Noel’s Big Ten Power Rankings After Week 5

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  1. Iowa (5-0)

Last Week: Defeated Maryland 51-14

Iowa went into College Park and forced Maryland to turn the ball over seven times. Maryland QB Taulia Tagovaila had a rough day as he threw five interceptions. This game was over by halftime as Iowa outscored the Terrapins 31-0 just in the second quarter. 

Next Up: Penn State

  1. Penn State (5-0)

Last Week: Defeated Indiana 24-0 

The Nittany Lion defense had an impressive day forcing eight punts, two turnovers, and even blocking a field goal. Sean Clifford threw for 178 yards with three touchdowns with Jahan Dotson catching two of them. Big showdown next week in Iowa City.

Next Up: @ Iowa

  1. Ohio State  (4-1)

Last Week: Defeated Rutgers 52-13

C.J. Stroud returned after missing one game and had a career day, throwing for 330 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. Ohio State defense forced three turnovers and appears to be finding its stride, which could be scary for the rest of the conference. 

Next Up: Maryland 

  1. Michigan (5-0)

Last Week: Defeated Wisconsin 38-17 

After being outscored by the Badgers 84-25 in the last two years, the Wolverines ended a five-game losing streak in Madison by dominating Wisconsin. Michigan’s defense held Wisconsin to 43 rushing yards and forced three turnovers. 

Next Up: @ Nebraska 

  1. Michigan State (5-0)

Last Week: Defeated W Kentucky 48-31 

Michigan State is off to its best start since 2015 when they went 8-0. One name to remember is Spartan WR Jayden Reed, who had four catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a punt for an 88-yard touchdown. 

Next Up: Rutgers

  1. Nebraska 

Last Week: Defeated Northwestern 56-7 

Adrian Martinez might be the best quarterback in the conference right now and the Nebraska defense continues to impress. Nebraska dominated the Wildcats from start to finish and posted their biggest victory in their Big Ten history. 

Next Up: Michigan 

  1. Maryland (4-1)

Last Week: Lost to Iowa 51-14

There are three other teams I could put here but I think Maryland has the talent to bounce back after a tough loss to Iowa and still have a successful season. It doesn’t get any easier though, as they visit Ohio State next. 

Next Up: @ Ohio State 

  1. Rutgers (3-2)

Last Week: Lost to Ohio State 52-13 

The Scarlet Knights faced an Ohio State team that is running on all cylinders and they didn’t stand much chance as Greg Schiano continues to build the Rutgers program. Noah Vedral had a rough day throwing three interceptions and finishing a day with a QBR of 22.2. 

Next Up: Michigan State 

  1. Wisconsin (1-3) 

Last Week: Lost to Michigan 38-17

Not many teams have had a tougher schedule than Wisconsin so far. They faced three Top 15 teams in their first four games. While their defense has kept them in most games, the offense is just a mess. Graham Mertz has been inconsistent and their offensive line isn’t the standard that you see in Wisconsin. 

Next Up: @ Illinois 

  1. Minnesota (3-2)

Last Week: Defeated Purdue 20-13 

The Gophers bounced back from their shocking loss to Bowling Green with their first conference win at Purdue. P.J. Fleck got his first win at Minnesota when trailing at halftime, and the Minnesota defense continues to improve. Purdue ran 86 plays but only scored 13 points. 

Next Up: Bye Week 

  1. Purdue (3-2)

Last Week: Lost to Minnesota 20-12

The good news is that wide receiver David Bell returned from concussion protocol and made an impact with six catches for 120 yards. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell started and played decent, throwing 371 yards. 

Next Up: Bye Week 

  1. Indiana (2-3)

Last Week: Lost to Penn State 24-0

Indiana kept Penn State in check for the first half, only allowing 14 points but the Hoosiers offense couldn’t get anything going. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. got injured on Indiana’s opening second-half possession and will undergo further tests. 

Next Up: Bye Week. 

  1. Northwestern (2-3)

Last Week: Lost to Nebraska 56-7 

Northwestern has a history of always playing Nebraska tough no matter what their records were, but that wasn’t the case this past week. On the first play of the game, Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez threw a 70 dart to put Nebraska on Northwestern’s 5-yard line. The Wildcats were dominated in every phase. 

Next Up: Bye Week

  1. Illinois (2-4)

Last Week: Defeated Charlotte 24-14. 

Down 14-10 at halftime, Illinois scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to put away Charlotte. 

Next Up: Wisconsin

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