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.
Week Four brought us some more normalcy to the top of the rankings while a few bottom teams tried to redeem themselves.
Big Ten East:
The Buckeyes used Tulane as a warm up last week to get ready for the main event this week in Happy Valley. Its a battle for the top spot in these rankings, and the early College Football Playoff spot.
Penn State was in a dogfight with Illinois for the first half. The Illini actually had a 24-21 lead early in the third quarter. Then Penn State remembered who they were and Illinois remembered who they were. Penn State would score 42 straight points and would outscore the Illini 35-0 in the fourth quarter en route to a 63-24 laughter. The Nittany Lions can’t do that this week against Ohio State, but if they play like they did in the second half...watch out.
Remember when we thought Nebraska might be a big more of a task for the Wolverines to handle last weekend. Yeah..about that. Michigan keep the Scott Frost train off of the tracks with a 56-10 win in Ann Arbor. This week the Wolverines head to Evanston for a game against Northwestern. I’m pretty sure MOON will not be a thing this weekend.
The Spartans reclaimed the #4 spot this week by going into Indiana and ending the undefeated portion of their season 35-21. Central Michigan come to town this week in what should be one more win for the Spartans.
The Terps showed who they really were a week after choking to Temple. Maryland took Minnesota to the woodshed often and repeatedly in a 42-13 win. The Terrapins have the talent if they can just put it all together. They get a bye week this week before a big trip to the Big House.
#6 Indiana Hoosiers
Oh Indiana. Fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice...shame on me. Another 3-0 non-conference start and then the Big Ten season comes around and suddenly the Hoosiers don’t look so hot again. Michigan State is good, but I might have thought Indiana would be better at home. Whoopsie. They should get that all important fourth win this week at Rutgers though..or else I was really fooled.
Oh Rutgers. You hot hot garbage. A 42-13 loss at home to....Buffalo? You might want to start looking at putting your house on the market Chris Ash. They get one of only a few chances to get a Big Ten win this week when Indiana comes to town.
Big Ten West
Iowa could have held onto the top spot, but the Badgers did enough to win with a bit of Hawkeye help to move back to this top spot after their win over Iowa. Now they get a bye week to relax.
Oh Iowa. What did you do. You had a Big Ten Championship game in your hands and then poof. Not good. Enjoy your bye week thinking about it before FLOYD.
They don’t really deserve to be ranked this high but the rest of the West is still hot garbage. A bye week to heal and then a huge game at home for FLOYD.
Purdue makes the big jump this week for a season saving win over a ranked Boston College team. Will this be the week that finally gets the Boilermakers back on track? They lead to Lincoln this week in what is almost another must win if they want to make a bowl game.
The good news is you can’t lose on a bye week. The bad news is a hot Michigan team comes into your house this week with a very good chance to send you to 1-3 on the season.
Nebraska is in deep trouble. After their thrashing in Ann Arbor they come home to host Purdue this week in a game where the loser is pretty much mathematically eliminated from bowl contention. No pressure or anything...
Oh Illini. You had everyone rooting for you. You had a lead over Penn State in the third quarter. It looked like you knew what you were doing! And then you gave up 42 straight points. Oh Lovie...no. Enjoy a bye week before your Super Bowl next week at Rutgers.
Overall Big Ten Rankings (last week in parenthesis)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (1)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (2)
- Michigan Wolverines (4)
- Wisconsin Badgers (7)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (3)
- Michigan State Spartans (8)
- Maryland Terrapins (9)
- Indiana Hoosiers (5)
- Minnesota Golden Gophers (6)
- Purdue Boilermakers (13)
- Northwestern Wildcats (10)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (11)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (12))
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (14)