Did any team in the Big Ten want to win this past week? Half of the teams lost including Wisconsin, who was upset at home by BYU. This week, many teams will kick off their conference schedules as Big Ten play is set to kick off.
Let’s take a look at the Big Ten Week 4 Power Rankings.
14. Purdue (0-3)
Lost to Missouri, 40-37
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Purdue, think again as the Boilermakers lost on a last-second field goal to Missouri, 40-37. The offense was in full force for Purdue, accumulating 614 yards including 572 from the arm of David Blough. The only downfall was that the defense was allergic to stopping Missouri as they gave up 608 yards. It’s now or never for Jeff Brohm as they face an undefeated Boston College on Saturday.
13. Nebraska (0-2)
Lost to Troy, 24-19
If Nebraska wants to return to prominence, they can’t lose to Troy. That’s unacceptable and Coach Scott Frost knows it. Nebraska was missing freshman sensation Adrian Martinez at quarterback and it showed especially on third down, where the Cornhuskers were 5 for 13. Things don’t get any easier for Scott Frost as they take on Michigan at the Big House to open up Big Ten play.
12. Rutgers (1-2)
Lost to Kansas, 55-14
Don’t let Kansas get hot! All jokes aside, Rutgers should be embarrassed since they lost to a team that won back to back games for the first time since 2009. NINE YEARS! This game was never close since Kansas defense forced six turnovers. There’s nothing more to say after a 41 point loss. Rutgers plays Buffalo on Saturday.
11. Illinois (2-1)
Lost to USF, 25-19
On the positive side, Illinois looked good for three quarters. Going into the fourth quarter with a 19-7 lead, USF outscored the Illini 18-0 in the final quarter to win, 25-19. Despite losing the game, things are starting to turn in the right direction for the Illini. Last year, they were blown out by USF. This year, they should’ve won the game. Lovie Smith’s young team will only gain more experience as the season goes on. Illinois plays Penn State at home on Friday night.
10. Northwestern (1-2)
Lost to Akron, 39-34
I 100% jinxed Northwestern. One of my dark horses in the Big Ten has been nowhere to be found these past two games, suffering their latest defeat to Akron, 39-34. Once again, Northwestern struggled in the second half as they were outscored 36-13. This was a game that quarterback Clayton Thorson would like to erase from his memory. Don’t expect to win games if your quarterback throws for not one, but two pick 6s along with a fumble in the end zone. Northwestern has a much needed bye this weekend before a huge matchup with Michigan in two weeks.
9. Maryland (2-1)
Lost to Temple, 35-14
Oh no. Maryland, you were doing so well and had so much promise after two impressive wins to start the season. That was all erased after Temple blew out the Terps in College Park, 35-14. Maryland had been a dominant force on the ground in their previous two games. Not against Temple as the Owls stacked the box and controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game and held a Maryland team that was averaging close to 300 yards on the ground to 132 yards. If you can’t run the ball, you have to be able to pass, right? The Terps suffered tremendously in the air with quarterback Kasim Hill finishing with 56 passing yards, which is not good by any stretch of the imagination. Maryland will look to bounce back this week against Minnesota.
8. Minnesota (3-0)
Beat Ohio, 26-3
Row the boat! Don’t look now, but PJ Fleck and his Golden Gophers are 3-0 on the season. For a true freshman walk-on, Zack Annexstad is doing quite a fine job at quarterback. Through three games, Annexstad has thrown for 537 yards and 4 TDs and 0 INTs. You can’t ask for much more from a young quarterback. The schedule is going to get harder as they will play Maryland, Iowa, and Ohio State over the next three games. If Minnesota can go 2-1, watch out CC: Rest of Big Ten.
7. Indiana (3-0)
Beat Ball State, 38-10
Indiana is only a basketball school? Think again as the football team is undefeated after crushing Ball State, 38-10. In only his second career start, running back Stevie Scott had another stellar game, finishing the day with 114 yards with two touchdowns. If Indiana wants to be taken seriously in the Big Ten race, they will have a chance to silence their doubters with a win over Michigan State on Saturday night.
6. Michigan State (1-1)
Michigan State had a bye week and since it was coming off a loss, I felt dropping them in the rankings was the fair thing to do. More often than not, the Spartans will be near the top of the Big Ten and I still believe this team can give Ohio State trouble later this season. Sparty will look to rebound this Saturday as they head to Bloomington to take on an underrated team in Indiana.
5. Michigan (2-1)
Beat SMU, 45-20
It seems like the loss to Notre Dame was ages ago as the Wolverines have found their grove, winning two games in a row in dominating fashion. This is the Shea Patterson that fans had hoped for as the transfer quarterback threw for over 235 yards and 3 TDs. Don’t look now, but the Wolverines are rolling as they enter Big Ten play on Saturday at home against Nebraska.
4. Iowa (3-0)
Beat Northern Iowa, 38-14
How about those Hawkeyes? Iowa defeated another in-state rival this past week, beating Northern Iowa, 38-14. The defense is the undisputed strength of this team, surrendering only 24 points in three games. Iowa is doing what they have to do, which is winning games at home. Now, a Wisconsin team will come into Kinnick on Saturday in a battle for Big Ten West supremacy. Expect a raucous environment.
3. Wisconsin (2-1)
Lost to BYU, 24-21
Trap game, anyone? It turns out that Wisconsin was looking ahead to their clash with Iowa instead of focusing on BYU as the Badgers lost at home to the Cougars, 24-21. Wisconsin’s picked a bad time to suffer their first non-conference home loss since 2003. Credit to BYU, they executed the perfect game plan, holding Wisconsin to 4 of 13 on first downs. This doesn’t end the Badgers’ pursuit of a conference title, but their hopes for a spot in the College Football Playoff have been erased. Wisconsin takes on Iowa in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday night.
2. Penn State (3-0)
Beat Kent State, 63-10
Ever since their overtime victory in Week 1, the Nittany Lions have been on fire. Usually Trace McSorley will beat you with his arm, but this week, McSorley was lethal in the ground game, accounting for 54 yards and 3 TDs. In general, the Penn State running game is going to be a problem for future Big Ten opponents. If Penn State can get past Illinois unscathed, it will set up the monstrous matchup with Ohio State in Happy Valley.
1. Ohio State (3-0)
Beat TCU, 40-28
OH! IO! In their toughest test of the season, the Buckeyes scored three third-quarter touchdowns in the span of four minutes to pull away from TCU, 40-28. Ohio State is without a doubt the best team in the Big Ten right now. With another great game from quarterback Dwayne Haskins (344 yards and 2 TDs), it makes you wonder why he wasn’t playing last year over J.T. Barrett. The win came at a cost though because Nick Bosa had to leave the game with a groin injury and currently has no timetable for a return. On the flip side, you know who is returning? Urban Meyer. Let the PR nightmare begin. Ohio State plays Tulane in Columbus on Saturday afternoon.