After spewing out predictions and forecasts of what we think we know, we now have some real, live football action to go by in the Big Ten. It’s still a small sample size, and it sure is easy to go all knee-jerk on this whole thing, but it’s better than throwing darts at a picture of Jim Harbaugh to determine where teams stack up.
We like to bring you a new list of power rankings in the Big Ten after the previous week’s games, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here after Week 1.
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Here’s our first crack at the Big Ten football power rankings after all the teams have had a chance to now strut themselves in some amateur collegiate American football games. It’s bound to change drastically as we move forward, so don’t get too upset at this point.
Illinois Fighting Illini (1-1)
Sorry Illini fans, a win over Wyoming has been saddled with a bad loss to an Indiana team that isn’t supposed to be much this year. There’s more time to impress, but right now, Illinois has the worst loss of any Big Ten team.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-1)
Nebraska bounced back (if you can call it that) by beating an FCS North Dakota squad after pulling away late. We have to see more from this team after the opening week loss to Northwestern.
Indiana Hoosiers (1-0)
Well, well, what do we have to hear? Indiana has already won more Big Ten games than it did last year by taking care of business against Illinois this past week. There’s still a lot to show, but it’s at least a move in the right direction.
Purdue Boilermakers (0-1)
Purdue has the distinction of being the only team in the conference without a win, but we’ll give the Boilers credit for hanging with Penn State last week. The team was idle this past week, so there’s a chance to show something next week against Indiana State.
Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0)
Winning a game where most of its points came from two safeties on defense is about the most Iowa thing we could ever imagine. The offense was again a point of concern, but I guess we have to at least give some credit to the defense that gave up only three points, albeit against South Dakota State. Something tells me the Hawkeyes will only go up from here as they tend to do.
Northwestern Wildcats (1-0)
Also idle, we’ll at least give Northwestern credit for beating a Nebraska team in Ireland last week that can seem to even finish its lunch. We still reserve judgment before we believe the Wildcats have turned things around from a poor showing in 2021.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
While many teams were playing cupcakes this week, Rutgers went out and actually got a very good win at what everyone thinks is a solid Boston College team. It’s one of the best wins of any Big Ten team this season, so we have to raise our eyebrows a bit and give credit where credit is due with this small population of games we are working with.
Maryland Terrapins (1-0)
Maryland did what Maryland does and won rather handily in the nonconference part of its schedule. It wasn’t the best of opponents though with Buffalo providing the resistance, so we’ll wait to see if the exploits of Taulia Tagovailoa hold water once the competition heats up, namely into the heart of the Big Ten season where the Terps have been slightly better than awful over the past few years.
Michigan State Spartans (1-0)
It was far from a beauty pageant for Michigan State against Western Michigan, but sometimes that’s how things go during Week 1. The Spartans did what they needed to do to make a close game not look that way, and now it’s on to bigger and better things.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0)
Minnesota got a workmanlike win over New Mexico State and it was about as Minnesota as it could be with hard work on the ground, solid defense, and a lot of boat-rowing. Another game that doesn’t tell us too much, but pitching a shutout and looking more than adequate on offense is worth points this week.
Penn StateNittany Lions
Not many were impressed by Penn State’s win over Purdue last week, but I think we’ll find out in due time that the Boilermakers aren’t that bad of a team. There’s still some consistency needed from quarterback Sean Clifford, but the Nittany Lions could factor in the race for the East.
Wisconsin Badgers (1-0)
Wisconsin did exactly what was expected of it by beating Illinois State 38-0. The jury is still out though on this offense with Graham Mertz running the show. We’ll know more about the Badgers on Sept. 24 when they travel to Ohio State.
Michigan Wolverines (1-0)
Yes, Michigan looked great. Yes, Michigan beat Colorado State on the first step of its dreadful nonconference schedule. With what’s ahead of the Wolverines and the talent on the roster, it sure feels like a collision course with Ohio State on Nov. 26 has already been set in motion.
Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)
The national narrative is that Ohio State did not look good against Notre Dame. And while this might feel a little like being a complete home here, you can’t discount the way the defense played. There are several ways to win a football game and OSU won with toughness, something it has been criticized for over the last couple of years. At the end of the day, the Buckeyes beat the No. 5 team in the country by eleven points and you know the offense is going to be more than fine down the road.
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