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 first week of the season.
Big Ten East:
Well that didn’t take long to upset the order in the East. I said a week ago that the four team were pretty close, and we saw two struggle to put away much inferior opponents, and one lose. The one who did what they were supposed to do? Hello Buckeyes. 77-31 over Oregon State will do the trick. Urban who? This week the Buckeyes open the Big Ten season at home again....Rutgers? Oh yeah I think there is a good chance they will be on top next week too.
Sparty did all it could to try and lose in week one to a Utah State team at home, but they came through with a key late drive to get the win 38-31. This is what they do—the Spartans often struggle early, but it was not a huge confidence boost going into a road game at Arizona State in Week 2.
While the Spartans defeated their inferior opponent in regulation, it took overtime for the Nittany Lions to get past Big Ten killer Appalachian State 45-38. Appy State looked like it had a chance to putt another huge upset 11 years to the day of the infamous Michigan game, but Penn State finally came to play. It will be a lot harder this week at the Nittany Lions get in-state rival Pittsburgh on the road this Saturday.
The Wolverines looked hapless on offense for most of their loss to Notre Dame Saturday night. They ended up having a chance to tie the game on their final drive, but could not pull it off falling 24-17. The defense looked good, but it’s going to take a bit more to see of Shea Patterson can make the Wolverine offense click. The good news is they should not have too much trouble at home against a PJ Fleckless Western Michigan team.
For the second year in a row the Terps ruined the start of the Texas Longhorns season. This time they would hang on for a 34-29 win in Landover. With all the drama envoloping the program it was a bit of a surprise to see them battle as hard as they did, but then again maybe not. They get to head on the road to a MAC team this week when they visit Bowling Green in what should bring them to 2-0.
The Hoosiers went on the road and took down Florida International 38-28 in Miami. I’ll be honest I saw absolutely zero of the game, but a road win beats a win at home over a FCS team. Virginia comes to Bloomington this week in what should be a better test of just how good the Hoosiers may be.
You didn’t really do anything bad Rutgers, but even a 35-7 win at home over a hapless FCS Texas State team isn’t that impressive. Keep it close in the Shoe this weekend and we can talk.
Big Ten West
Northwestern battled back Rondale Moore and the Boilermakers to start 1-0 in the Big Ten season. It was a tough fought game, but one that gets you a bump in the rankings. They get to host a Duke Blue Devils team that beat them last season on Saturday in what should be a sneaky good game.
Purdue didn’t play well enough to win over Northwestern last Thursday, but they did play well enough to hold down this spot in the rankings. They have a huge playmaker in Moore and could surprise some other teams in the Big Ten this year. They will not surprise Eastern Michigan on Saturday who should be expecting a 2-3 touchdown loss.
The Gophers did what they needed to do in beating the pants off of New Mexico State last Thursday, but we really don’t know exactly what to expect yet this season. We will get a MUCH better idea after Saturday night’s game against Fresno State at TCF.
While some of their fans and media might think the Huskers should be 1-0 and move ahead of the Gophers this week, this power poll does not recognize claimed victories on paper of storm cancelled games. Sorry Huskers, you are still 0-0 going into an old Big Twelve match up against the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.
Illinois struggled at home to beat Kent State. Yep, you stay in the cellar Illini. Please don’t lose to FCS Western Illinois Saturday night.
Overall Big Ten Rankings (last week in parenthesis)
- Wisconsin Badgers (1)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (5)
- Michigan State Spartans (2)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (3)
- Michigan Wolverines (4)
- Northwestern Wildcats (7)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (6)
- Maryland Terrapins (13)
- Purdue Boilermakers (8)
- Minnesota Golden Gophers (9)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (11)
- Indiana Hoosiers (12)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (14)