Big Ten West Power Ratings: Week 3
No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes
DTCR: 35% (No Change)
Week 3: The Hawkeyes continue to be the class of the Big Ten West and maintain the top spot in my power ratings following a 42-3 blowout of instate rival Iowa State last Saturday in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have an interesting match up this weekend with North Dakota State. The Bison have a solid track record of beating Power 5 schools and will have plenty to prove this weekend.
No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers
DTCR: 25% (-1%)
Week 3: The Gophers will easily be the team to beat in the West if senior quarterback Mitch Leidner can replicate his Indiana State performance on a consistent basis against conference foes. Leidern was efficient and effective all day long against the Sycamores. Defensively Minnesota has work to do after yielding 21 points to Indiana State in the second half. The Gophers are off this week as they prepare to close the nonconference portion of their schedule in 10 days against Colorado State.
No. 3 Wisconsin
DTCR: 21% (+15%)
Week 3: I stated my fear at the beginning of the season and it looks like it may be true. It seems like every year there is a reason given for why Wisconsin will finally fall flat and have an offseason. Whether it be a loss of key players, a new coaching staff or a difficult schedule ahead the Badgers seem to keep it rolling. While the dreaded six game stretch is still a few weeks away the Badgers are starting to make me nervous. I still believe they will be lucky to go 3-3 during that stretch and the West champion won’t have three losses on their ledger.
No. 4 Nebraska
DTCR: 19% (+1%)
Week 3: Until 13:11 remained in the fourth quarter the Huskers were in a battle with Wyoming, leading only 24-17. However in the games last 13 minutes and change Nebraska put down the accelerator and outscored the Cowboys 28-0 to eventually win 52-17. The Huskers first real test comes this week as Pac-12 juggernaut Oregon comes to Lincoln. It doesn’t appear this is a strong Duck team and with the game being played in Nebraska I wouldn’t be shocked with a Husker win.
No. 5 Northwestern
DTCR: 0% (-15%)
Week 3: While it wouldn’t surprise me to see Northwestern rally and end up with a solid season it is hard to explain the Cats 0-2 start with both losses coming at home. This past weekend it was Illinois State that used a late score to knock off the heavily favored Wildcats. This Saturday the Wildcats get Duke at home and look to avoid starting 0-3, and then it is home to Nebraska and a road trip to Iowa to start the Big Ten season. If Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t figure things out fast the Cats could easily be 0-5 before their bye comes in Week 6.
No. 6 Illinois
DTCR: 0% (No Change)
Week 3: Lovie-lovers came back down to earth a little bit on Saturday after the Illini dropped to 1-1 following a 48-23 loss to North Carolina in Memorial Stadium. The Illini were not embarrassed by the Tar Heels and actually made the game rather competitive until the Heels scored the games final 17 points in the last 12:22. The Illini stay at home for the upcoming weekend but it doesn't get easier on the field as P.J. Fleck will bring his Western Michigan Broncos to Champaign.
No. 7 Purdue
DTCR: 0% (No Change)
Week 3: Purdue used two fourth quarter touchdowns to make the score look closer, but the bottom line was Cincinnati completely outplayed the Boilermakers. The problem for Purdue is that is appears complete apathy has hit the program. There were plenty of empty seats for the Big Ten team as a solid opponent was in town. Purdue will take this weekend off before they close out their nonconference schedule at home in two weeks against Nevada.
*DTCR: Division Title Confidence Rating