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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 1

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Things got a big CRAZY this weekend

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Hoooooly cow what a fun weekend of football. Welcome back CFB! Let’s see how these power rankings shook up based on the weekend’s events.

To be clear: these rankings are a reflection of just how well a team is playing, not a reflection of records, polls, number of NIL agreements signed by players, etc.

Simply put - the #1 team would, on a neutral field, beat the #2 team at least 51 times out of 100. The #2 team would beat the #3 team, #3 would beat #4, etc., etc.

Let’s get to it!


1. Ohio State

The Buckeyes looked . . . mortal? Against Minnesota, OSU needed some quick scores and defensive breakdowns in the second half to pull away, ultimately finishing with a so-so 45-31 win over Minnesota. The downside is Ohio State played so-so and still managed a 2-touchdown win.

2. Iowa

Yes, good, completely justify my previous ranking of you Iowa, way to go. The Hawkeyes embarrassed Indiana 34-6, and planted their flag as the top team in the West.

3. Penn State

Penn State went on the road against a top 15 team and won a defensive slugfest against one of the top two teams in the West. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it was emphatic. The schedule doesn’t let up, but the Lions have to be on cloud nine.

4. Wisconsin

Yeah the Badgers lost and managed to move up in these rankings. Mostly because they very well could have won the game against Penn State, and looked a LOT better than the other teams behind them on this list. I look forward to the Iowa-Wisconsin game later this season.

5. Indiana

You ever see a team that just has the exact right breaks in a season, and rightfully capitalizes on them, but then they return to the norm HARD the next year? Man, Indiana did that in the first 5 minutes of their game against Iowa. The luster has worn off after just one game.

6. Maryland

These next three teams could probably just be grouped as a tie, but we don’t do ties in college football, dadgumit. Maryland prevailed over West Virginia, and realistically could be looking at an 8-win season. We’ll see if they can sustain their success.

7. Michigan

The Wolverines took care of business against Western Michigan 47-14. Not much else to say here.

8. Purdue

Another solid non-conference win for the B1G, the Boilermakers took care of Oregon State 30-21. I said it before, I like it when Purdue is good.

9. Minnesota

Look, I had to drop the Gophers because they lost, but man they played well for about 3 quarters. They couldn’t keep up with OSU forever, but they showed that the Buckeyes can bleed.

10. Rutgers

I know the Scarlet Knights are going to improve under Schiano, but 61-14 over Temple? Yikes, Penn State’s schedule just got that much harder. Yayyyyy.

11. Michigan State

The Spartans aren’t dead! In fact, they’re quite alive! A 38-21 win over Northwestern immediately moves them up the list, and adds yet another tough game for PSU. DOUBLE YAYYYYY.

12. Northwestern

Easily the biggest mover in these rankings after one week, and it’s in the wrong direction. I gave the Wildcats the benefit of the doubt based on their 2020 season, and I definitely should not have. It could be a long season in Evanston.

13. Illinois

Oh COME ON Illinois! You started so well! How are you gonna go ahead and lose 37-30 to UTSA?? I mean, UTSA is not a bad team, but COME ON!

14. Nebraska

Look. Nebraska beat Fordham 52-7. But. They lost to Illinois. Who just LOST TO UTSA. You can see how this transitive property works out, yes?


With one week of results under our belts, we now have our happy little lines, and us cavemen (and women) are entertained:

OSU and Iowa stay at the top, while PSU and Wisconsin move up at Indiana’s expense. Maryland, Michigan, and Purdue climb together, while Minnesota tumbles. Rutgers and Michigan State make some moves, while Northwestern puh-lummets. Illinois drops, and by extension, Nebraska moves into the basement.

I do love me some college football chaos!