Noel’s week four Big Ten power rankings

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1. Iowa (4-0)

Last Week: Defeated Colorado State, 24-14 

Iowa’s biggest challenge of the season so far wasn’t Indiana or Iowa State, it was Colorado State. Iowa was down at the half 14-7 but their defense held the Rams scoreless in the 2nd half to win 24-14. 

Next Up: @ Maryland 

  1. Penn State (4-0)

Last Week: Defeated Villanova, 38-17 

Sean Clifford threw for 401 yards with 4 touchdowns to lead the Nittany Lions over Villanova. Wide Receiver Parker Washington was Clifford’s favorite target with 5 receptions for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Next Up: Indiana 

  1. Ohio State (3-1) 

Last Week: Defeated Akron, 59-7 

Ohio State got to break in another freshman quarterback in Kyle McCord who started in place of C.J. Stroud, who is dealing with some shoulder pain. Ohio State offense didn’t have much trouble against Akron going for 622 total yards, with 237 of those on the ground. 

Next Up: @ Rutgers 

  1. Michigan (4-0)

Last week: Defeated Rutgers, 20-13 

Michigan enters the Top 4 of my rankings for the first time with a conference win over a tough Rutgers team. Michigan was up 20-3 at the half but failed to score in the 2nd half while the Rutgers comeback came up short. Next week is a tough matchup in Madison. 

Next Up: @ Wisconsin 

  1. Michigan State (4-0)

Last Week: Defeated Nebraska 20-13, in OT. 

Michigan State continues its impressive season with a win over Nebraska, whose special teams continue to be a liability. Nebraska was up 20-13 with 4 minutes left until Michigan State returned a punt for a 62-yard touchdown. Mel Tucker seems to be hitting all the right buttons so far. 

Next Up: Western Kentucky 

6: Maryland (4-0)

Last Week: Defeated Kent State, 37-16 

Maryland moves up 3 spots as they remain unbeaten this season. We all knew Maryland had the talent to be good, the question was whether coach Michael Locksley could harness that into a team… well, so far so good. 

Next Up: Iowa 

7. Wisconsin (1-2)

Last Week: Lost to Notre Dame, 41-13

This game was tied 10-10 heading into the 4th quarter and then it all came apart for the Wisconsin special teams and offense.  Graham Mertz gifted Notre Dame 14 points with 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns and Notre Dame returned a kick-off for a touchdown after Wisconsin went up 13-10. Wisconsin defense is elite but the same can not be said for the offense. 

Next Up: Michigan 

  1. Rutgers (3-1) 

Last Week: Lost to Michigan, 20-13

Debated a lot on whether Rutgers should be ahead of Wisconsin, but Rutgers stays at #8 even with a loss to Michigan. Running Back Isaiah Pacheco rushed for 107 yards on 20 attempts as Rutgers comeback fell short in the 2nd half. Rutgers defense did a great job against the Wolverines’ potent rushing attack and held Michigan scoreless in the 2nd half. 

Next Up: Ohio State

9: Purdue (3-1) 

Last Week: Defeated Illinois, 13-9

If you like field goals then this game was for you. The only touchdown in the game came with 5 minutes left with Purdue going ahead 13-9. Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell relieved Jack Plummer in the 3rd quarter. It will be interesting to see who starts at QB moving forward. 

Next Up: Minnesota 

  1. Nebraska (2-3) 

Last Week: Michigan State, 23-20 in OT

One thing for sure is that Nebraska’s defense is solid. It’s the special teams and offensive line that worries the people of Lincoln, Neb. Adrian Martinez continues to make superman plays making something out of nothing. Michigan State’s Jayden Reed’s 62-yard punt return for a TD continued the horrid play of Nebraska’s special teams that seems to be a liability weekly.

Next Up: Northwestern

  1. Minnesota (2-2) 

Last Week: Lost to Bowling Green 14-10

What a roller-coaster season it has been for Minnesota. They hang in with Ohio State, almost lose to Miami (OH), shut out Colorado at their place and then lose to an opponent who was 30 point underdogs at home. What does next week have to bring to add to the ride? 

Next Up: @ Purdue 

  1. Northwestern (2-2) 

Last Week: Defeated Ohio, 35-6 

Evan Hull rushed for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Northwestern over Ohio. The northwestern defense had 3 takeaways, 4 sacks and shut out the Bobcats for the first 3 quarters. Next up is a big game in Lincoln. 

Next Up: @ Nebraska 

  1. Indiana (2-2) 

Last Week:  Defeated Western Kentucky 33-31 

Michael Penix Jr completed a career-high 34 passes on 53 attempts, 10 of those throws went to all-conference wideout Ty Fryfogle. Not much defense in this game as both offenses gained more than 450 yards. 

Next Up: @ Penn State 

  1. Illinois (1-4) 

Last Week: Lost to Purdue, 13-9

Good News: Illinois went 3 for 3 in Field Goals last week, including a 51 yarder. Bad News: They didn’t score a touchdown. 

Next Up: Charlotte


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