For the third consecutive season I am back with my own personal Big Ten Football Power Poll. Every week I will rank the Big Ten teams how I see them, first by division, and then all fourteen teams in order. Sometimes there is rationality for how I see them ranked, and sometimes its just how I feel at the time. But I promise the rankings will make general sense—no ranking Rutgers #1 or anything stupid like that. Without further delay, here are the Big Ten power rankings after the second week of the season. As always, let me know in the comments if you disagree.
Big Ten East:
The Buckeyes just put the curb-stomping to Rutgers in a 52-3 win last week. That’s the easy way to start the Big Ten season 1-0. But this week we will see just how good Ohio State can be as they head down to Texas for a huge primetime game against TCU at Jerry’s World. It should be a fun one.
Pen State bounced back from a near loss in their season opener to thrash Pitt 51-6 at Heinz Field. Ouch. They should be able to keep the momentum moving forward when MAC foe Kent State comes to Happy Valley.
#3 Michigan Wolverines
What do you do if you need a win after a rough week one. You play yourself a directional Michigan school. (unless you are Purdue) PJ Fleck is not at Western Michigan anymore and it shows as the Wolverines had no trouble at all with the Broncos winning 49-3. Oof. SMU comes to the Big House this week in what should be another fairly easy win for Harbaugh and company.
Maryland jumped out to a 2-0 start building on a week one win over Texas by thrashing Bowling Green 45-14 last Saturday, Temple come to town this week and It’s likely that 3-0 is in the cards before they face the Gophers to open the Big Ten season.
Oh Sparty, no, no, no. You can’t go to the desert and lose to a Herm Edwards coached team at 2 Am your time. No, just, no. A way too close week 1 win doesn’t give Spartan fans a ton of confidence to build off of the loss. The worst part, you get a bye this week to think about it over and over for another week.
Indiana is 2-0 on the season after defeating Virginia 20-16 last Saturday. Tim Allen has his squad looking good, but we have seen this before. In-state “rival??” Ball State comes to Bloomington this week, and the Hoosiers should be halfway to a bowl game after Saturday.
52-3 isn’t really letting yourself stay in the game against the Buckeyes, Rutgers. The good news? you can still have a winning record after Saturday because you get to try and get a road win against the worst Power 5 team in the country when you head to Kansas Saturday.
Big Ten West
The Badgers struggled early against New Mexico , but ran away in the second half to a 45-14 win cementing their spot on top of the rankings. Arguably their toughest test of the non-conference season happens Saturday when BYU comes to Camp Randall, but really they will be no threat.
Iowa won ugly, but got a win in ¡El Assico! 13-3 over Iowa State. Northern Iowa comes to Kinnick this weekend in what again should be a fairly easy win setting up a huge 3-0 vs 3-0 game in their Big Ten opener at night the next weekend against Wisconsin.
Fresno State is a quality non-conference opponent and the Gopher defense shined in getting a 21-14 win at home. The Gophers still have a loong way to go before this spot is comfortable, but even without Rodney Smith Miami Hydroxide should not pose much of a threat to a 3-0 start.
#4 Northwestern Wildcats
The Wildcats got their first big win over Purdue in week one, but the shine came off of that a big after Purdue’s week 2. Then Northwestern got pretty much worked by the Duke at home 21-7. Ouch. Akron comes to Evanston this weekend which should be a bounce back game for the Wildcats.
You don’t often see teams move up after a loss, but when teams ahead of you have more embarrassing losses, well then sometimes things work out in your favor. The Huskers narrowly lost at home to Colorado 33-28. Sorry Scott Frost, Troy comes to Lincoln this week in what should finally be the first win of the Frost era in Lincoln.
Remember that whole get right by playing a directional Michigan school. Yeah that’s not how it is supposed to work Purdue. Eastern Michigan kicked a field goal at time ran out to upset Purdue in West Lafayette 20-19. Not a great start to the second year for Brohm and company. It might not get any easier because Purdue gets to host a SEC school this Saturday. Can Missouri take the Boilers to 0-3?
Illinois defeated Western Illinois 34-14, but it sure wasn’t pretty. It won’t be any better when the Illini get to play South Florida on Saturday at Soldier Field. But the Bears fan should be used to that by now.
Overall Big Ten Rankings (last week in parenthesis)
- Wisconsin Badgers (1)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (2)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (4)
- Michigan Wolverines (5)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (7)
- Maryland Terrapins (8)
- Michigan State Spartans (3)
- Minnesota Golden Gophers (10)
- Northwestern Wildcats (6)
- Indiana Hoosiers (12)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (11)
- Purdue Boilermakers (9)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (14)