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Big Ten power rankings, week 4: Indiana moves up into the top half

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Also, we have a new number one this week!

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Tier 4: The bottom dwellers

14. Rutgers (1-2) (Previous: 14)

Last week: Lost to Penn State, 28-3

This week: vs. Kansas (0-2)

Oh, Rutgers. What more is there to say about the dumpster fire on the banks of the Raritan? The Scarlet Knights may have lost big, but interim coach Noriess Wilson, who is holding down the fort while Kyle Flood is suspended for 3 games, at least had an entertaining postgame presser.

This week: Rutgers! Kansas! From Piscataway, New Jersey! Catch the excitement, folks.

13. Purdue (1-2) (Prev: 11)

Last week: Lost to Virginia Tech, 51-24

This week: vs. Bowling Green (1-2)

Virginia Tech just hung half a hundred in Ross-Ade. Yes the same Virginia Tech that this happened to:

Darrell Hazell's seat is in flames right now.

Tier 3: Might be too early to tell

12. Illinois (2-1) (Prev: 9)

Last week: Lost to UNC, 48-14

This week: vs. Middle Tennessee (2-1)

The Illini came crashing down back to earth against an ACC team in North Carolina and the same thing TOTALLY won't happen to IU this weekend no way no how no thank you.

Illinois-MTSU might be a sneakily entertaining game this weekend - the Blue Raiders were blown out by Bama, but in their other two games they've scored 70+ points.

11. Penn State (2-1) (Prev: 13)

Last week: Defeated Buttgers, 28-3

This week: vs. San Diego State (2-1)

I'm going to Happy Valley for IU-PSU on October 10. Need suggestions on things to do and yes I already know about the Creamery so don't say that.

10. Maryland (2-1) (Prev: 12)

Last week: Defeated South Florida, 35-17

This week: at West Virginia (2-0)

Last weekend against USF, Caleb Rowe looked like the QB who decimated the Hoosiers last year. The Terps travel to Morgantown next weekend for the heated WVU rivalry. The Mountaineers are coming off a bye, but they also have not faced stiff competition yet.

9. Minnesota (2-1) (Prev: 8)

Last week: Defeated Kent State,10-7

This week: vs. Ohio (3-0)

Another shaky performance by the Golden Gophers, who are only six points away from being 0-3 (though on the contrary, are six points away from being 3-0). Kent State couldn't get by Minnesota last week thanks in part to a two-yard punt. Ohio could be another tricky opponent, as they already have a victory over Marshall on their resume this season.

8. Nebraska (1-2) (Prev: 5)

Last week: Lost to Miami, 36-33 (OT)

This week: vs.Southern Mississippi (2-1)

The Huskers staged a dramatic comeback to force overtime against Miami, who are the Oakland Raiders of college football, only to throw a pick and set up an easy Hurricanes win and save Al Golden from being thrown into the Bay of Biscayne.

Had Bo Pelini lost this game, things would have been lit in Lincoln.

7. Indiana (3-0) (Prev: 10)

Last week: Defeated Western Kentucky, 38-35

This week: at Wake Forest (2-1)

IU's first 3-0 start under Kevin Wilson means one thing: It's time to push for a College GameDay appearance. #IUFB4Gameday

6. Michigan (2-1) (Prev: 7)

Last week: Defeated UNLV, 28-7

This week: vs. BYU (2-1)

BYU will be a really good test for the Fightin' Harbaughs this weekend. The Cougars play one of the toughest schedules in college football and have performed admirably thus far, beating Nebraska and Boise State while only losing to UCLA by one.

Tier 2: Pretty good

5. Iowa (3-0) (Prev: 6)

Last week: Defeated Pitt, 27-24

This week: vs. North Texas (0-2)

The rumors of Kirk Ferentz's demise have been greatly exaggerated. A 57-yard field goal was the difference against Pitt on Saturday, and suddenly the Hawkeyes are 3-0 to start the year. This team could be a B1G West contender. But now that I've said this, they'll likely end up 7-5.

4. Wisconsin (2-1) (Prev: 4)

Last week: Defeated Troy, 28-3

This week: vs. Hawaii (2-1)

So the fire alarm went off in Camp Randall during last weekend's game.

The reason?

"A heat detector near the pizza oven in the main kitchen caused the fire alarm system to activate during the fourth quarter of the game."

Only in Wisconsin.

3. Northwestern (3-0) (Prev: 3)

Last week: Defeated Duke,19-10

This week: vs. Ball State (2-1)

The downside to Northwestern being 3-0 is how so dang obnoxious they get about it.


Yes, it's an academic institution that produces illustrious thoughts like this one.


Tier 1: Like choosing between DraftKings and FanDuel

2. Ohio State (3-0)

Last week: Defeated Northern Illinois, 20-13

This week: vs. Western Michigan (1-2)

Squeaked by NIU at home despite committing five turnovers, so even though they won I'm moving them down a notch for now. Could Tom Herman leaving for the Houston job have had more of an effect on the Buckeyes' offense than they'd like to admit?

1. Michigan State (3-0)

Last week: Defeated Air Force, 35-21

This week: vs. Central Michigan (1-2)

We have a new #1 this week. Sparty still has the most impressive win of any B1G team so far, and while their victories haven't come by a ton of points, they could be one of the most well-rounded teams in the country. It's especially a shame that the MSU-Notre Dame rivalry is no longer around either, considering how good both teams have looked so far this year, but perhaps they'll get a shot at each other in the playoffs at this rate.