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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 2

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We got some shakeup near the top!

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Another week is in the books, and we’re starting to see some movement in the standings. Let’s take a look.

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

After a week 1 dud, the Buckeyes put the hurt on a quality Cincinnati team. We still won’t know more about OSU until later in the season, but for now, they’ve got the top spot locked up.

2. Penn State

The Lions looked decidedly meh for large portions of their game against Buffalo, and yet with just 17:32 in possession, they scored 45 points - that works out to over 2.5 points per minute. If they kept up that pace for, say, 30 minutes in TOP, they’d score 77 points per game. There are some issues in the run game, and on defense that need to be worked out, but these Lions are good.

3. Iowa

Okay, so Iowa beat Rutgers 30-0, which is kind of whoop de doo. But they shut out a conference foe, and move up the board as a result.

4. Wisconsin

The Badgers turned in another fantastic performance, defeating Central Michigan 61-0. They have yet to allow a single point in 2019, which cannot be said for any other Big Ten team.

5. Michigan

Oh Michigan. Let’s all be honest with each other - the preseason playoff hype for the Wolverines was as overwrought as Nebraska being ranked. Michigan barely snuck by Army, 24-21 in double overtime. They were a missed field goal in regulation from being upended. If the Wolverines finish better than 9-3 this season I will be surprised.

6. Maryland

Holy Terrapins Batman! Maryland took on Syracuse, a ranked team, and smoked them 63-20, putting together the best win in the conference this week. I said it before and I’ll say it again - the Terps have the talent, and if they can stay healthy, will be a tough out for any team playing them.

7. Michigan State

The Spartans drop another spot this week, but it has more to do with the teams above them climbing the ranks than anything else. Sparty defeated Western Michigan 51-17 in a game not unlike Penn State-Buffalo. A solid win, but it’ll take more than that to climb these rankings.

8. Northwestern

The Wildcats were on a bye, but the team to whom they lost in week 1 - Stanford - went and lost their week 2 game. Not great.

9. Indiana

I see you Indiana, winning 52-0 over Eastern Illinois. More games like that and the Hoosiers will make some noise in these here rankings.

10. Minnesota

Oof. Once again, the entire state of Minnesota let out a collective sigh of relief when the Gophers defeated Fresno State 38-35 in double overtime. PJ Fleck and Co. can’t take many more games like that.

11. Nebraska

Aaaaand down goes Nebraska. Look, it’s not the Cornhuskers’ fault that they got all of that preseason hype, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to relish in their struggles.

12. Purdue

A 42-24 win over Vanderbilt moves the Boilermakers back up a spot on this list.

13. Illinois

Similarly, an 8-point win over UConn will move the Illini back down a spot. Not a great look, Lovie.

14. Rutgers

It took exactly two weeks into the 2019 season for Rutgers to get shutout. Is that a record? I think that might be a record.


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

OSU at the top, with Penn State, Iowa, and Wisconsin making moves. Michigan falls, and they have Maryland hot on their heels. Michigan State drops another spot, while Northwestern stands pat. Indiana is climbing while Minnesota chills at 10th. Nebraska tumbles after a loss. Purdue and Illinois swap places for a week. Rutgers.

Let’s see what week three brings us!