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The BSD Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 4

Sparty, yes.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, two of us finally did it. We think that there is enough evidence to suggest that Michigan State is the best team in the Big Ten. Also, as you can probably expect, the bottom two teams this week are really, really hard to decide, and two of the voters this week decided to put Rutgers at the bottom.

Without further adieu, here's this week's BSD Big Ten Power Rankings:


  1. Michigan State (Last week: 2)
  2. Ohio State (1)
  3. Northwestern (5)
  4. Wisconsin (4)
  5. Nebraska (3)
  6. Iowa (7)
  7. Michigan (8)
  8. Penn State (9)
  9. Minnesota (6)
  10. Indiana (11)
  11. Illinois (10)
  12. Maryland (12)
  13. Rutgers (13)
  14. Purdue (14)
I'm not quite ready to say that Rutgers is the worst team in the Big Ten, mostly because Purdue has been bad for an extended period of time, while Rutgers had a bad week and may not be as bad as the game against Penn State indicated (imagine if Rutgers is actually good and Penn State is actually really good, that'd be swell). What I am finally willing to say is that, after looking sluggish over the last two weeks, Ohio State is slightly behind Michigan State, which has the most impressive win among all Big Ten teams.

Northwestern finally jumped up to my No. 3 team after going to Duke and taking down a solid Blue Devils squad (especially after Stanford beat USC, making jNW's win over them more and more impressive every day), while Nebraska fell a bit despite barely losing to Miami. I think we've all overrated Minnesota a bit, especially after two straight stinkers against subpar opponents. Also: look out for Indiana. The Hoosiers are 3-0 and will put up a ton of points. They're probably not as great as their record indicates, but I don't think anyone would be surprised if IU gets into a shootout with a superior team and surprisingly comes out on top. Finally, is Iowa good? I don't know if Iowa is good or if their kicker just has a strong leg, but regardless, lol 5b.


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

After three weeks, I feel comfortable enough to make some big shake-ups in my rankings, starting at the top. Ohio State and Michigan State are still neck and neck in my mind, but until the Buckeyes figure out their offense, I think Sparty is probably the better team, just barely. After that Northwestern jumps up to number three. I'm not sure I believe in the Wildcats enough to say they'll win 9 games, but their win over Stanford looks even more impressive now, after seeing the Cardinal dispatch USC. So until they actually lose a game, I'm aboard the Northwestern train.

After that, there aren't many changes from last week. Wisconsin and Nebraska stay in the top half for now, although I'm far less confident that the Huskers will stay there. Iowa has a quality QB in C.J. Beathard. Minnesota dropped a spot for me, because while they've won 2 of 3, they haven't been impressive in doing so (and the close loss to TCU isn't as good as it looks, considering Trevone Boykin's struggles on the road against good teams). Penn State and Michigan are neck and neck, but a few more weeks of consistency, and they'll rise. After that, it's the same old gang bringing up the rear, with a head coach-less Rutgers taking over the cellar.


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

Penn State's win did move them up a spot in my book, and really, I consider them about even with Michigan. For now, the difference remains the debacle that was Temple, and the first three quarters against Buffalo.

At the top, the gap between Ohio State and Michigan State is closing, but it's still hard to knock the defending champs down a spot. Northwestern is a solid third for me, owning two of the best non-conference victories (Stanford, at Duke). Iowa's win over 5b is enough to put them a hair ahead of Wisconsin, with Nebraska and Minnesota pretty even as well.

Illinois was exposed against the first decent team they have faced this season, while Maryland recovered nicely against USF. Purdue may have been run out of Ross Ade Stadium by VT, but the raging grease fire that is Rutgers football puts the Scarlet Knights in the basement.