There were some definite shake ups over the past weekend, but the top two remain the same. Let’s see how the results of the latest conference games impacted the Big Ten power rankings.
14. Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 14
Despite getting the win this week and snapping a nine-game losing streak to FBS opponents, the Cornhuskers still claim residency at the bottom of the Big Ten. It was a nice bounce back after being demolished by Oklahoma two weeks ago, but it’s hardly noteworthy when it’s a win over a fellow basement dweller. Plus, the Huskers racked up 111 penalty yards and committed two turnovers. The game was tied at the half, but Nebraska took over in the fourth to go up by two scores to end the game.
Up next: Rutgers
13. Northwestern Wildcats (1-4, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 13
Northwestern continues to decline and has yet to win since Week 0. In an arguably ugly game, the Wildcats weren’t able to capitalize on any of the Nittany Lions’ five turnovers. They themselves had three, which Penn State used to generate scoring drives off two of them. The Wildcats are 1-4 heading into their game against Wisconsin.
Up next: Wisconsin
12. Michigan State Spartans (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 10
Once again bogged down by a lackluster defense and a pretty sad running game, the Spartans are looking at a three-game losing streak. MSU is one of three teams in the conference without a win against a Big Ten team, and it doesn’t look like that will change soon. The Spartans were outgained 489-221 against the Terrapins and scored all their points in the first half. This game further exposed MSU’s inability to eliminate the passing threat, as they allowed 314 passing yards. It doesn’t bode well they struggle against pass-heavy teams as they host one of the best offenses in the country this Saturday.
Up next: Ohio State
11. Indiana Hoosiers (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 12
While they started off strong, the Hoosiers have now lost two weeks in a row. In their most recent loss to Nebraska, Indiana started gaining momentum in the second quarter, putting up three touchdowns to ensure the game was tied at half. But it doesn’t help they didn’t score in the second half. With little offensive momentum outside of one quarter, the Hoosiers will have a tough go this week against Michigan.
Up next: Michigan
10. Wisconsin Badgers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 8
It was quite a turbulent turn around for the Badgers as they got blown out at home by Illinois and then fired head coach Paul Chryst. Wisconsin has now slipped to 2-3 with no wins in conference. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard takes over for Chryst, so he has half a season to convince the Wisconsin athletic department he is the right guy for the job.
Up next: Northwestern
9. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 9
It was not Rutgers’ day at Ohio State, as the Scarlet Knights threw for just 80 yards and rushed for 107 yards in the game. They also committed two turnovers, which OSU was able to capitalize on both times. Things weren’t pretty on the defensive front either, as they allowed 189 rushing yards and five touchdowns to one running back alone. Rutgers’ get-right game may very well come this weekend.
Up next: Nebraska
8. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 5
While Iowa picked up some steam late in the fourth quarter, it was too late for it to amount to anything substantive. The Hawkeyes’ first touchdowns of the game only came because the Wolverines gave them a short field. While the next touchdown required the Iowa offense to actually move across the field, there was only a minute left in the game and they were still down 13. They were shut out through three quarters and their defense couldn’t contain Michigan’s running game, as they allowed Michigan to rush for 172 yards, the most allowed all season by the Hawkeyes. It doesn’t get any easier from here for Iowa, either.
Up next: Illinois
7. Purdue Boilermakers (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 11
In what may be the most shocking upset in the conference this week, the Boilermakers captured their third win on the season against undefeated Minnesota. Amidst all the turnovers in this game, the Boilermakers went scoreless through seven drives before they got their go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter. After pulling off this upset, Purdue is very likely a contender for the Big Ten West along with...just about everybody.
Up next: Maryland
6. Maryland Terrapins (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 6
Maryland went 1-1 in the last two weeks against the Michigan Big Ten teams and found a way to make a weak secondary pay. Taulia Tagovailoa looked good once again, throwing for 314 yards and one touchdown. If this Terps team were in the West, there’s no doubt they’d have a much better shot at reaching the Big Ten Championship Game.
Up next: Purdue
5. Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 7
Maybe even more shocking than Minnesota’s upset was Illinois’ effort to take down the Wisconsin Badgers. The Illini threw for 167 yards and rushed for 137 yards to beat the Badgers by 24. Wisconsin was bogged down by turnovers, and the Fighting Illini were able to generate scoring drives off of the two interceptions. Is this team legit? We will likely find out the next two weeks with Iowa and Minnesota coming to town.
Up next: Iowa
4. Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 3
It clearly wasn’t Minnesota’s day, as the hot start to the year was stunned by an upset loss to Purdue. The defensive prowess that led to the Gopher’s success seemed to have gone stagnant, as they allowed 359 total yards to Purdue, the most they have allowed all season. A team that had rushed over 200 yards the week prior only rushed for 47 total yards without star running back Mohamed Ibrahim. Lucky for them, their bye week comes at a good time.
Up next: Bye
3. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 4
It wasn’t pretty, but Penn State still found a way to remain perfect on the season after taking down Northwestern. The Nittany Lions came up with a huge goal line stand to stuff the Wildcats late in the fourth quarter to force a turnover on downs. Despite committing a season high five turnovers, they were able to avoid the upset because Northwestern could not capitalize. Penn State gets its bye before a Big Ten East showdown at the Big House.
Up next: Bye
2. Michigan Wolverines (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 2
To the Wolverines’ credit, they entered a tough road environment and came away with a big win. They shut out the Hawkeyes through three quarters, but Iowa made a charge in the fourth quarter to make the game a little interesting. This was easily put out as Michigan forced Iowa to turn it over on downs after two of the four plays resulted in sacks. The biggest win for Michigan was its showing from the offensive line, as they helped the team rush for 172 yards against one of the best defenses in the country.
Up next: Indiana
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 1
It was only close when the Scarlet Knights struck first, but the remainder of the game was all Ohio State. The Buckeyes were without TreVeyon Henderson, but that was also no problem since backup Miyan Williams rushed for 189 yards and five touchdowns. There isn’t much more to say, as the Buckeyes handled a much weaker opponent like they were supposed to and came up with a strong offensive performance to blow out Rutgers.
Up next: Michigan State