a close Illinois victory this week. If the Illini are going to win, they are going to need to do so with offense. Of course, a word of caution should be shared, since the season numbers still have a lot of Wes Lunt in them, and he's currently out injured. That means Reilly O'Toole and Aaron Bailey will be taking turns at the helm on Saturday. O'Toole is a traditional pocket passer, and frankly not all that impressive. He's decent, but he's not quite the threat that Wes Lunt was in a pass-heavy attack. Aaron Bailey, however, is the speedy quarterback who gave Wisconsin some issues at the end of the game a few weeks ago. He's also the guy that some Illini fans wish Bill Cubit would build a zone-read offense around. Austin Appleby was able to pick up some yards on the ground against this Minnesota defense, and so should Bailey when he's on the field. Illinois also has weapons at wide receiver with Mikey Dudek and Geronimo Allison, but it could be difficult to get them the ball. O'Toole is a decent pocket passer, but the Illinois offensive line is just awful, and Aaron Bailey still has a long way to go before anybody fully trusts his accuracy or decision-making. I think Illinois' best strategy would be to go with Bailey and the read-option, and try to get their best athletes out on the perimeter and into space the way Purdue did. Illinois is going to need to score points if they want to win this game, because I just don't see any way that defense is going to stop David Cobb and Mitch Leidner from running up and down the field all day.

Up Next: vs. #45 Minnesota

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 54.5%

Projected Average Score: Illinois 27, Minnesota 24

14. Rutgers #76, 95 THOR+

Offense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
#58 131 89 83 86 103 24.99

Defense Rank Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
#91 85 74 72 110 84 26.11

Special Teams Rank ST Off.+ PPG vs. Avg. ST Def.+ PPGA vs. Avg Special Teams+
#43 105 3.96 123 3.63 114

Rutgers tumbles to the bottom of the power rankings this week after getting pummeled by Ohio State. Yes, this is no doubt interesting, considering Rutgers is still 5-2 and has a good shot to go bowling, but we all know that the Scarlet Knights had yet to really play anybody great before taking on Ohio State. So what precipitated the drop this week? The defense. After giving up 56 points to very good Buckeye offense, the Rutgers D dropped from 1% below average to 16% below average. Why such a large drop? Well, it all has to do with strength of schedule. Playing Ohio State definitely helped move Rutgers strength of schedule from 8% below average to 2% below average, but 2% below average still doesn't help their Defense+ rating any. I can't necessarily predict how the numbers will change from week to week, but like I said last week, Rutgers is entering the Big Ten gauntlet. They get Nebraska on the road this week, then Wisconsin and Indiana at home, before finishing the season at Michigan State and at Maryland. So, while their performance is most likely going to look a lot worse according to our eyeballs, their strength of schedule will get stronger and should make the numbers a little better as the season dwindles. That's basically a long-winded way of saying, I don't think Rutgers is very good this year, but I also don't think they are the worst team in the conference. But who knows?

Up Next: at #20 Nebraska

THOR+ Projected Chance of Winning: 14.6%

Projected Average Score: Rutgers 16, Nebraska 41