All 14 Big Ten teams were in action during Week 4 of the college football season, including five in-conference matchups with a top-25 Big Ten matchup, as well as a primetime non-conference showdown between two of the nation’s top-ranked programs.
With conference play really starting to kick it up a notch, here are your updated Big Ten power rankings:
14. Purdue Boilermakers (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 9
Now owners of the worst record in the Big Ten, Purdue falls to the back of the pack in this week’s power rankings. The Boilermakers made some plays on offense in the second half, but the defense could not slow down the Badgers in the slightest. Hudson Card threw two picks and Devin Mockobee added a fumble of his own to help keep things well out of reach.
13. Michigan State Spartans (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 8
The Spartans were able to drive deep into Maryland territory on multiple occasions on Saturday but were held to just nine points during the program’s second week removed from Mel Tucker. Michigan State has also been without several key contributors on defense and lacks any semblance of a pulse through the last couple of outings.
12. Indiana Hoosiers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 11
Indiana gets the slightest bit of credit for pulling out the win on Saturday, but a four-overtime thriller against Akron will do little to help the Hoosiers on this week’s power rankings. Still, credit to Indiana quarterback Tayven Jackson for pulling off a gutsy trick play during a mandatory two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth overtime.
11. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 12
This season hasn’t been one to write home about for Brett Bielema, but the Illinois defense came to play. The Illini were able to shut the Florida Atlantic Owls down on multiple short-field possessions and came out with a 23-17 win.
10. Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 13
Nebraska football found new life on offense this weekend, led by Heinrich Haarberg as starting quarterback. With the help of a strong second-half run game, the Huskers notched their second win of the season with a 28-14 victory over Louisiana Tech and will prepare to face the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines this upcoming week.
9. Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-2, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 10
The Gophers blew a 21-point fourth-quarter lead over Northwestern and lost 37-34 in overtime. Ouch.
8. Northwestern Wildcats (2-2, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 14
While the game may have seemed a forgone conclusion by the end of the first half, Northwestern’s will to win played a tremendous role in keeping the squad in the game. That, coupled with some literal last-second heroics by former Michigan receiver AJ Henning has a slightly different tune being sung about the Wildcats this week.
7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-1, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 7
The Scarlet Knights fell to No. 2 Michigan in a 31-7 loss at the Big House on Saturday, but they looked good for the first half of it. The defeat at the hands of a top-10 opponent, coupled with a lack of success by other teams within the conference, does little to damage their ranking for this week.
6. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 4
The Iowa offense struggled badly in the first half against Penn State. A turnover on one of the team’s best first half drives handicapped the Hawkeyes for their remaining possessions. This was an otherwise unfortunate performance for the Hawkeyes in prime time.
5. Wisconsin Badgers (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) — Last week: 6
The Badgers won their first Big Ten contest 38-17 under new head coach Luke Fickell and improved to 3-1 behind Tanner Mordecai’s ridiculous first quarter. The Wisconsin quarterback rushed for a pair of touchdowns and even caught a pass.
4. Maryland Terrapins (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) — Last week: 5
Taulia Tagovailoa threw for three touchdowns while adding another on the ground. The Maryland defense also forced five turnovers Saturday as the Terrapins beat Michigan State by 22 in East Lansing.
3. Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) — Last week: 3
Penn State won its annual White Out on Saturday night in dominating fashion, defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes in Beaver Stadium in a 31-0 shutout. Penn State’s defense kept the Iowa offense behind the sticks, forcing them into a mediocre passing attack.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) — Last week: 2
Ohio State beat Notre Dame in the final second on a one-yard touchdown run on Saturday to stun the Fighting Irish in South Bend. Kyle McCord led the Buckeyes down the field with 1:26 remaining in the fourth quarter. Both teams came alive in the second half, but OSU was able to pull out the win in a hard-fought, top-10 matchup.
1. Michigan Wolverines (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) — Last week: 1
The Wolverines came into Saturday’s matchup against Rutgers pegged as 24-point favorites and came up just a point short of covering that mark in Jim Harbaugh’s first game back from suspension. Blake Corum rushed for two touchdowns and Mike Sainristil torched the entire Scarlet Knight offense with a 71-yard pick-six. Freshman wide receiver Semaj Morgan gave Michigan the lead before the end of the first half and the Wolverines never looked back in this one.