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 2 is in the books and hoo boy have we got some shakeups. Let’s get to it!
1. Ohio State
Look, a 45-12 win over Arkansas State is basically another day at the office, but doesn’t that feel just a little underwhelming? Especially given the fact that Notre Dame is actually poop, OSU is looking a little sus.
Next up, home vs. Toledo.
Michigan did to Hawai’i what a top program does to one of the worst teams in all of college football, winning 56-10. But IIRC, the point spread was like 50-something? So good on you, Rainbow Warriors!
Next up, home vs. UConn (man, real murderer’s row Michigan is playing this year).
3. Penn State
I’ll hear some arguments on #3 through #5, but right now PSU is playing the best of this second tier of teams. Unlike last year, where it was painfully obvious that depth would be an issue, Penn State is cashing in on its stellar recruiting, and getting young backups valuable real-game experience, not just when games are completely out of hand. When injuries inevitably strike, that will pay huge dividends.
Next up, away at Auburn.
4. Michigan State
The Spartans beat lowly Akron 52-0, which is, again, what highly ranked teams are supposed to do to some of the worst teams in college football.
Next up, away at Washington.
Don’t look now but Minnesota is the only undefeated team in the B1G West, having throttled Western Illinois 62-10. The Gophers may just row the boat to a championship game appearance.
Next up, home vs. Colorado.
The Boilermakers bounced back from their opening week loss to Penn State by drubbing Indiana State 56-0. It looks like Purdue may just be one of the top two teams in the West this year.
Next up, away at Syracuse.
Okay, next tier, and here through #10-ish is kind of a toss-the-dice situation. Wisconsin lost a very bad game 17-14 to Washington State, one of those “worst teams in football” situations. Maybe it’s name brand, maybe it’s power ranking momentum, but it still feels like the Badgers should hold their own against the next few teams. Time will tell.
Next up, home vs. New Mexico State.
Fun fact, the B1G East is undefeated so far this year, and that includes the Terrapins beating Charlotte 56-21 on the road. Could the Terps take down Wisconsin? Maybe? Let’s hear what you have to say.
Next up, home vs. SMU (ooooh that’s a fun game).
Rutgers beat Wagner 66-7, which is what a FBS school should do to a FCS school. Still, it feels like the East is just going to be a bit of a meat grinder (again (thanks Big Ten!)).
Next up, away at Temple (also a sneaky fun game).
Don’t you just LOVE the fact that Penn State drew the two toughest teams in the West the last few years in Iowa and Wisconsin, and don’t you just LOVE the fact that the season the Lions aren’t playing those two they look like straight up trash? Don’t you also just LOVE the fact that this year the Lions are playing Purdue and Minnesota, and don’t you just LOVE the fact that those two look like the two best teams in the West?
Next up, home vs. Nevada.
I’m honestly impressed, that was a thorough 24-3 drubbing of Virginia, who is not a fantastic team, but is still a Power 5 opponent. The fightin’ Berts fight on!
Next up, idle.
I probably would have given Indiana a bit of a bigger jump, but they were losing to Idaho at the half, and only managed a 35-22 win. A win is a win, but that’s not great.
Next up, home vs. Western Kentucky.
I had such high hopes for you, even-year Northwestern! But you got out-nerded 31-23 by Duke, and the future looks bleak.
Next up, home vs. Southern Illinois.
Wow. Wow wow wow. Wow. At least Frost is gone?
Next up, home vs. Oklahoma (ahahahahahahahaha).
Ope we got some shuffling!
OSU and Michigan remain at the top, but Penn State is on the rise. Michigan State stays put with Minnesota and Purdue right on their heels. Wisconson plummets, with Maryland and Rutgers ready to take their place. Iowa falls farther still, with Illinois greeting them. Indiana moves up, with Northwestern dropping. Nebraska has grasped the mantle of worst team in the conference by a fairly wide berth.
On to Week 3!