It’s a throwback Monday here at BSD, as I takeover the Big Ten Power Rankings from Chris for this week. The last time I did power rankings here for BSD, Wisconsin was undefeated, Saquon Barkley still played for Penn State, and my blurb for Illinois was that they should fire Lovie Smith and hire Bret Bielema! Moving forward, I will only use my future seeing powers for good.
1. Penn State (5-0)
This is really between Penn State and Iowa, and honestly, I can see arguments for either team here. Iowa probably has the “best” something — that being its defense — but Penn State’s defense is right there too, while its offense certainly has more firepower and potential than Iowa. So with that being the case, Penn State keeps its No. 1 spot.
2. Iowa (5-0)
I heard on one of the numerous podcasts I listen to (I think it was the Cover 3 pod) that 46% of Iowa’s points are points off of turnovers. On one hand, that just shows how great their defense is playing. On the other hand, that’s an unrealistic number to keep up throughout the season.
3. Ohio State (4-1)
The Buckeyes looked sharper on Saturday as they blew out a non-pathetic Rutgers squad. Still, the questions about their defense are valid. While the aforementioned Rutgers Scarlet Knights aren’t the dreadful team they once were, Ohio State’s defense will have to show more against a higher competent offense to actually show their improvement.
4. Michigan (5-0)
As I have said in the BSD slack for a couple weeks now: Michigan is what Wisconsin usually is - strong running game, good defense, which makes them tough to play.
5. Michigan State (5-0)
Don’t let the 48-31 score fool you, the Spartans dominated Western Kentucky. The game was 45-16 going into the 4th, so the Spartans clearly let the foot off the pedal. Hey, they are a good team! Payton Thorne is solid — 63% completion percentage, 11 TD/1 INT ratio. Kenneth Walker III is one of the top running backs in the Big Ten. They have some good athletes out wide. Solid defense. Sparty is a legitimate 8-9 win team.
6. Maryland (4-1)
There is no program that dislikes September —> October more than Maryland.
7. Indiana (2-3)
As I said on Saturday night, the Hoosiers are probably better than their record given their three loses have been to the No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 teams in the country. Still, the schedule doesn’t get all that much easier with Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State still left. Life in the Big Ten Beast.
8. Wisconsin (1-3)
It doesn’t matter how good the rest of the team is, if you don’t have a quarterback, you are going to struggle to win football games. The Badgers are Case Study A for this.
9. Rutgers (3-2)
Greg Schiano is a competent coach who coaches competent football teams, but Ohio State can out-athlete just “competent.” Still, the Scarlet Knights aren’t bad. With Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Maryland left, Rutgers can absolutely push for a bowl game.
10. Nebraska (3-3)
The Cornhuskers blew out Northwestern 56-7, which probably says more about Northwestern than it does Nebraska. That being said, the Cornhuskers host Michigan this Saturday for a primetime 8:00 p.m. kick — kind of intriguing? Scott Frost certainly needs one.
11. Minnesota (3-2)
The Gophers bounced back after losing to ... no seriously, Minnesota didn’t lose to Bowling Green did they? Hold on, what? Bowling Green? Hahahahaha. Bowling. Green. Hahahaha.
12. Purdue (3-2)
I love Jeff Brohm, but you can’t lose at home to teams that lost to Bowling Green. Can’t. David Bell, transfer to Penn State.
13. Illinois (2-4)
Illinois beating Charlotte 24-14 and it being a semi-impressive feat for them just shows how bad of shape Lovie Smith left the program.
14. Northwestern (2-3)
I honestly don’t think Northwestern would win the MAC.