BRR: Big Ten power rankings (9-9-14)

How about power rankings that actually reflect play on the field, not just the hype entering the season?

These are power rankings; they will fluctuate a lot, especially the first few weeks of the season. These rankings are based on what we saw on the field, not what people thought they would see.

1.) Michigan State: The game was closer than the score and the Spartans showed they can go to Eugene, Oregon and compete well with the No. 2 team in the nation.

2.) Wisconsin: They did exactly what they needed to do Saturday. Badger nation is glad the conversation has moved on from last week’s fiasco. A win can do wonders.

3.) Nebraska: The game shouldn’t have been close, but a 98-yard pick six by Armstrong made sure it was. Thankfully, they have #FearAmeer Abdullah. Abdullah is a true leader that put the team on his shoulders, won the game for them, and then gave a locker room speech to push the team forward. McNeese State won’t be the only game Abdullah wins for the Huskers this season.

4.) Ohio State: Dear Ohio State fans, welcome to the beginning of four years with Taylor Martinez. Seriously though, this offensive line is offensive. When is the last time we saw Urban Meyer get out-coached as obviously as Saturday? (Fun Stat: Urban Meyer and Nick Saban are a combined 3-5 in their last 8 games).

5.) Penn State: After a really slow start, they dealt with a pretty good Akron team by beating them 21-3. So far the Nittany Lions are probably doing better than expected. Now eligible for postseason play, their season just got more interesting. Who know what James Franklin will be able to do with a full allotment of scholarships next season.

6.) Minnesota: Quietly, they are getting it done with an underrated defense and a good running game.

7.) Rutgers: They were blowing Howard out and then let them come back. Over the coarse of the last two weeks they are looking better than many expected. They have running back Paul James to thank for that. James has been the second best RB in the conference after the first two weeks, sorry Melvin Gordon.

8.) Maryland: It looked like they were going to lose at South Florida this week, but managed the comeback win. They turned the ball over six times. Six! It is a miracle they were able to win this game. Maryland has a lot of potential if they can clean it up.

9.) Iowa: The Hawkeyes beat Ball State 17-13, needing a 14-point fourth quarter. This team has too much experience to excuse their awful play the last two weeks. Is it a leadership issue? Coaching? Or is it simply the Iowa way?

10.) Michigan: The loss to Notre Dame was the worst in the Hoke era, and that is saying a lot. Michigan and Nebraska are two prime examples of not making too big a deal from week one. Hoke has recruited a lot of talent, but they simply aren’t producing. Will Hoke turn it around or will he go down like Bill Callahan, Mike Sherman, and others?

11.) Illinois. QB Wes Lunt: 35/50 for 456 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT. This makes Illinois fans feel great. With that said, his current style and often poor decision making will lead to a lot of interceptions when Big Ten play starts. They will also struggle mightily if they can’t do better than 1.8 yards per carry. Western Kentucky isn’t a bad team though and Illinois deserves credit for beating them.

12.) Indiana: Bye week this week and weren’t overly impressive in week one. I expect them to move up this list, but I can’t justify it quite yet.

13.) Northwestern: Northern Illinois isn’t a bad team, but this 0-2 for Northwestern is absolutely terrible. They are in for a long, long season. They are looking at 3-9 and Pat Fitzgerald will start getting a lot of “hot seat” chatter.

14.) Purdue: They will win one more game, at most. Sorry, Boilermakers. It appears you are years away from not being a doormat, for everyone.

*** Posted by Josh Harvey ***

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