Hello there and welcome to the Big Ten Power Rankings! Each week we’ll rank how the teams across the conference are playing, in the hopes of seeing just who is a contender, and who is a pretender over the course of the season.
The rules are few, but resolute:
- Teams are ranked by how they’re playing at that time. Not body of work, not rankings in the polls, but simply how each team is playing at that point in the season.
- The approach to the rankings is not necessarily on the field results (though those do count, as an obvious, tangible data point), but more generally if the two teams played at a neutral site 100 times, which team would win 51 times (or more).
- These rankings are subjective. As the author I get to follow the rules as closely or loosely as I want to, and if you don’t like the rankings, you’re wrong.
Week 0 is in the books with just a few teams playing, so these rankings are quite similar to last week’s. Next week, though, expect to see some big activity! Let’s get to it!
1. Ohio State
Idle. Next up, home vs. #5 Notre Dame.
Idle. Next up, home vs. Colorado State.
Idle. Next up, home vs. Illinois State.
4. Michigan State
Idle. Next up, home vs. Western Michigan on Friday.
Idle. Next up, home vs. South Dakota State.
6. Penn State
Idle. Next up, away at Purdue on Thursday.
Idle. Next up, home vs. New Mexico State on Thursday.
Idle. Next up, home vs. Penn State on Thursday.
Idle. Next up, home vs. Buffalo.
Idle. Next up, away at Boston College.
Dread it. Run from it. Even year Northwestern still arrives. Despite looking iffy for most of the game, the Wildcats managed to pull Nebraska into a rock fight in the Land of Eire, and came away with a 31-28 win. This is the first close, ugly win in what will undoubtedly be a season full of them, as the Wildcats march their way to the Big Ten Championship Game. Next up, idle.
The Illini went out and did what a Power 5 team is supposed to do to a Group of 5 team. They scored first, then slowly but surely out-athleted the Cowboys to a 30+ point victory. Next up, away at Indiana.
I saw a fun stat about Scott Frost. Following the 31-28 loss to Northwestern, Frost is now 15-30 in his time at Nebraska. Bo Pelini was fired for going 67-27. Even if Frost won his next 50 games, he’d still have a worse record (65-30) than Pelini. Isn’t that fun? Next up, home vs. North Dakota.
Idle. Next up, home vs. Illinois.
And just like that, we’ve got squiggly lines!
The top 8 stand pat, as they all sat idle for Week 0. Maryland and Rutgers move up one spot each, while Northwestern jumps up thanks to its season-opening win. Illinois stands pat despite its win, but Nebraska plummets thanks to yet another close loss. Indiana hangs out in the basement.
On to Week 1!