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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 4

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The gulf between the top and the bottom of this conference is widening

Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another so-so showing for the conference, but that was due in part to the large amount of bye weeks. Two teams appear to have separated themselves from the pack, while the bottom half of the league is quickly becoming the bottom two-thirds.

As a reminder, this isn’t a ranking of teams based on record, or place in the polls, but rather my assessment of how the teams are playing at the time. If two teams met on a neutral field and played 100 times, a team that wins 51 times gets ranked ahead of the team that wins 49 times.

Let’s see what we got this week, shall we?

1. Ohio State

No surprise, but OSU crushed Miami (OH) 76-5. The best team in the conference, bar none.

2. Wisconsin

The Badgers embarrassed the Wolverines 35-14 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score. Does Wisconsin have it in them to take on OSU? We’ll see, but I’m still skeptical.

3. Penn State

Nice to have a bye week and move up in the polls! Relax and enjoy it, because we’re back at it next week.

4. Iowa

Another bye, another chance to let chaos separate the top from the bottom.

5. Maryland

Truthfully, after Iowa we start to move into the bottom portion of the conference. Maryland was also on their bye week, but that loss to Temple looks worse after the Owls lost handily to the Buffalo Bulls.

6. Michigan

Are the Wolverines as bad as they showed on Saturday? Maybe, maybe not. They’re still very talented, but unless something changes soon, Michigan is going to be fighting for bowl eligibility this season.

7. Michigan State

The Spartans put together a very solid game against Northwestern, beating the Wildcats 31-10. I still don’t think Sparty is all that great, but someone needs to take control of the middle of the conference, why not MSU?.

8. Northwestern

Yikes, the Wildcats - once considered a dark horse for the West - just got blown out by an anemic Michigan State offense. Not great, Bob.

9. Nebraska

You’d think, given that Northwestern lost, that I’d put Nebraska higher by a spot, but they barely snuck by Illinois 42-38. That does not gain you any good will in my book.

10. Indiana

The Hoosiers, meanwhile, looked like a good team against UConn. You might think it’s just UConn, but Illinois struggled with the Huskies earlier this year, so it’s not like the team doesn’t have a pulse.

11. Minnesota

The bye week giveth and the bye week taketh away - the Gophers were idle, but they drop a spot after Indiana showed out.

12. Purdue

Oh look, another bye week!.

13. Illinois

The Illini had a win against Nebraska in their grasp, only to Illinois it away. Sad face.

14. Rutgers

Two touchdown loss to Boston College, enough said.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, your updated standings!

OSU at the top, then Wisconsin, and your top two are set. Penn State, Iowa, and Maryland round out the top five, but I’m not sold on any of them. Michigan and Michigan State could easily swap places, while Northwestern clings to their spot in the middle of the pack. Nebraska, Indiana, and Minnesota are next, followed by Purdue, Illinois, and Rutgers in the cellar.

Let’s see what week five brings us!