Big Ten Power Rankings - Week Three

The Big Ten took a PR beating last week, a week that put the talent and depth in a little bit of question but Wisconsin's shutout, Michigan's comeback and Michigan State's 72-6 scoring margin. As conference season edges closer, there is plenty on the line as we look at week three of Badger Nation's Big Ten Power Rankings.

1) No. 7 Wisconsin (2-0); Last week, 1

Last week: won vs. Oregon State 35-0

So apparently Russell Wilson doesn't think seven incompletions is very good. Yeah, what a stiff. Are the Heisman predictions premature? Maybe a tad, since the problem is, superb stats are usually a prerequisite to get bronzed. Maybe it would help his cause if Anthony Lamarr released a YouTube called "Russell, Strike a Pose".

Next: vs. Northern Illinois (at Soldier Field), 2:30 p.m.

2) No. 10 Nebraska (2-0); LW, 2

Last week: won vs. Fresno State 42-29

Caught the Cornhuskers' third quarter against Fresno. Wasn't impressed. But then, we'll find out for sure in a few weeks. By the way, just for those Badgers fans who aren't aware, Nebraska fans wear ‘corn heads' that are strikingly similar to Packers' head gear. Just a good reason for UW fans to turn on Nebraska early.

Next: vs. Washington, 2:30 p.m. ABC

3) No. 15 Michigan State (2-0); LW, 6

Last week: won vs. Florida Atlantic 44-0

OK, I'm sold. B.J. Cunningham's circus catch made him the leading receiver in school history – that was kind of cool. MSU's improved defense gives the Spartans a nice, well-rounded team that has every reason to contend for a league title.

Next: at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. NBC

4) No. 17 Ohio State (2-0); LW, 4

Last week: won vs. Toledo 27-22

Buncha bullies. Still haven't lost to an in-state opponent since Joe Paterno was five years from being born. There are still seven suspended players during the NCAA's ongoing investigation, which at some point has to add up and tax the Buckeyes.

Next: at Miami (Fla.), 6:30 p.m. ESPN

5) RV Northwestern (2-0); LW, 7

Last week: won vs. Eastern Illinois 42-21

How ‘bout them nerds? (Too harsh? Nope, didn't think so.) The Wildcats didn't trip up after an impressive opening week, setting itself up nicely for the national stage this weekend. No matter how Dan Persa's little ol' Achilles turns out, this Kain Colter looks like he can capably fill in and steer Northwestern toward more wins.

Next: at Army, 2:30 p.m. CBS

6) Iowa (1-1); LW, 3

Last week: lost at Iowa State 44-41 (3OT)

With the loss in Ames, Kirk Ferentz-led Hawkeye teams are now 6-7 against the in-state rival. This shall surely rankle the cornfields of eastern Iowans. But at ease, Herky. The schedule isn't THAT tough going forward. This team's too good not to at least go bowling.

Next: vs. Pittsburgh, 11 a.m. ESPN2

7) RV Penn State (1-1); LW, 5

Last week: lost vs. No. 3 Alabama 27-11

A little harsh to knock Penn State near the bottom of the middle tier, but that's the reality with just 251 total yards and three turnovers at home, regardless of who you're playing.

Next: at Temple, 11 a.m. ESPN

8) RV Michigan (2-0); LW, 8

Last week: won vs. Notre Dame 35-31

What makes for great TV doesn't make for great defense. In a way, it was a fitting example of why Notre Dame and Michigan have tumbled from the national title contender ranks: how in the world do you not have safety help on the biggest plays of the game? The Wolverines will still be unbeaten this week, but they're in for a challenge once they start facing Big Ten defenses. Brady Hoke was right in saying it's still a work in progress.

Next: vs. Eastern Michigan, 11 a.m. BTN

9) Illinois (2-0); LW, 9

Last week: won vs. South Dakota State 56-3

The most decisive Illini win in over 60 years, this was merely a tuneup for a much tougher visitor Saturday. Can Illinois thrive off the night crowd's energy and pick up a much-needed third win?

Next: vs. No. 22 Arizona State, 6 p.m. BTN

10) Minnesota (0-2); LW, 10

Last week: lost vs. New Mexico State 28-21

Aaaaaaaaand … good feelings gone. Consistency is the highest compliment in sports, and the Gophers just didn't find it after that opening effort in L.A. Good news is that Jerry Kill should be back on the sidelines this week.

Next: vs. Miami (Ohio), 2:30 p.m. BTN

11) Purdue (1-1); LW, 11

Last week: lost at Rice 24-22

So much for those bowl hopes. I believe there was a mention of basketball season.

Next: vs. Southeast Missouri State, 11 a.m. BTN

12) Indiana (0-2); LW, 12

Last week: lost vs. Virginia 34-31

Last-second field goals hurt when you're on the losing side. Looks like the Hoosiers aren't even air-happy any more. A sad, sad season is on the horizon.

Next: vs. South Carolina State, 2:30 p.m. BTN

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