Big Ten football power rankings: Week 2


Austin Yattoni

Illinois running back Tre Nation (6) rushes by some North Carolina linebackers during the game against North Carolina at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Illini lost 48-23.

By The Daily Illini sports staff

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

After throwing seven touchdowns in Week One, J.T. Barrett showed off his wheels with two scores on the ground in the 48-3 rout of Tulsa. The upcoming Week Three matchup with No. 14 Oklahoma could be the game of the week.

2. Michigan

Wilton Speight looked crisp as he led the way with 312 passing yards and four touchdown passes in a blowout over UCF. Harbaugh’s squad probably won’t be seriously tested until its Week Five date with Wisconsin.

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3. Iowa

It may have been a rivalry game, but it wasn’t much of a competition — the Hawkeyes made quick work of the Cyclones in an easy 42-3 win. CJ Beathard continued his case for top quarterback in the Big Ten with 235 yards and three touchdowns.

4. Wisconsin

The Badgers confirmed their Top-10 national ranking with a 54-10 throttling of Akron. Corey Clement had 111 rushing yards in the first half alone, and Wisconsin piled up 362 more yards than Akron.

5. Michigan State

The Spartans were the first team in the Big Ten to have a bye and need to take full advantage in preparation for Notre Dame matchup after a not-so-impressive Week One.

6. Nebraska

Wyoming never had a chance against Nebraska, who forced five turnovers en route to a 52-17 victory. Tommy Armstrong had a big passing day but still needs to clean up his erratic play before the conference schedule rolls around.

7. Indiana

The Hoosiers allowed just a field goal to Ball State through three quarters, and thus far, it looks like new defensive coordinator Tom Allen was worth the investment.

8. Minnesota

Quarterback Mitch Leidner more than doubled his passing yardage output from Week One and led they way with four touchdown passes in Minnesota’s 58-28 shellacking of Indiana State. Allowing 356 total yards to the Sycamores is a concern, though.

9. Maryland

Three different Terp tailbacks had at least 50 yards rushing in the 41-14 victory over former Illinois head coach Ron Turner’s Florida International squad. Quarterback Perry Hills has completed over 70 percent of his passes in two straight games.

10. Penn State

In the wildest game of Week Two’s Big Ten slate, Penn State came up short in its comeback attempt against Pittsburgh, falling 42-39. Saquon Barkley saw the end zone four times, but the Lions couldn’t overcome a 35-21 third quarter deficit.

11. Illinois

It was closer than the final score indicated, but in the words of Lovie Smith, a loss is a loss. Wes Lunt couldn’t get anything going downfield and penalties killed the Illini on both sides of the ball. The fans did their part, though, selling out Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2011.

12. Rutgers

Rutgers rode a 38-0 run in the second half to down Howard 52-14. Quarterback Chris Laviano spread the ball around, completing his 11 passes to seven different receivers. Janarion Grant was explosive on the ground with 106 yards and two scores on six attempts.

13. Purdue

With more attempts come more errors, and quarterback David Blough learned that the hard way — five of his 57 pass attempts were picked off by Cincinnati defenders. The Boilermakers were out-rushed 262-103 in a 38-20 loss.

14. Northwestern

It’s hard to believe this Northwestern team won 10 games last year, especially after two straight losses to FCS teams to start the year. The run game couldn’t even muster 100 yards on the ground, and Clayton Thorson showed he isn’t ready to completely lead an offense. The team up north is in trouble.

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