Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 1): Buckeyes Lead the Way with Lions Right on Their Heels

By Nick Polak on September 6, 2017 at 7:30 am
The Buckeyes struggled at first, but figured it out against Indiana.
Johnnie Dixon, Eleven Warriors
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Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 1)
Rank Team Record/Previous Game Result
Explanation

1

 

Last Week: n/a

Ohio State

1-0
 
Last Week:
49-21 win over Indiana
Things may have gotten off to a slow start for Kevin Wilson and the Ohio State offense, but the unit was rolling by the time the game came to a close. It's also worth noting that Indiana's defense looks to be pretty darn good. Still, J.T. Barrett and his receivers need to figure out the deep passing game, and fast. (Next Week: vs. No. 5 Oklahoma)

2

 

Last Week: n/a

Penn State

1-0
 
Last Week:
52-0 win over Akron
The Lions wasted no time in pummeling the inferior Zips on opening day. Though one shouldn't take too much away from a game against an average MAC team, it has to be noted how comfortable the entire team looked. Now, James Franklin's team sets their sights on Pitt in a revenge scenario. (Next Week: vs. Pitt)

3

 

Last Week: n/a

Michigan

1-0
 
Last Week:
33-17 win over No. 17 Florida
Was it pretty? Absolutely not. Though we knew it wouldn't be going in, so if you watched this game, that's on you. Still, it was a win over a top-25 team with a great defense. The terrifying thing about the Wolverines is that they still look scary good on defense after replacing basically everyone. Look out. (Next Week: vs. Cincinnati)

4

 

Last Week: n/a

Wisconsin

1-0
 
Last Week:
59-10 win over Utah State
It took a quarter to get going, but the Badgers steamrolled the Aggies en route to win number one. It's still hard to get too excited about the offense, but hey, they don't have to be exciting to win the West. The defense is more than good enough to bring them back to Indy. (Next Week: vs. Florida Atlantic)

5

 

Last Week: n/a

Iowa

1-0
 
Last Week:
24-3 win over Wyoming
The Hawkeyes looked like they were going to get at least somewhat of a tough test from current NFL Draft analyst darling Josh Allen, but the Wyoming quarterback was not terribly impressive. The Hawkeyes played stifling defense, and got the chance to run the ball 41 times compared to just 15 passes. If you let Iowa do that, your chances of winning are slim.  (Next Week: vs. Iowa State)

6

 

Last Week: n/a

Maryland

1-0
 
Last Week:
51-41 win over No. 23 Texas
Not many teams had as great of a first weekend than the Terps, taking down the possibly overrated, but still top-25 Longhorns. Similarly to Iowa, Maryland was able to achieve an ideal game plan, running the ball 43 times and throwing only 15 passes. They won't be able to do that against every Big Ten team, but this was a huge win for D.J. Durkin and company. (Next Week: vs. Towson)

7

 

Last Week: n/a

Northwestern

1-0
 
Last Week:
31-20 win over Nevada
You would have liked to see the preseason Big Ten West contenders win a bit more comfortably over Nevada, but it's better than opening the season with losses to Western Michigan and Illinois State like last year. As long as they can survive until they find their groove, they'll be in good position to be dangerous. (Next Week: @ Duke)

8

 

Last Week: n/a

Indiana

0-1
 
Last Week:
49-21 loss to No. 2 Ohio State
It must be getting old for Indiana fans to play Ohio State close for a half, only to end up losing by a few touchdowns. Still, the Hoosiers showed a fearsome defense for a good portion of their bout with the Buckeyes, and that's certainly something to build on. However, losing Nick Westbrook, one of the better receivers in the conferece, will definitely hurt.  (Next Week: @ Virginia)

9

 

Last Week: n/a

Nebraska

1-0
 
Last Week:
43-36 win over Arkansas State
Yeah, the Huskers won, but our voters aren't buying what Nebraska is selling. This team simply looks painfully average, and nothing from week one did anything to shake that notion. (Next Week: @ Oregon)

10

 

Last Week: n/a

Michigan State

1-0
 
Last Week:
25-10 win over Bowling Green
You gotta start somewhere! Michigan State will have to do a lot more than beat Bowling Green to prove that they are taking a step back towards respectability, but this was still an important win for the program. Better yet, Brian Lewerke looks like he could be a solid signal caller in 2017. (Next Week: vs. Western Michigan)

11

 

Last Week: n/a

Minnesota

1-0
 
Last Week:
17-7 win over Buffalo
A 10-point win over Buffalo isn't much of a confidence builder. Minnesota has a fairly easy schedule, so things could turn around for the Fighting Flecks, but man are they boring right now. (Next Week: @ Oregon State)

12

 

Last Week: n/a

Purdue

0-1
 
Last Week:
35-28 loss to No. 16 Louisville
Purdue! Easily the most exciting team on this list south of No. 6, the Boilermakers legitimately challenged Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals for most of the game. The team seems to have taken to the new offense quickly, which is great news. Still, as Bill Connelly said, this Purdue team will likely have a horrible loss at some point that counters the massive upset they seem capable of striking. (Next Week: vs. Ohio)

13

 

Last Week: n/a

Rutgers

0-1
 
Last Week:
30-14 loss to No. 8 Washington
Another team that lost but looked pretty good! What is happening to our lovable losers at the bottom of the conference? The Scarlet Knights defense was all over Jake Browning and the Huskies offense in the first half, and although they weren't able to hold them off enough in the second half to let their subpar offense pull off the upset, this was a markedly improved squad from last year's group.  (Next Week: vs. Eastern Michigan)

14

 

Last Week: n/a

Illinois

1-0
 
Last Week:
24-21 win over Ball State
Only Illinois could win in such an ugly way that they find themselves ranked below not one, not two, but three teams that actually won their openers. After Rutgers' solid showing in their opener, the Fighting Illini may have just won their final game of the season. (Next Week: vs. Western Kentucky)

All team logo photos are courtesy of 247Sports.

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