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The BSD Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 3

The gap at the top is closer than ever.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

You ready for some Big Ten Power Rankings? Let's look at some Big Ten Power Rankings. Unless you're a Rutgers fan, then you should probably close this post and read something else, because my goodness, there are a lot of issues in Piscataway right now. Also: Iowa won El Assico, which I wanted to mention here because I didn't fit that into my write-up. ANYWAY...


  1. Ohio State (Last Week: 1)
  2. Michigan State (2)
  3. Nebraska (3)
  4. Wisconsin (4)
  5. Northwestern (6)
  6. Minnesota (5)
  7. Iowa (8)
  8. Michigan (9)
  9. Penn State (10)
  10. Illinois (12)
  11. Indiana (13)
  12. Maryland (11)
  13. Rutgers (7)
  14. Purdue (14)

I was so, so tempted to pull the trigger and put Sparty over OSU, but I hesitated, even though Michigan State very well could have the best win in college football this year up to this point (well, either them or Oklahoma). However, the gap between the two is closer than it has been in some time, and that Nov. 21 game between the two sids can't come soon enough. The other big thing for me is the fall of Rutgers, which lost one of the dumbest games of the year to Washington State and happened to lose its best player for an indefinite period of time in Leonte Carroo.

Northwestern and Minnesota flipped spots because why not, and the teams right behind Rutgers in last week's poll all took a step up because my god the Scarlet Knights are kind of imploding. The exception was Maryland, which is the biggest beneficiary of Rutgers' bevy of issues, because it means they are not in 13th. Purdue is last. Purdue is forever.


  1. Ohio State (1)
  2. Michigan State (2)
  3. Wisconsin (3)
  4. Nebraska (5)
  5. Northwestern (6)
  6. Minnesota (4)
  7. Iowa (10)
  8. Michigan (7)
  9. Penn State (9)
  10. Indiana (11)
  11. Illinois (12)
  12. Rutgers (8)
  13. Maryland (13)
  14. Purdue (14)

I ranked Penn State at #9 last week, and that was probably too generous. However, I saw enough from them to keep them in that spot following this past weekend. It's not that I've necessarily been more impressed with the Nittany Lions than Indiana (which was a close call for me), but the talent on Penn State's roster combined with an offense that came alive in the second half is enough for me.

As far as the rest of the rankings, Ohio State and Michigan State are in a virtual tie at #1 in my mind, and Wisconsin and Nebraska are pretty equal, as well. It's hard to separate those teams at the top until they all get tested against stronger opponents (like Sparty with Oregon). Northwestern, however, has been impressive enough to vault to the top five. Minnesota barely survived Colorado State, but their resume keeps them above Iowa, who defeated Iowa State in El Assico.


  1. Ohio State (1)
  2. Michigan State (2)
  3. Northwestern (5)
  4. Wisconsin (3)
  5. Nebraska (7)
  6. Minnesota (4)
  7. Iowa (6)
  8. Michigan (10)
  9. Illinois (9)
  10. Penn State (14)
  11. Indiana (12)
  12. Rutgers (8)
  13. Maryland (11)
  14. Purdue (13)

Penn State's win, however sleep inducing it was, coupled with Maryland and Rutgers' loses, gave me enough reason to move them out of the cellar. At the top of the poll, Ohio State's ridiculous level of talent keeps them ahead of Sparty, despite MSU's impressive win against Oregon being the best of any team in the league.

Northwestern's win over Stanford gives them just a slight advantage on Wisconsin at this point. The Badgers may be a better team, but the results just aren't there yet. Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa are all about the same to me at this point.