Big Ten power rankings: Week 3

Editor’s note: Every week, The Daily Illini football staff ranks the football teams in the Big Ten 1-12 and compiles the lists into its own Big Ten power rankings.

1. Ohio State (Last Week: 1)

2. Michigan (2)

Michigan’s win over Notre Dame was proof that this Wolverine squad is a legitimate contender on the Big Ten stage and possibly even on the national stage. Quarterback Devin Gardner was impressive with both his arm and his legs. He threw four touchdown passes and nearly 300 yards. The Wolverines don’t play another ranked opponent until they battle Nebraska on Nov. 9 at The Big House.

3. Wisconsin (3)

4. Northwestern (4)

After suffering a concussion in the season opener, Northwestern quarterback Kane Colter split time at quarterback with Trevor Siemian. Both of them were clicking in the Wildcat’s 48-27 victory over Syracuse. The Orange lost their second consecutive game to a Big Ten opponent and were never really in the game, trailing 34-7 at halftime. Northwestern faces Western Michigan and Maine next, before hosting Ohio State on Oct. 5.

5. Nebraska (5)

6. Penn State (7)

7. Michigan State (6)

Michigan State still doesn’t know who its quarterback is. In the Spartans 21-6 win over South Florida (who, by the way, was pounded by McNeese State of the FCS a week ago), Connor Cook, Tyler O’Connor and Andrew Maxwell all saw action. And the Spartan offense still managed only one touchdown. A fumble return and an interception brought back for a touchdown kept the Spartans floating against the Bulls. Through two games, Michigan State ranks 117th in the FBS in passing offense.

8. Illinois (11)

Saturday’s win over Cincinnati was a huge step in the right direction for Tim Beckman’s program. It was easily Illinois’ biggest win since Beckman took over in Champaign. But it now throws all expectations out the door. This was a team Illini fans expected to win something around two to four games this season. But now the possibility of a bowl game doesn’t seem like such a farfetched idea.

9. Minnesota (9)

10. Indiana (8)

11. Iowa (10)

12. Purdue (12)