Noel’s Big Ten Power Rankings

Every team in the Big Ten has now played at least one game. How do the teams stack up after heading into Week 2?

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1. Ohio State (1-0) 

Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson combined for 9 catches, 197 yards and 3 touchdowns against Minnesota. C.J. Stroud started his college career going for 294 yards and 4 touchdowns leaving us with no doubt Coach Ryan Day made the right choice choosing him to be the starter for the Buckeyes.

Next Up: Oregon

2. Iowa (1-0) 

Riley Moss had himself a day taking two interceptions for touchdowns while the rest of the Iowa defense frustrated Indiana’s QB Michael Penix Jr who went 14/31 for 156 yards with 3 interceptions. Tyler Goodson played well averaging 5.2 yards per carry with a touchdown. 

Next Up: at Iowa State

3. Penn State (1-0)

Not the most exciting game to watch but anytime you can leave Camp Randall with a win, you take it. Both defenses played great but it was Penn State who intercepted Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz twice in the last 7 minutes of the game to seal the deal. 

Next Up: Ball State

4. Wisconsin (0-1)

Yes, I’m putting them in front of teams that won because I’m not convinced the other teams that won are better than Wisconsin. Wisconsin was missing one of their two stud linebackers in Leo Chenal against Penn State and had plenty of chances to win, but kept being their own worst enemy. 

Next Up: E Michigan

5. Michigan (1-0)

Michigan did what it had to do against Western Michigan by beating them 47-14. Ronnie Bell had a 76-yard touchdown before leaving the game with an injury. Sophomore RB Blake Corum averaged 7.9 yards per rush finishing the day with 111 yards and a touchdown. How will the Wolverines offense be without their top weapon in Bell for the season? 

Next Up: Washington

6. Minnesota (0-1) 

The Gophers had every reason to bow out of the game after being down 10-0 but they responded back with 14 unanswered points to take the lead into halftime. Before Mo Ibrahim going down with an injury, the Gophers were making the Buckeyes work for the win. Even with Mo Ibrahim out for the season, their offensive line should help out whoever is running behind them. 

Next Up: Miami of Ohio

7. Maryland. (1-0)

West Virginia were 2 point favorites heading into this game and Vegas has their over/under on wins at 6.5, so they should be decent this year. Maryland forced 4 turnovers and out-gained the mountaineers 163-42 in the rushing game. Could this be the year Maryland puts their talent together to make some noise in the Big Ten Conference? 

Next Up: Howard 

8. Michigan State (1-0)

I had no idea what to expect in the Michigan State-Northwestern game, but I did not expect Michigan State to be up 21-7 by halftime. Michigan State had over 20 players leave the team and had the same amount come in through the transfer portal when Mel Tucker took over. Who really knows how good or bad this team can be? Either way, they beat Northwestern handily. 

Next Up: Youngstown St

9. Purdue (1-0) 

In no surprise, Jack Plummer threw the ball 41 times and ended up with 313 yards and 2 touchdowns. His favorite receiver is a good one in David Bell who caught 8 receptions for 134 yards. No doubt this offense can score, the question is whether the defense can stop someone. 

Next Up: @ UCONN

10. Rutgers (1-0) 

Rutgers scored over 60 points for the first time since 2016 as they thumped Temple, who is not very good. Temple didn’t really help themselves by losing 3 fumbles and threw 2 interceptions. No doubt Rutgers will continue to get better with Greg Schiano back at the helm. 

Next Up: @ Syracuse

11. Indiana (0-1)

I’m putting them here because their performance against Iowa was that bad. Was it a fluke or will they return to what they were in 2020? We shall see how good Michael Penix Jr’s short-term memory is as he hopes to bounce back from a miserable performance in Iowa City. 

Next Up: Idaho

12. Illinois (1-1, 1-0) 

So they beat Nebraska in their season opener and then they lose to UTSA. Who is UTSA? Well, the University of Texas at San Antonio football program is only a decade old and Illinois was their first Big Ten opponent. UTSA never trailed in the game which their defense got Illinois frustrated… who missed their starting QB in Brandon Peters. 

Next Up: @ Virginia

13. Nebraska (1-1)

Scott Frost threw out half of his game plan in a loss against Illinois in Week Zero and it took Nebraska a quarter and a half to figure out Fordham in Week One. Fordham!? While Nebraska got a win they desperately needed, they really didn’t calm any nerves as they play a tough Buffalo team next week. 

Next Up: Buffalo.

14. Northwestern (0-1)

Northwestern returns just 34% of their total production from last season, which ranks a horrid 126th in the FBS. The loss of Running Back Cam Porter in fall camp didn’t help much either. Pat Fitzgerald is one of the best coaches in the conference. Can he work his magic again this year? 

Next Up: Indiana State

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