Big Ten power rankings: Week 3

By Daily Illini Staff Report

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. Wisconsin (Last Week: 3) 

After a slow start in the first half, the Badgers exploded for 28 points in the final two quarters for a dominating 37-3 win over Western Illinois.

2. Michigan State (1)

The Spartans let a 27-18 lead slip away in the second half and squandered their 11-game winning streak with it. Oregon outscored Michigan State 28-3 in the final two quarters, exposing the secondary for 318 passing yards. 

3. Ohio State (2)

It was only a matter of time before the loss of starting quarterback Braxton Miller hurt the Buckeyes. Freshman J.T. Barrett threw three interceptions and only completed nine passes against the Hokies and tried to scramble 24 times.

4. Iowa (6) 

The Hawkeyes avoided becoming another Big Ten upset this week, scoring a last-minute touchdown to give them a late win over Ball State. 

5. Penn State (7)

The big news for the Nittany Lions is their reinstated bowl eligibility and that could mean a lot more if the team continues playing the way it has been — Penn State nearly shut out Akron 21-3 Saturday, throwing for over 300 yards.

6. Nebraska (4)

The Cornhuskers were nearly upset by McNeese State on Saturday, relying on a 58-yard touchdown run from Ameer Abdullah to seal the game with 20 seconds left.

7. Michigan (5)

The Wolverines were dominated by Notre Dame, getting shut out 31-0. Quarterback Devin Gardner threw three interceptions and failed to reach the end zone both through the air and on the ground, where he ran 11 times for just five yards.

8. Minnesota (9)

The Golden Gophers are quietly gaining steam after a 2-0 start with the rest of the Big Ten faltering early. Running back David Cobb must remain healthy, as the Gophers’ offense heavily relies on his performance — the senior had 220 rushing yards Saturday against Middle Tennessee while the passing offense threw for just 67.

9. Maryland (8)

The Terrapins had six turnovers against South Florida on Saturday. Maryland scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback, but holding on to the ball is a major concern for head coach Randy Edsall.

10. Illinois (12)

The Illini have yet to remain consistent, needing another fourth-quarter comeback to win Saturday against Western Kentucky. The team’s first big test comes this week against Washington and will look to build on a productive passing game and defensive takeaways.

11. Indiana (11)

The Hoosiers were idle in Week Two and will take the field again Saturday against Bowling Green, looking to utilize their rushing game with junior Tevin Coleman, who had 247 yards on 23 carries in Week One.

12. Northwestern (10)

The Wildcats are are heading in the wrong direction after dropping their first two games. The loss of senior running back Venric Mark has hurt the team. He gained just 72 yards on 37 rushing attempts against Northern Illinois.

13. Rutgers (13)

The Scarlet Knights defeated Howard 38-25 but were outscored 18-7 in the second half. Rutgers allowed 21 points to Washington State in Week One, bringing up the concern of endurance when Big Ten play begins.

14. Purdue (14)

The Boilermakers weren’t expecting a winning season, but they weren’t expecting to lose to Central Michigan on Saturday. Purdue had three turnovers and seven penalties, making it difficult for a productive passing game to carry the team to a win.