1) No. 8 Wisconsin (1-0); Last week, 1
Last week: won vs. UNLV 51-17
The greatest thing you can say about the Big Ten after one week is this: the top teams looked like the top teams, the middle teams looked like they would be top teams in other leagues, and the bottom teams didn't embarrass themselves (and in one team's case, made an impressive case for bounce-back status.) Wisconsin's a bona fide contender, and that's because if Bucky makes it through this schedule unscathed (or even with one loss), the quality of his Big Ten brethren that it could have the Badgers smellin' more than roses.
Next: vs. Oregon State, 11 a.m. ESPN
2) No. 10 Nebraska (1-0); LW, 2
Last week: won vs. Chattanooga 40-7
When did Georgia Tech join the conference? Oh, wait, that's just the Cornhuskers running the triple option. Which is right up there with the Marlins outspending the Yankees and Ryan Braun swearing off supermodels. It's just hard to comprehend.
Next: vs. Fresno State, 6 p.m. BTN
3) RV Iowa (1-0); LW, 3
Last week: won vs. Tennessee Tech 34-7
Kind of a ho-hum victory against an overmatched foe, but you can tell the Hawkeyes' defense is going to be a force this year. Iowa will play clean, fundamental football to give itself a chance in every game this season.
Next: at Iowa State, 11 a.m.
4) No. 15 Ohio State (1-0); LW, 4
Last week: won vs. Akron 42-0
Speaking of D, gotta credit the only Big Ten squad yet to be scored upon, especially during another turbulent week. Buckeye fans can only hope we get back to football and away from allegations and consequences.
Next: vs. Toledo, 11 a.m. BTN
5) No. 23 Penn State (1-0); LW, 8
Last week: won vs. Indiana State 41-7
Yeah, yeah, it was just Indiana State, but the Nittany Lions deserve to be returned to the upper half of these rankings. If they pull off another win this weekend, they'll be even higher, for making the Big Ten the toast of the country.
Next: vs. No. 3 Alabama, 2:30 p.m. ABC
6) No. 17 Michigan State (1-0); LW, 5
Last week: won vs. Youngstown State 28-6
B.J. Cunningham looks like a monster, and Kirk Cousins was painfully efficient. Don't let the final score fool you, the Spartans played better than that, but they might be a step behind their fellows ‘States' to the south and east.
Next: vs. Florida Atlantic, 11 a.m. ESPN2
7) RV Northwestern (1-0); LW, 9
Last week: won at Boston College 24-17
And THAT'S what will help restore this conference's reputation: take a school that many people outside the Midwest forget even belongs to the Big Ten, send them east to a play an ACC opponent with bowl appearances each of the past 12 years, and bring home a W without their starting quarterback. The last time BC had played a Big Ten opponent was beating Michigan State in the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl, Matt Ryan's final game. Props to the Wildcats.
Next: vs. Eastern Illinois, 2:30 p.m. BTN
8) RV Michigan (1-0); LW, 7
Last week: won vs. Western Michigan 34-10
See, the Wolverines can't put four quarters together. They can't even put three whole quarters together yet. (Ahem, a joke, people who didn't catch that. Game was lightning-shortened. Save your angry e-mails, good folks of Ann Arbor.) But seriously, Michigan was nearly outgained by WMU, though Denard Robinson wasn't asked to do much.
Next: vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m. ESPN
9) Illinois (1-0); LW, 6
Last week: won vs. Arkansas State 33-15
Nate Scheelhaase knows where his bread is buttered - A.J. Jenkins and Darius Millines were the only ones who had any receiving stats, and all they did was catch 16 balls for 267 yards. Bring on the next Mid-Major State.
Next: vs. South Dakota State, 11 a.m. BTN
10) Minnesota (0-1); LW, 11
Last week: lost at USC 19-17
Was that the Golden Gophers showing a pulse? It looked like USC dismiss Minnesota behind a 300-plus-yard passing day for Matt Barkley, but Minnesota didn't go away, nearly overturning a 16-point halftime deficit. Good for the Gophers, showing up against the Pac-12, which is clearly the better conference top to bottom right now, and giving Minnesota fans reason to hope for the future.
Next: vs. New Mexico State, 2:30 p.m. BTN
11) Purdue (1-0); LW, 10
Last week: won vs. Middle Tennessee State 27-24
Well, it's a win. Cobble together five more, and a bowl game awaits. Don't, and, well, it's basketball season. Exciting stuff in West Lafayette, lemme tell ya.
Next: at Rice, 2:30 p.m.
12) Indiana (0-1); LW, 12
Last week: lost vs. Ball State 27-20
Is it bad when playing on the same turf where Peyton Manning and his neck might be trolling the sideline in a few days is considered a season highlight? Until Indiana figures out a running game, this whole competing-in-the-Big-Ten thing isn't going to pan out.
Next: vs. Virginia, 6 p.m. BTN
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