Big Ten West Power Ratings: Week 2
No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes
Week 2: Give Iowa credit for immediately taking the upset bid out of play with Miami (Ohio) as the Hawkeyes jumped to leads of 21-0 after the first quarter and 28-7 at the break. Iowa gets instate rival Iowa State at home this weekend and it may not be the test it should be as the Cyclones opened their season with a home loss to Northern Iowa.
No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers
Week 2: The Gophers are battled tested after Oregon State came to TCF Bank Stadium and turned the game into a 60-minute fight. Many (myself included) figured Minnesota would have an easy time with the Beavers but it is never smart to underestimate a Power 5 school. Minnesota gets Indiana State this weekend and a 2-0 record will be the result. The Gophers would like to come out of the blowout victory over the Sycamores injury free and then use the bye week to be completely ready to go come Colorado State in two weeks.
No. 3 Nebraska
Week 2: It was an emotional game in Lincoln as the Huskers honored punter Sam Foltz, who died in a car accident over the summer. On the field Fresno State hung with the Huskers for the first half, only trailing 14-10 at the break. However, Nebraska rolled in the second half outscoring the Bulldogs 29-0. Nebraska welcomes Wyoming to Lincoln this weekend and that means former Husker top assistant Craig Bohl will be in town with his 1-0 record after his Cowboys knocked off Northern Illinois in triple overtime.
No. 4 Northwestern
Week 2: Western Michigan over Northwestern was my upset special last week and it hit. The Broncos used a late fumble recovery to hold off the Wildcats after it looked as if Northwestern would escape. Despite the loss the Wildcats still have a chance to circle the wagons and rebound with a solid year. The cure will be a home game with Illinois State this weekend.
No. 5 Wisconsin
Week 2: Yes, I understand Wisconsin just knocked off LSU at Lambeau Field on Saturday afternoon but that doesn't take away the fact that their Big Ten schedule is brutal this year and they won't be a true contender for the Big Ten West because of it. Do the Badgers have a chance to be the best team in the West? Sure, but they won't end the year with the best conference record and you can take that to the bank. Wisconsin will beat up Akron at Camp Randall this Saturday to improve to 2-0.
No. 6 Illinois
Week 2: Team Lovie got off to a great start in his head coaching debut at Illinois. The Illini dominated the Racers of Murray State from start to finish and when it was finally over the scoreboard read 52-3. I expect Illinois to come back down to earth this weekend as North Carolina will travel to Champaign to take on the Illini. The Tar Heels battled Georgia last weekend in Atlanta but came up short and will be looking to get their first win of 2016.
No. 7 Purdue
Week 2: Purdue should remember what they were able to accomplish in their home opener with Eastern Kentucky on Saturday in West Lafayette. Positive memories are beautiful and there might not be more of them this year. The Boilers get a tougher test this weekend with Cincinnati at Ross-Ade Stadium.
*DTCR: Division Title Confidence Rating