Big Ten Power Rankings Heading into Week 2


Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio talks to quarterback Connor Cook (18) during the 2nd half of a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 1 of the college football season out the window, it’s time to deliver this week’s Big Ten power rankings. Nothing changed with the top two teams, as they stayed put. After that, things start to get interesting.

Here are how the Big Ten teams stack up heading into Week 2.

1. Ohio State

Last week: 1

Week 1 result: 42-24 W vs. Virginia Tech

The Buckeyes are far and away the best team in the Big Ten and they proved why on Monday night. They were on the ropes for a second (literally a second), but they got the momentum back and never let it go again. And that was without three of their best players.

2. Michigan State

Last week: 2

Week 1 result: 37-24 W @ Western Michigan

The Spartans definitely have some things to work on, but they are still the No. 2 team in the conference until someone proves otherwise. This is a different team that a year ago, but there’s still plenty of talent on this roster for them to be contenders.

3. Minnesota

Last week: 5

Week 1 result: 23-17 L vs. No. 2 TCU

Even though Minnesota lost, at least it was to a Top-5 team. Keeping it close against TCU is already a tall task in itself. The Horned Frogs have arguably the most high-octane offense in the country and the Golden Gophers held them to 23 points. This defense is legit.

4. Northwestern

Last week: 12

Week 1 result: 16-6 W vs. No. 21 Stanford

The Wildcats’ impressive victory over a Top-25 team has propelled them up these power rankings eight spots. Maybe it’s a little overzealous, but you have to give credit where it’s due. Northwestern is now considered a dark-horse in the West.

5. Wisconsin

Last week: 3

Week 1 result: 35-17 L vs. Alabama

Alright, nobody on this green Earth thought Wisconsin would beat Alabama, so we’ll cut them some slack. The Crimson Tide are a different breed. The Badgers just aren’t good enough to compete with them. But, they are good enough to make the Top-5 (for now, at least).

6. Nebraska

Last week: 6

Week 1 result: 33-28 L to BYU

Nebraska stands pat this week. The Cornhuskers lost a heart-breaker to a talented BYU team. Tommy Armstrong Jr. is a good enough player to keep the Huskers in the mix all season long. The defense will need to improve, however.

7. Rutgers

Last week: 8

Week 1 result: 63-13 W vs. Norfolk State

I may be the only person who actually believes in Rutgers. Despite all of the nonsense going on off-the-field, the Scarlet Knights looked pretty good on it. Now, let’s not get too excited. After all, they beat Norfolk State, but you have to start somewhere.

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8. Michigan

Last week: 7

Week 1 result: 24-17 L @ Utah

The Wolverines are not as good as some people had projected them to be, but they are improved from a season ago. They lost to a good Utah team, but had a chance to win. Michigan has a solid defense, but the offense needs some work.

9. Iowa

Last week: 9

Week 1 result: 31-14 W vs. Illinois State

The Hawkeyes looked pretty good offensively in Week 1, but they will need to show us a little more if we’re actually going to believe in them. C.J. Beathard and LeShun Daniels are good, but they’ll need more consistent help.

10. Illinois

Last week: 10

Week 1 result: 52-3 W vs. Kent State

Illinois is another program that has had plenty of distractions as of late, but those didn’t seem to matter as the Illini easily dismantled Kent State. That was a cake walk, so we’ll see if this team is good enough to keep the momentum going in the right direction.

11. Maryland

Last week: 11

Week 1 result: 50-21 W vs. Richmond

Although Maryland looked better than most originally projected them to, I’m not sold just yet. Perry Hills will have to play better if the Terps are going to make any noise. The run game is the strength of this team.

12. Purdue

Last week: 14

Week 1 result: 41-31 L @ Marshall

Purdue fell on the road to Marshall, but the Thundering Herd are never a pushover. The Boilermakers had some moments, but they’re still nowhere near being a good team at this juncture. Right now, it’s hard to imagine this team moving up any further.

13. Penn State

Last week: 4

Week 1 result: 27-10 L @ Temple

Boy, was I wrong. Penn State looked like crap against Temple. To only put 10 points on the board is an utter disgrace. Talent-wise, the Nittany Lions don’t belong here, but after that lackluster performance, they deserve to be here.

14. Indiana

Last week: 13

Week 1 result: 48-47 W vs. Southern Illinois

The Hoosiers were granted a home game against an FCS team to open the season, so they were expected to win. But, they struggled to even do that. Indiana narrowly escaped and that’s not a good sign of things to come.

Next: Scouting report on new Terps' commit Kevin Huerter

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