Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 3): Penn State Tightens Grip on Top Spot, PURDUE Rises

By Nick Polak on September 18, 2017 at 10:30 am
Penn State stays on top in week three.
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Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 3)
Rank Team Record/Previous Game Result

Explanation

1

 

Last Week: 1

Penn State


3-0


 


Last Week:
56-0 win over Georgia State
The Nittany Lions took care of business the best way they know how. By scoring a ton of points. Akron, Pitt, and Georgia State were not a particularly demanding nonconference slate, so this first Big Ten test against Iowa on the road will be an important one as far as truly figuring out who this Penn State team is. (Next Week: @ Iowa)

2

 

Last Week: 2

Michigan


3-0


 


Last Week:
29-13 win over Air Force
I sincerely hope that Michigan's offense treats the defense to dinner at least four times a week as a thank you for all the weight they've put on their collective backs this year. This Wilton Speight-led offense is just as vanilla as it gets. Air Force gave them a small scare, but this team is still too talented to lose games it shouldn't. At some point, though, if they don't start putting up points, Don Brown's defense won't be able to save them. (Next Week: @ Purdue)

3

 

Last Week: 3

Wisconsin


3-0


 


Last Week:
40-6 win over BYU
Wisconsin may secretly be the best team in the Big Ten. The only problem is that we may not get a true, true picture of what this Badgers team is until the Big Ten Championship game. But that seems to be just fine for this squad, as they continue to blast away at the inferior teams on their schedule. (Next Week: BYE)

4

 

Last Week: 4

Ohio State


2-1


 


Last Week:
38-7 win over Army
This was a step in the right direction for Ohio State, but there are still things you know Urban Meyer would like to see cleaned up, and that they need to be cleaned up if they want to compete for a playoff spot again in 2017. Barrett still missed numerous throws against Army but looked much better overall. (Next week: vs. UNLV)

5

Last Week: 6

Iowa


3-0


 


Last Week:
31-14 win over North Texas
The Hawkeyes are playing solid football right now, but their game plan may be in serious trouble for the Penn State game if star running back Akrum Wadley is going to be limited by the ankle injury he picked up against North Texas. The defense has looked legit thus far and could be Wisconsin's biggest roadblock on the way to winning the West. (Next Week: vs. No. 4 Penn State)

6

Last Week: 5

Maryland


2-0


 


Last Week:
BYE
The Terps move down as a function of being idle and Iowa winning again. Kasim Hill looked awesome in his first action as a starter, though this team still lives and dies with the running game. At least for now. However, their win over Texas is looking pretty dandy right about now. (Next Week: vs. UCF)

7

Last Week: 8

Minnesota


3-0


 


Last Week:
34-3 win over Middle Tennessee
The Gophers took care of business against a recently-strong Middle Tennessee and moved to 3-0. They once again got by without the passing game being a factor (Rhoda completed 11 passes for 122 yards and a 21.8 QBR), so there's still the question of what they can do in a shootout. But hey, 3-0 is 3-0. (Next Week: BYE)

8

Last Week: 12

Purdue


2-1


 


Last Week:
35-3 win over Missouri
Yesssssss. Had Michigan State and Indiana played this week, it probably wouldn't have been as easy for the voters to move the Boilermakers up (and this spot is anchored by someone who placed them fourth in their rankings), but they looked good! Missouri is really bad, but holding a power-five team to under five points and while putting up 35 is a revelation for Purdue. Now they really get to see what they're made of which Michigan coming to town. (Next Week: vs. No. 8 Michigan)

9

Last Week: 7

Michigan State


2-0


 


Last Week:
BYE
The Spartans were off last week with yet another very early season bye. It wouldn't be surprising to once again see them feel the effects of a long, brutal, continuous schedule by season's end. (Next Week: vs. Notre Dame)

10

 

Last Week: 10

Indiana


1-1


 


Last Week:
Game vs. FIU was cancelled
The Hoosier game with FIU was canceled due to the hurricane, which makes the task of finding six wins all the more difficult. Granted, should they need 5-7 teams to fill spots, they'll probably look to the teams with cancellations first. They'll hope to be firing on all cylinders against Georgia Southern as their final game before Big Ten play. (Next Week: vs. Georgia Southern)

11

 

Last Week: 11

Northwestern


2-1


 


Last Week:


49-7 win over Bowling Green

The Wildcats bounced back against Bowling Green after getting obliterated by Duke on the road. It appears that the voters aren't quite ready to trust Pat Fitzgerald's team yet, and with their annual yearly struggles, who can blame them. If they want to challenge for the West, they still have work to do. (Next Week: BYE)

12

Last Week: 9

Nebraska


1-2


 


Last Week:
21-17 loss to Northern Illinois
Womp, womp, womppppppp. Nebraska's not a very good football team. And while turnovers (on both sides) truly directed the flow of this game, this Cornhuskers team is just not strong enough to even consider a run for the West. This team is reeling, and with a still somewhat unknown Rutgers team coming to town, that's not a great place to be. (Next Week: vs. Rutgers)

13

Last Week: 14

Rutgers


1-2


 


Last Week:
65-0 win over Morgan State
Rutgers completed their nonconference routine with a rout of an FCS school, and wlll now head to Lincoln to try and prove that the team we saw in week one against Washington is still in there. But remember, the team that lost to Eastern Michigan is also still in there, too. (Next Week: @ Nebraska)

14

Last Week: 13

Illinois


2-1


 


Last Week:
47-23 loss to No. 22 USF
USF is a good team. Illinois is still a bad one. Lovie has a week off to get his team geared up to face a remaining schedule that looks to have just one, maybe two winnable games left. (Next Week: BYE)

All team logo photos are courtesy of 247Sports.

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