Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 2

Editor’s note: Every week, The Daily Illini football staff ranks the football teams in the Big Ten 1-14 and compiles the lists into its own Big Ten power rankings.

1. Ohio State (Last week: 1) — The defending national champions dominated once again in a 38-0 win over Hawaii. The Buckeyes retain their No. 1 ranking in the AP and Coaches polls.

2. Michigan State (2) — The Spartans prevailed in a highly anticipated Saturday night thriller against Oregon. In a 31-28 win, Michigan State is proving it won’t let the Buckeyes hold the top spot without a fight.

3. Wisconsin (3) — After a defeat to the No. 2 team in the nation, Alabama, in Week One, the Badgers finished this week with a 58-0 rout of Miami of Ohio. Turnovers were key: Wisconsin recorded four, including three interceptions. The Badgers are No. 24 in AP rankings.

4. Nebraska (5) — The Cornhuskers bounced back from last week’s last-second loss to BYU and finished Week Two with a 48-9 win over South Alabama. Running back Terrell Newby ran for a career-high 198 yards and scored three touchdowns.

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5. Minnesota (4) — The Gophers beat Colorado State 23-20 after the Rams tied the game as regulation expired. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Liedner finished with 233 yards to help his team avoid a second consecutive loss.

6. Northwestern (8) — The Wildcats remain No. 23 in the AP poll after a 41-0 win over Eastern Illinois. Northwestern’s margin of victory was its largest since beating Illinois 48-0 in 1970.

7. Michigan (7) — Visiting Oregon State took an early lead over the Wolverines on Saturday and fans were left wondering whether another loss was in store. But Michigan regained the lead and never looked back, winning 35-7 and giving Jim Harbaugh his first win — both as head coach and at the Big House.

8. Illinois (9) — Though a little shaky in the second half, the Illini powered through Western Illinois 44-0. Quarterback Wes Lunt led Illinois to victory, completing 33-of-46 passes for one touchdown and 316 yards.

9. Iowa (6) — With a tied score going into the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes scored two touchdowns to secure a 31-17 win over in-state rival Iowa State. Presidential candidate Donald Trump made an appearance at the game, talking with perspective voters. 

10. Penn State (11) — The Nittany Lions came back this week with a 27-14 win over Buffalo. Saquon Barkley became Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week after rushing for 115 yards — 101 in the fourth quarter — and scoring his first career touchdown.

11. Indiana (13) — The Hoosiers defeated FIU 36-22 to remain undefeated. Jameel Cook Jr. had a 95-yard interception touchdown return to seal the game, which was a more comfortable win than the team’s 48-47 Week One win over Southern Illinois.

12. Purdue (14) — The Boilermakers beat Indiana State 38-14. Quarterback Austin Appleby went 20-of-34 for 289 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, after throwing four interceptions against Marshall in Week One. 

13. Maryland (10) — In a 48-27 loss to Bowling Green, the Terrapins struggled to find an offensive identity, passing for 185 yards and rushing for 156 yards. In a close second half, Maryland gave up three late interceptions to allow the Falcons to seal the win.

14. Rutgers (12) — Janarion Grant was the Scarlet Knights’ standout in a 37-34 loss to Washington State. Grant set a school record with 337 all-purpose yards, including 195 kickoff return yards, 56 punt return yards, 65 receiving yards and 21 rushing yards. However, the program suspended standout wide receiver Leonte Carroo indefinitely for an incident that occurred outside the stadium after the game — that incident is under investigation.