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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week 3

We take a look at the Big Ten landscape following a wild week two.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Howard at Maryland Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Maryland might be good! People are freaking out about Michigan! Nebraska still stinks! Here’s our third edition of Big Ten Power Rankings:

14. Rutgers 1-1 (Last Week: 14)

Rutgers’ first Big Ten game of the year went about as well as you’d expect: a 30-0 loss to Iowa.

13. Minnesota 2-0 (Last Week: 10)

I tried to give Minnesota the benefit of the doubt after its slow start in week one, but the Gophers looked terrible again in week two, needing overtime to beat Fresno State. PJ Fleck is lucky the schedule is so easy this year for Minnesota or he’d be in real trouble.

12. Nebraska 1-1 (Last Week: 9)

Look, another time I get to say I told you so! I’ve been down on Nebraska since before the season started and the Cornhuskers did their best to prove me right by blowing a lead against Colorado. That Scott Frost magical turnaround will have to wait.

11. Purdue 1-1 (Last Week: 12)

Purdue wasn’t exactly inspiring in its win over Vanderbilt, but at least it got the W.

10. Illinois 2-0 (Last Week: 13)

It feels a little strange ranking Illinois this high, but the Illini have been okay so far this year. It wasn’t easy, but they pulled out the win against UConn and remain unbeaten.

9. Indiana 2-0 (Last Week: 8)

Indiana doesn’t deserve to drop in these rankings, but blame Maryland for that. Indiana cruised to a 52-0 win over measly Eastern Illinois and will become every Michigan fan’s favorite team this weekend when the Hoosiers battle Ohio State in Bloomington.

8. Maryland 2-0 (Last Week: 11)

I’m not ready to say this Maryland team is amazing and that it’s first two offensive performances are going to indicative of what the offense will look like the rest of the year, but, it’s hard not to be impressed with the beat down the Terps put on Syracuse last week. Granted, I’ve never been a believer in the Orange (everyone in the ACC stinks besides Clemson, yeah I said it), but it’s enough to put them on the edge of breaking through into the top half of the conference. I’m very much looking forward to Maryland vs. Penn State at the end of September.

7. Northwestern 0-1 (Last Week: 7)

Northwestern had a bye week and remains at No. 7 again, but is feeling the heat from Maryland.

6. Michigan State 2-0 (Last Week: 6)

The Spartans defense was good once again, but the bigger story from this weekend was the improvement shown by their offense. It was a strong performance by MSU, but it needs to show that the offense is for real against a legitimate opponent. That opportunity will present itself this weekend against Arizona State.

5. Iowa 2-0 (Last Week: 5)

I came oh so very close to dropping Michigan to No. 5, but just couldn’t do it. Iowa looks to be the real deal though, and pummeled Rutgers like it should’ve. This weekend’s showdown at Iowa State should be a great game and provide a significant test for the Hawkeyes.

4. Penn State 2-0 (Last Week: 3)

Penn State struggled with Buffalo on Saturday before it finally pulled away late in the game. It was 21-13 mid-way through the third quarter. However, being able to come back and finish the game strong had to be a good sign for Nittany Lions fans.

3. Michigan 2-0 (Last Week: 2)

Michigan looked absolutely dreadful against Army. Jim Harbaugh made a number of bad decisions, none larger than opting not to kick a field goal in a tie game late in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines should be thankful they even won the game. However, it doesn’t seem like people want to acknowledge the fact that Army is a good team that went 11-2 last year, and took Oklahoma to overtime last season before the Sooners made it to the College Football Playoff. So, yes, Michigan didn’t play well and certainly doesn’t deserve to move up, but the sky isn’t falling in Ann Arbor, not yet anyways.

2. Wisconsin 2-0 (Last Week: 4)

I told myself I’d be a little more bold than in previous years with these power rankings, so I’m going with the Badgers as my new No. 2 team in the Big Ten. They’ve posted back-to-back shutouts in impressive fashion and boast the nation’s best running back in Jonathan Taylor. The real key here though, is that new quarterback Jack Coan looks good. He completed 26-of-33 passes for 363 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in his team’s 61-0 win against Central Michigan. They have a bye week now to prepare for a home date with Michigan.

1. Ohio State 2-0 (Last Week: 1)

Another game, another blowout win for the Buckeyes. Justin Fields torched Cincinnati for four total touchdowns in the 42-0 win. Ohio State currently stands in a category of its own in the Big Ten.