Big Ten power rankings: Dominant Iowa Hawkeyes get bump in Week 3 conference rating
As we look at the Big Ten power rankings for Week 2, we can see some truths starting to bare out.
For instance, Maryland is good. Many tried not to be swayed by blowing out an FCS team last week, but jumping up early on top of Syracuse has catapulted the Terrapins into the top 25.
One other obvious observation: Iowa's defense is exceptional.
A disclaimer: rankings this time of year still have the stench of the "well, we thought this team would be really good" benefit of the doubt.
1. Ohio State (2-0)
Last week: 1. Never really a doubt as the Buckeyes dispatched in-state foe Cincinnati with easy, 42-0. In just about every game this season, Ohio State will have the more talented team. Just let us know when that midseason night game on the road is coming. We're looking at you, Northwestern on Oct. 18.
Next up: at Indiana, 11 a.m. Saturday, Fox.
2. Wisconsin (2-0)
Last week: 3. No sweat for the Badgers, who played rude hosts to Central Michigan by crunching the Chips, 61-0. Just a ho-hum 102 yards and three rushing touchdowns for Jonathan Taylor, but the bigger deal should be the 363 passing yards and three TDs from Jack Coan.
Next up: vs. Michigan, 11 a.m. Sept. 21, Fox.
3. Michigan (2-0)
Last week: 2. But the Wolverines won, so why the drop down? Well, we wanted to reflect the direction it seemed the offense went this week. The scare against Army – a difficult matchup for most – does drop them down because U-M did their best to keep the Black Knights in the game, especially with the early turnovers. They'll get a week to think about what they've done, mister.
U-M stock watch:Zach Charbonnet a star in the making
Next up: at Wisconsin, 11 a.m. Sept, 21, Fox.
4. Penn State (2-0)
Last week: 4. Don't be fooled by a second-half comeback at home against Buffalo. The Bulls are coming off a 10-win 2018. So credit the Nittany Lions with a 38-3 run after halftime, thanks to three touchdown passed from Sean Clifford, who also led PSU with 51 rushing yards.
Next up: vs. Pittsburgh, 11 a.m. Saturday, ABC.
5. Iowa (2-0)
Last week: 6. Because someone had to, the Hawkeyes drew Rutgers this week. And Iowa did not overlook the Scarlet Knights in a 30-0 win in Iowa City. A "really decisive performance," according to coach Kirk Ferentz, who will now ready his team for its annual in-state rivalry, which will welcome ESPN's "College GameDay."
Next up: at Iowa State, 3 p.m. Saturday, Fox Sports 1.
6. Michigan State (2-0)
Last week: 5. A slight dip for the Spartans this week, mostly because Western Michigan might not be as good as Rutgers — and that's saying something. Still, the MSU offense having a revival in the 51-17 win could be a harbinger for success. If it is, MSU won't be this low for long.
More:MSU's offense comes alive: 'This is what's expected of us'
Next up: vs. Arizona State, 3 p.m. Saturday, Fox.
7. Maryland (2-0)
Last week: 7. Blow a team out once, shame on you. Blow a second team out, and this one being ranked ... well, you fool me, you can't fool me again. That's how it goes, right? Can't help but to be impressed by beating down Syracuse, 63-20. Racking up 650 yards of offense has officially pegged the Terps as the "might-be surprise" Big Ten team.
Next up: at Temple, 11 a.m. Saturday, CBS Sports Network.
8. Northwestern (0-1)
Last week: 8. The much-needed bye comes in handy for the Wildcats, who are recovering from their loss at Stanford in Week 1. But there will not be enough byes in this season for quarterback TJ Green, who will miss the rest of the season after surgery to repair his broken foot.
Next up: vs. UNLV, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, BTN.
9. Nebraska (1-1)
Last week: 9. "This is one of the hardest losses I've ever been a part of," Nebraska coach Scott Frost said after the 34-31 overtime loss to former Big 12 foe Colorado. Considering the Huskers were up, 17-0, late in the third quarter and gave up a TD pass with under a minute to tie the game, it's hard to argue.
Next up: vs. Northern Illinois, 7 p.m. Saturday, Fox Sports 1.
10. Purdue (1-1)
Last week: 10. The Boilermakers got the better of this similarly-clad crossover against Vanderbilt, 42-24. The star of this one was Elijah Sindelar, who threw for 509 yards and five touchdowns. He'll likely not have as easy of a time against the Horned Frogs next week.
Next up: vs. TCU, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, BTN.
11. Minnesota (2-0)
Last week: 13. Color us slightly impressed with the Gophers, who found a way to win on the road in double overtime. But when you consider that was winless Fresno State, it takes a little steam off the momentum. A nice day for Rashod Bateman (seven catches, 105 yards, one touchdown), too.
Next up: vs. Georgia Southern, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, BTN.
12. Indiana (2-0)
Last week: 11. A win is a win, right, so what gives? We hear you, Hoosier fans. But when you hammer Eastern Illinois, 52-0, it's not going to move the needle for us all that much. But as you've read earlier, next week won't be as easy.
Next up: vs. Ohio State, 11 a.m. Saturday, Fox.
13. Illinois (2-0)
Last week: 12. A 24-point second quarter helped the Illini snap their 12-year nonconference road losing streak, 31-23 at UConn. Former U-M quarterback Brandon Peters threw for a career-high four touchdowns in the win as Illinois had to make a bit of a comeback after falling behind, 13-0. And for that, a bit of a bump down.
Next up: vs. Eastern Michigan, 11 a.m. Saturday, BTN.
14. Rutgers (1-1)
Last week: 14. Not only did they not score in Iowa, but the Scarlet Knight came away from Saturday's loss with questions at quarterback. Starter McLane Carter did not play in the second half and coach Chris Ash said after the game he is hurt. They'll have some time to figure it out.
Next up: vs. Boston College, Sept. 21, time and TV TBA.