Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 5): Sparty on the Rise, Still No Clarity in the Middle

By Nick Polak on October 3, 2017 at 8:45 am
8 Comments
Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 5)
Rank Team Record/Previous Game Result
Explanation

1

 

Last Week: 1

Penn State

Points: 111

5-0
 
Last Week:
45-14 win over Indiana
The offense wasn't perfect, but the defense and special teams almost were as the Nittany Lions downed the Hoosiers at home. There's something to be said for an offense that is putting up huge numbers with a quarterback operating at less than full capacity. They're not invincible but they'll be tough to beat. (Next Week: @ Northwestern)

2

 

Last Week: 2

Wisconsin

Points: 101

4-0
 
Last Week:
33-24 win over Northwestern
The Badgers had a shaky first half and didn't finish well against Northwestern, but they still pulled out a win in the end. The schedule is still as soft as can be, which should help them stay in this spot for a while, even if a drop off is coming somewhere along the line. (Next Week: @ Nebraska)

3

 

Last Week: 3

Ohio State

Points: 97

4-1
 
Last Week:
56-0 win over Rutgers
Ohio State continues to stomp inferior competition. The Buckeyes put up 50+ on Rutgers for a second straight year, and the offense has had plenty of time to rebound after the Oklahoma loss. This week's game with the Terps could be interesting, but the Buckeye defense shouldn't have much trouble with a third-string quarterback. (Next week: vs. Maryland)

4

 

Last Week: 4

Michigan

Points: 91

4-0
 
Last Week:
BYE
The Wolverines were on a bye last week and will now jump back in with what is suddenly a very interesting matchup against the rival Spartans. John O'Korn looked great against Purdue, but the Michigan State defense is a very large step ahead of the Boilermakers- they currently as the No. 16 defense per S&P+. (Next Week: vs. Michigan State)

5

Last Week: 9

Michigan State

Points: 76

3-1
 
Last Week:
17-10 win over Iowa
The Hawkeyes may have been coming off of an extremely emotional loss to Penn State, but the Spartans still downed an solid Iowa squad. Now they face their toughest test yet. Their previous showdown with a top-25 team didn't go well, but perhaps the magic of the rivalry will once again be on their side this time around. (Next Week: @ No. 7 Michigan)

6

Last Week: 10

Maryland

Points: 64

3-1
 
Last Week:
31-24 win over Minnesota
Third-string quarterback? No problem. The game allowed for the Terps to control things on the ground (47 rushes) while simultaneously suffocating the solid run game of Minnesota (80 yards on 31 carries). They won't go too far with Bortenschlager under center, but they're plenty good enough to beat most Big Ten teams. (Next Week: @ No. 10 Ohio State)

7

Last Week: 5

Iowa

Points: 60

3-2
 
Last Week:
17-10 loss to Michigan State
Just 9 points have separated Iowa from its opponents over the past two weeks, yet the Hawkeyes have started Big Ten play with two losses anyway. Thankfully for Ferentz's side, they get to rebound against the hapless Illini next. (Next Week: vs. Illinois)

8

Last Week: 6

Minnesota

Points: 51

3-1
 
Last Week:
31-24 loss to Maryland
Lots of questions remain about the Gophers after this loss. They had been bowling over far inferior competition, but losing to their first real foe shines some light on Fleck's team's inefficiencies. Can they function if the run game is off? (Next Week: @ Purdue)

9

Last Week: 8

Northwestern

Points: 50

2-2
 
Last Week:
33-24 loss to No. 10 Wisconsin
The Wildcats nearly overcame a rough third quarter to steal one from the Badgers, but Northwestern just didn't have enough left in the tank by the end. Now, Thorson, Jackson, and company will get a second shot to defeat a top-ten team, and this time they get a chance to do it at home. (Next Week: vs. No. 4 Penn State)

10

 

Last Week: 10

Purdue

Points: 45

2-2
 
Last Week:
BYE
A week of rest surely did Purdue well after the tough loss to Michigan. Now they have a chance to gain ground in the race for the Big Ten West with a reeling Minnesota team coming to West Lafayette. (Next Week: vs. Minnesota)

11

Last Week: 12

Nebraska

Points: 39

3-2
 
Last Week:
28-6 win over Illinois
Nebraska completed their tour of the basement of the conference with wins over Rutgers and Illinois, proving that they at least are a small step ahead of the two bottom-feeders. Their reward is a visit from the Badgers. (Next Week: vs. No. 9 Wisconsin)

12

Last Week: 7

Indiana

Points: 28

2-2
 
Last Week:
45-14 loss to No. 4 Penn State
This is probably too low for Indiana, but I can't control how everyone votes. The Hoosiers still have what seems like a good win over Virginia, but they've taken beatings at the hands of both Ohio State and Penn State now. They have the defense to shock someone, but the offense needs to find consistency against better teams. (Next Week: vs. Charleston Southern)

13

 

Last Week: 13

Illinois

Points: 16

2-2
 
Last Week:
28-6 loss to Nebraska
Illinois has already surpassed my season win total prediction, so congrats! This is also my weekly plea to Lovie Smith to please, please just get out of Champaign. (Next Week: @ Iowa)

14

 

Last Week: 14

Rutgers

Points: 8

1-4
 
Last Week:
56-0 loss to No. 11 Ohio State
Stop playing good teams at night, Rutgers. It's not helping anything. (Next Week: BYE)

All team logo photos are courtesy of 247Sports.

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