Big Ten Power Rankings Week 4: Buckeyes Bounced by Hurricanes
Is the Big Ten this year’s most dominant conference so far? The SEC has a 27-9 overall record, and the Big 12 is 23-2. Five Big 12 teams are in the top 20.
The Big Ten’s big 12 football teams have an overall record of 26-10 so far this season. That’s less than one loss per team on average. Only two Big Ten teams have more than one loss.
Which undefeated squad is the top dog in the Big Ten this week? While the conference has not been the most dominant going into week four, it has time to improve.
Join me and find out which team stands as kings on top of the Big Ten's hill.
12. Minnesota (1-2): Golden Gophers Digging a Hole for Themselves
Clawing from the bottom of the bunch, Minnesota has a tough hill to climb to become bowl eligible.
They face Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State. Keep scratching Gophers, and I’ll write home about you all.
11. Indiana (1-2): Hoosiers Represent for the Big Ten Against the MEAC
Indiana looked all right against South Carolina State University, but I’m not writing home about the Hoosiers either. They could have a letdown against North Texas State before Big Ten play begins.
10. Purdue (2-1): Boilermakers Play Big Ten Big Brothers
The good news is Purdue beat up on Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) from the Ohio Valley Conference like a Big Ten team is supposed to smack a junior varsity squad, 59-0.
The bad news is they get a hot Notre Dame team coming off a victory over (15) Michigan State as a tune up before Big Ten play runs wild starting with Minnesota.
9. Northwestern (2-1): Black Knights Ran Wild
The mighty rushing attack of the Army Black Knights handed the Northwestern Wildcats their first defeat of the season.
The Knights rushed for 381 yards and passed for a paltry six. Army’s quarterback only connected on one of seven passes, but their triple option gutted the Cats all day.
8. Penn State (2-1): Nittany’s Needs Quarterback Stability
The Big Cats in Pennsylvania and their quarterback musical chairs offense bounced back to defeat Temple in Philadelphia.
If the Lions can’t eat Beaver Stadium’s turf with the ground game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles, then it could get ugly.
7. Iowa (2-1): Hawkeyes Showing Their Ugly Faces of Inconsistency
Iowa won ugly at home against the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Hawkeyes struggled to stop the Panthers on the ground.
That does not bode well for Iowa’s coming Big Ten competition.
6. Ohio State (2-1): Hurricanes Blow Buckeyes Back to Earth
The Miami Hurricanes showed they can still be competitive this season by upsetting (17) Ohio State. The Buckeyes showed they can be as inconsistent as some experts expected this season.
Ohio State sorely missed two ineligible playmakers on offense, but I’m not making excuses for them considering what Miami went through this year. I’ll take a step back from proclaiming OSU a Big Ten contender.
5. Michigan State (2-1): Spartans Suffer Sudden Setback
Michigan State was on the road against a Notre Dame team hungry for their first win. The Fighting Irish got their Spartan offensive acts together.
The Spartans defense needs to improve, and MSU didn't play their best ball on offense. They will have to snap out of it against Central Michigan at Spartan Stadium.
4. Illinois (3-0): Playing Their Best Ball in Years Under Ron Zook
The Fighting Illini snapped a 10-game losing streak to top 25 teams. They edged (22) Arizona State with a balanced attack from Nathan Scheelhaase and great defense
Illinois is 3-0 at home where they will later face Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin. I’m sure Illinois’ undefeated home streak will pop. Enjoy the bubbly feeling at home, for right now, Illinois fans.
3. Michigan (3-0): Wolverines Wondering Where This Has Been
The Wolverines are feeling good about themselves after whipping the Eastern Michigan Eagles last Saturday. It was a walk, no, a run in the Ann Arbor park for the Wolves.
Michigan is 3-0 at home this season. They have eight home games and only four road games on their schedule.
Getting a big break this year, they won’t pass through Wisconsin to face the Badgers. Nebraska passes through Michigan late in the season.
There won’t be many passes thrown by the Wolves or Huskers in that game.
2. Nebraska (3-0): Passing Game Weighing Offense Down
The Nebraska pass offense is far from top tier Big Ten caliber at this point in the season, but Nebraska’s ground game is rolling.
I’m not sure it will be enough to beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten title. This will be a long season and the Huskers have time to get the passing game together, but they better start next week.
1. Wisconsin (3-0): Badgers Breezing Along
Wisconsin definitely looked like a top five team against Northern Illinois last week. Passing for almost 355 yards, 347 by Russell Wilson, and rushing for 266 yards—91 each by their top two tailbacks—the Badgers are far and away the most complete team in the Big Ten.
This week’s rankings wouldn't be complete without me advising you to catch me next week. Don’t make me tell you again.
Contact Lake Cruise: Lakecruise@att.net.