Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 2
Another week of college football has passed and the Ohio State Buckeyes remain my top team in the Big Ten. But don't worry Wolverine fans: you're not far behind.
Positions 1-10 remain unchanged from last week's rankings, but one other team is really heading in the wrong direction (hint: the only winless team currently in the Big Ten).
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0): The offense didn't start rolling until the second half, but this defense is for real. Two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the pouring rain kept Tulsa from ever truly challenging the Buckeyes. Next week is the big test in Norman, OK.
2. Michigan Wolverines (2-0): Wilton Speight continues to impress, and the Michigan defense looks like it could put together near shutouts on a weekly basis. The competition will get tougher, but so will this already stout Wolverine team.
3. Wisconsin Badgers (2-0): I was interested to see how Wisconsin would come out against Akron this week, but the Badgers did everything they could to avoid the trap game and more. Wisconsin impressed in all facets and looks like a top-10 team, but they still probably aren't the favorites in the West with a brutal Big Ten schedule ahead.
4. Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0): Iowa's worst performances against Iowa State typically come when the Hawkeyes are good and the Cyclones are trash. Iowa broke the mold and trounced Iowa State, proving some results are predicable on paper. Plus, true love prevailed.
5. Michigan State Spartans (1-0): Michigan State had a Week 2 bye, which should leave ample time to be prepared to square off against a ranked Notre Dame side next weekend.
6. Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0): It was close for a little while, but Nebraska has too much talent and skill to lose at home to Wyoming. Sioux Falls Washington High School grad Nate Gerry also nicely returned an interception to the quarterback after the play was over.
7. Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0): Mitch Leidner had himself a day while the Gophers rolled over Indiana State. 295 passing yards and four passing touchdowns is fairly uncommon for Minnesota QB's, so I wouldn't recommend expecting this each week. The defense has room to improve.
8. Indiana Hoosiers (2-0): Indiana beat Ball State by 10, but that's a bigger achievement than you might think. The Hoosiers victory broke a streak of three consecutive losses to the Cardinals. So, a 10-point win was basically a blowout.
9. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-1): Penn State's defense opened up faster than a sinkhole, but the offense put up 39 points in a close loss at Pittsburgh. Christian Hackenberg didn't do that often.
10. Maryland Terrapins (2-0): Maryland put up essentially the same performance Indiana did last week at Florida International, but instead of the defense doing all the scoring, the Terrapin offense showed flashes of brilliance.
11. Illinois Fighting Illini (1-1): Illinois moved up to 11th not because of anything it did but because of everything Northwestern didn't do.
12. Purdue Boilermakers (1-1): David Blough threw five interceptions against Cincinnati. Mix that with a subpar defense, and it could be another long and painful season for Darrell Hazell and Purdue.
13. Northwestern Wildcats (0-2): After losses at home to MAC-opponent Western Michigan and FCS-opponent Illinois State, I'm really questioning if the Wildcats are better than Rutgers. That's a long fall from 10 wins last season.
14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-1): After trailing 14-0 early in the 1st quarter, Rutgers took a page out of Maryland's playbook from last week and put up points in a hurry. 52 unanswered points later, Rutgers had its first win of 2016.