The Big Ten East remains undefeated and the Big Ten West is...the Big Ten West.
Around college football, there were quite a few games that eclipsed the highlights in the Big Ten. But have no fear, we will relive them here as we provide the updated Big Ten Power Rankings for Week 3.
14. Nebraska: (1-2, Last week’s rank: 13)
Week 2 saw a lot of winners and a lot of losers, but perhaps the one that fell into both categories was the team last in this week’s power rankings: Nebraska. After blowing yet another game to extend it to 19 games decided by one score, the Huskers had enough and fired Scott Frost. So despite losing to Georgia Southern, the community of Cornhusker fans everywhere can rest a little easier now that Frost got the boot.
Up Next: Oklahoma
13. Northwestern: (1-1, Last week’s rank: 11)
In a nerd bowl extravaganza, Northwestern took its victory from Week 0 plus a week off to find a way to lose to Duke. While the Wildcats tried to dig themselves out of a hole early on, they couldn’t keep the Blue Devils out of the end zone. In a game of numbers and skill, it looks like the Blue Devils get some bragging rights, and the Wildcats have to go back to the drawing board.
Up Next: Southern Illinois
12. Iowa: (1-1, Last week’s rank: 10)
Rivalry week came early and the Hawkeyes gave up. The Iowa State Cyclones hadn’t won in this rivalry since 2014, so it’s been a while. The Hawkeyes didn’t crack 100 passing yards, which is absolutely atrocious from a team that was supposed to turn their offense around after a Big Ten Championship appearance. With an offense still nonexistent and only 14 points scored through two games, Iowa needs to figure out something fast.
Up Next: Nevada
11. Illinois: (2-1, Last week’s rank: 14)
One way to bounce back from a loss is to play Virginia, which Illinois did. Regardless, the Fighting Illini need to commend their defense for only allowing UVA to score a field goal early in the first. They shut out the Cavaliers the remainder of the game. The defense also bailed them out of three turnovers in the first quarter. Illinois needs to clean up the offense a little bit, and who knows what could be in store for them.
Up Next: Bye
10. Indiana: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 13)
Well look who it is — a 2-0 Indiana. Tying its record win’s last year in Week 2 is quite the comeback. The Hoosiers still found a way to win this game despite being shut out in the first half. So some things need to be buffed out, as an incredibly late start both offensively and defensively won’t fly when conference season comes to town.
Next Up: Western Kentucky
9. Maryland: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 8)
Second to Minnesota in total yards this week, the Terps put up 617 against Charlotte. While Maryland won this game handedly, it still allowed three touchdowns and an insane amount of yards for a team that had no wins. The Terps also allowed 24 first downs when they themselves had 26. Their offense can try and throw themselves into wins, but a lack of a defensive stronghold won’t cut it in the coming weeks, especially with Michigan looming ot begin conference play in two weeks.
Next Up: SMU
8. Rutgers: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 9)
Rutgers put up 66 points — the most points put up by a Rutgers team under head coach Greg Schiano. The Scarlet Knights got their expected win against a much weaker Wagner team, but they also got more insight into their own quarterback questions. Can Rutgers get out of September without a loss? A true test comes next week.
Up Next: Temple
7. Wisconsin: (1-1, Last week’s rank: 3)
The Wisconsin Badgers dropped out of the rankings after losing to Washington State in an oddly flukey game. Washington State hadn’t won a non conference road game in more than 20 years and Camp Randall is a notoriously difficult environment to play in. Wisconsin was the easy pick to win this game, but the Cougars still came out on top.
Next Up: New Mexico State
6. Purdue: (1-1, Last week’s rank: 7)
After losing a close one to Penn State in Week 1, Purdue was one of three teams in the Big Ten West to win this past weekend. Not only that, but the Boilermakers were one of two teams in the Big Ten with a shutout. They also scored nine touchdowns, including a pick six. Purdue outgained Indiana State 521-145. Total dominance.
Next up: Syracuse
5. Penn State: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 6)
Look who’s back in the AP top-25. The Nittany Lions bounced back after running all over Ohio. Their freshman running back Nick Singleton popped off, rushing 179 yards and two touchdowns. Penn State’s defense showed its own might, only allowing the Bobcats beyond midfield three times the entire game. Guess they figured out some things from last week.
Next up: Auburn
4. Minnesota: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 5)
Justice for undefeated Minnesota, who’s busy charging its way to the top of the Big Ten West. The Golden Gophers put up eight touchdowns and out-gained Western Illinois 679-194 in their 62-10 win. Their offense was absolutely rolling and their defense was right along with them.
Next Up: Colorado
3. Michigan State: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 4)
Team No. 2 with a shutout this week was Michigan State. The Spartans were on lock with eight touchdowns, but they also only allowed 26 rushing yards the entire game. Akron did fumble four times, but Michigan State threw two picks, so it looks like their passing game needs to be cleaned up a smidge. MSU did find reliability on the ground, rushing for 260 total yards and six touchdowns.
Next up: Washington
2. Michigan: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 2)
I wish I knew a flaw in this game besides one dropped pass. Sure, the Wolverines allowed 10 points, but they also played what looks like their entire roster. They were dominant over Hawaii and they got their offense rolling right from the jump even after a weather delay. J.J. McCarthy put on a show to lock up Michigan’s starting quarterback job. With him at the helm, the Wolverines could very likely steamroll into rivalry weekend.
Next Up: UConn
1. Ohio State: (2-0, Last week’s rank: 1)
This is a loose No. 1. Maybe I’m chicken about giving Michigan the go-ahead, but this looks like a beatable team. Sure, they didn’t allow Arkansas State into the end zone the entire game, but the Red Wolves did get into field goal range with the Buckeyes’ starters on the field. Maybe they were just giving them yards, as the Buckeyes did rack up 85 penalty yards in the game. Anyway, they do have CJ Stroud, who put up 351 passing yards and four touchdowns. The offensive juggernaut is still rolling, so we will leave them here...for now.
Next up: Toledo