1. Penn State (2-0)
The Nittany Lions didn’t have their A-game, especially offensively, but handled Pitt rather easily, avenging last year’s loss with a 33-14 victory. Penn State will finish up its non-conference schedule with Georgia State under the Beaver Stadium lights next week.
2. Ohio State (1-1)
Could Ohio State’s offense improve over the course of the season? Sure, but goodness, this looks like the same exact unit from last year.
3. Michigan (2-0)
The Wolverines struggled with Cincinnati before pulling away late. Similarly to Ohio State, Michigan looks pretty close to its 2016 form — great defense, mediocre offense. Wilton Speights needs to step up if Michigan expects to seriously challenge for the Big Ten crown.
4. Wisconsin (2-0)
Jonathan Taylor, hello young man. The New Jersey frosh looks like the next great Wisconsin running back.
5. Iowa (2-0)
Perhaps I’m drinking the Cyclone kool-aid, but picking up a 44-41 OT win over Iowa State is actually a pretty impressive win for the Hawkeyes.
6. Maryland (2-0)
Important to remember it was Towson, but the Terrapins look solid in the early season. UCF next week and a trip to Minnesota the following week will tell us more about Maryland.
7. Michigan State (2-0)
Impressive 28-14 victory over a Western Michigan squad that gave USC all it could handle. The Spartans defense looks nasty, while quarterback Brian Lewerke does just enough to get the job done. Penn State’s trip to East Lansing is looking tougher and tougher.
8. Indiana (1-1)
The Richard Lagow era might be over, as backup Peyton Ramsey took over during the Virginia game and looked really freaking good.
9. Minnesota (2-0)
Oregon State might be terrible, but hey, give it to the Fighting Flecks for putting up a 48 spot on the Beavers. Row. The. Boat.
10. Nebraska (1-1)
Tanner Lee’s coming out party? Not quite. This might not be a hot take, but I think Nebraska is closer to being a 5-win team than it is being a 7-win team.
11. Purdue (1-1)
12. Northwestern (1-1)
I predicted that Penn State would lose to Northwestern this year. That isn’t going to happen. Also, let’s take a look at the Wildcats’ first five games of their Big Ten schedule: @Wisconsin, Penn State, @Maryland, Iowa, and Michigan State. Yikes.
13. Illinois (2-0)
Illinois might be the worst undefeated team in the country.
14. Rutgers (0-2)
Eastern. Michigan. Folks.