Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 Big Ten West Power Ratings

Iowa was stung at home by North Dakota State but still has the talent and schedule to be considered one of the frontrunners for the West. Minnesota is lurking and has a chance to show if they are for real over the next three weekends.

Big Ten West Power Ratings:  Week 4

 

No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes

DTCR:  27% (-8%)

Week 4:  The Hawkeyes were the latest Power 5 team to lose at home to FCS power North Dakota State.  However, they are still one of the clear favorites to win a wide-open West along with Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.  The Hawkeyes keep the top spot because in the round robin amongst the top four they have the best schedule set up, by getting both Nebraska and Wisconsin at home. Iowa will open Big Ten play with a trip to Rutgers this weekend, then host Northwestern before their big showdown with Minnesota in early October.

 

 

No. T2 Minnesota Golden Gophers

DTCR:  26% (+1%) 

Week 4:  The Gophers were off last week and have pesky Colorado State in town this weekend as they look to finish the nonleague portion of their schedule sitting at 3-0.  The Gophers have a great schedule this year, but will road trips to Lincoln and Madison bite them?  We will know a lot more about the Gophers over the course of the next three games.  If they can run the table against Colorado State, at Penn State and home to Iowa the Gophers will have made a huge statement.

 

 

No. T2 Nebraska

DTCR:  26% (+7%)

Week 4:  The Huskers made a solid statement last weekend with a big home victory over Oregon.  Sure the Ducks are not your slightly older brothers Ducks and may have become a second tier Pac 12 team this season.  The Huskers open the Big Ten season with four very winnable games (with a bye week in the middle) against at Northwestern, Illinois, at Indiana and Purdue.  However, the Huskers end the season with five tough games, including trips to Madison, Columbus and Iowa City. Nebraska will have to stay hot and then hang on if they want a trip to Indy.

 

 

No. 4 Wisconsin

DTCR:  21% (No Change)

Week 4:  The Badgers got away with a mental bye week last Saturday at Camp Randall when they got all they wanted out of Georgia State.  In the end Wisconsin got their third win of the season.  However, the Badgers have finally reached the six game portion of their schedule that could ultimately deflate this year’s squad.  Even Badger fans would consider a 3-3 record during the stretch as a success and I cannot imagine the West winner having three losses. Wisconsin opens Big Ten play with back-to-back road trips to East Lansing and Ann Arbor.  Let’s see how Wisconsin does over the next two weekends before we re-evaluate.  It will 

 

No. 5 Northwestern

DTCR:  0% (No Change)

Week 4:  The Cats are finally on the board after a 24-13 home victory over a Duke team that has come back down to earth after a few successful seasons under David Cutcliffe.  We will know a lot more about Northwestern and if they will save their best for conference play over the next four weekends.  The Cats host Nebraska and then take road trips to Iowa and Michigan State with a bye in between.  I would expect Northwestern to finish 0-3, maybe 1-2 and most will forget about the Cats and another big season.

 

 

No. 6 Illinois

DTCR:  0% (No Change)

Week 4:  Western Michigan is now 2-0 against teams from the Big Ten West this season after knocking off the Illini 34-10 on Saturday in Champaign.  Illinois is now 1-2 and will struggle to reach bowl eligible status in Lovie Smith’s first year at Illinois.  The Illini start the Big Ten season with a bye this week, then they make the trip to Lincoln to take on the Huskers.

 

 

No. 7 Purdue

DTCR:  0% (No Change)

Week 4:  Like Minnesota, the Boilermakers had last weekend off and will finish off their nonconference schedule this Saturday.  Purdue will attempt to improve to 2-1 with a home game against Nevada.  The Boilers need this game if they want to avoid going 1-11 this year.  I don’t see any conference games in which PU will be favored.

 

 

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*DTCR:  Division Title Confidence Rating


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