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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week Three

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The final week of action before conference games taught us very little we didn’t already know.

Army v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

There was very little change in the Big Ten power rankings this week because nothing surprising happened.

Rutger and Illinois are still bad and Nebraska is starting to join them. The middle of the Big Ten is impossible to differentiate right now and the top of the Big Ten is still Ohio State and Penn State, then the rest.

In total, the conference went 9-2 with three byes with the most notable win going to.....uhhhh is there a best win? Maybe Wisconsin or Purdue because they were on the road, but their opponents were trash. Northwestern beat a bad Bowling Green team while the top of the conference feasted on mid-to-low-tier teams. So no one gets best win this week.

Baaaad Teams

14. Rutger
Last week: Win vs. Morgan State, 65-0

13. Illinois
Last week: Loss @ South Florida, 47-23

Rutger actually won a game this week, so that’s a surprise. But Illinois was handed a loss on the road to a ranked team in which they gave up damn near 700 yards of offense.

The Illini have a bye this week before opening up play in the MAC Big Ten while Rutger will play Nebraska in a game that will certainly be terrible to watch.

Bad Teams

12. Nebraska
Last week: Loss vs. Northern Illinois, 21-17

11. Northwestern
Last week: Win vs. Bowling Green, 49-7

10. Purdue
Last week: Win @ Missouri, 35-3

The bottom of the Big Ten is really bad this year as there are five teams that probably won’t go bowling. Nebraska continued their downward spiral with a putrid performance against Northern Illinois.

Northwestern and Purdue won this week, but against really bad opponents. The latter will have a chance to make a statement next week at home against Michigan while the latter is on a bye, and that might move them up the rankings.

Bye Weeks

9. Maryland
Last week: Bye

8. Indiana
Last week: Bye

7. Michigan State
Last week: Bye

Nothing much to say here. All three teams stay in their same spots with all three getting non-conference games to further pad the resume next week.

Meh Teams

6. Minnesota
Last week: Win vs. Middle Tennessee, 34-3

5. Iowa
Last week: Win vs. North Texas, 31-14

The only thing separating these two teams from the three below them is that they played this week. Both played against boring, average teams and won convincingly.

Iowa hosts Penn State next week in a game that will tell us a lot about both teams while Minnesota has a bye week.

Good Teams

4. Michigan
Last week: Win vs. Air Force, 29-13

3. Wisconsin
Last week: Win @ BYU, 40-6

The top of the Big Ten has been unchanged for weeks. Michigan and Wisconsin have long been a tier under the top teams. There are enough concerns about Michigan’s offense that I dropped them below Wisconsin.

Wilton Speight is still bad and the offense “only” managed 350 yards against Air Force. They still have the best defense in the conference, but that offense is bad.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, did Badger things and ran for a million yards in a win.

Great Teams

1b. Penn State
Last week: Win vs. Georgia State, 56-0

1a. Ohio State
Last week: Win vs. Army, 38-7

I still believe that Ohio State is really good. I also know that Penn State is really good. But the Nittany Lions haven’t played anyone of note. That changes this week against Iowa.

Ohio State, meanwhile, had a bit of a bounce back performance against Army. J.K. Dobbins had 172 yards and J.T. Barrett had 270 passing yards. The Buckeyes likely won’t be tested until the Penn State game on October 28 and boy will that be a doozy.