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B1G Power Rankings: Week 1

Not a banner week for the conference, but there were some bright spots.

One of TEN Hacken-Sacks this week.
One of TEN Hacken-Sacks this week.
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 resulted in an overall 8-6 conference record, but only a few of those wins came against FBS teams.

1. Ohio State

If you come at the king, you best not miss. And if you try to tackle Braxton Miller in space, you will look foolish. After a slow (for them) start, the Buckeyes went on to thrash the Hokies 42-24 in Blacksburg. They have Hawaii next in Columbus.

2. Michigan State

They did not look invincible against PJ and the Fleck-tones on the road at Western Michigan, but they are still pretty clearly number two in the conference until further notice. Solid running game effort, as three different backs turned in 190 yards on 35 carries with 2 TDs. Up Next: a major test against the Oregon Ducks in East Lansing.

3. Northwestern

For posting by far the most impressive win by any team outside Columbus, the Northwestern Wildcats earned a huge jump in the early power rankings. I'm still not sold on them, and Stanford may end up being overrated, but for now, the Wildcats played a great game and knocked off a heavily-favored ranked team. As one-game resumes go, that's hard to beat. Up next: Eastern Illinois at home.

4. Minnesota

TCU is really good, and a loss to the Horned Frogs is nothing to be ashamed of for the Golden Gophers. The Gopher defense looked stout, and they made a potential playoff team look beatable. Up Next: at Colorado State.

5. Nebraska

A Hail Mary loss at home to BYU is not the end of the world, but the Huskers really should have had this game wrapped up before that point. They should right the ship next week against South Alabama at home.

6. Wisconsin

It's hard to figure out how good Wisconsin will be after a loss to Alabama at Jerry World in Dallas. The Tide could simply be that good, and Wisconsin might be fine against less ridiculously talented squads. I could see ranking them anywhere from 3-6 after week 1. I placed them at the bottom end of that range because their normally robust run game was anemic (only 40 yards on the ground), and because Bama's Derrick Henry went nuts on them, rushing for 147 yards and 3 TDs. Up Next: Miami (OH) in Madison.

7. Rutgers

Man it felt good to watch this team run wild on Saturday, putting aside all of the drama and BS from the preceding weeks. Nothing like an old-fashioned ass whooping to placate a fanbase in turmoil. That said, it's hard to take much from drubbing Norfolk State. Carroo is one of our all-timers, Grant and Patton looked like stellar alternatives to number 4, both QBs were rolling, Hicks is going to be really special, and the D looked stout after a rough first drive. In other words we got our money's worth from our well-compensated tuneup patsy. Up Next: the Dread Pirate Leach and his Air Raid offense.

8. Illinois

Like Rutgers, Illinois was able to put preseason drama aside and take a bad team to the woodshed for some "physical therapy." Kent State is an FBS team, but probably one of the weakest in the country, worse than a lot of FCS squads. But a 50-point win means the Illini did a lot of things right. I still don't think they are going to be good this year, but after one game, 8 feels about right for them. Up Next: Western Illinois at home.

9. Iowa

Iowa was solid against FCS Illinois State, posting a 31-14 win. They seem like a middle of the pack team to me, and I'm still not sold on them long-term. They took care of business week 1. Up Next: an in-state clash with the Iowa State Cyclones.

10. Michigan

Michigan did not look great in a loss to a good Utah team, especially in the run game. They also had a turnover problem that will plague them all year unless they get it cleaned up. The Wolverine defense looked good. So . . . a lot like last year. Up Next: Oregon State at home.

11. Maryland

A slow start ended up not mattering, as the Terps dispatched Richmond 50-21. QB Perry Hills struggled against a young FCS defense that should not have posed any problems. The Terps were aided by an all-time great special teams performance by return man Will Likely, who broke a 75-year-oldB1G punt return record with 233 punt return yards (296 and a TD overall). Up Next: Bowling Green at home.

12. Indiana

Spots 12-14 are kind of interchangeable in my mind, but Indiana gets the 12 spot because at least they won,barely, against an FCS squad. The Hoosiers beat Southern Illinois 48-47. If an FCS squad scores 47 points on you, your defense is terri-bad. Some of the better offenses in the conference (including Rutgers?!?) should be able to light this team up like a pinball machine.Up Next: Florida International at home.

13. Purdue

Purdue dropped this game to Marshall, in part due to 4INTs (2 of which the Thundering Herd took to the endzone). That's not going to get it done against tougher opponents. Up Next: Indiana State.

14 ttfp


The Nitty Kitties are getting significantly WORSE under James Franklin. Think about how good they were against UCF to open the season last year. They just gave up 10 SACKS to Temple, a team they haven't lost to in 74 years. They gave up 44 sacks last year, which was horrendous by itself, and then hit almost a quarter of that number in one game against a good-not-great non-conference opponent. And Temple TOOK ITS FOOT OFF THE GAS against ttfp. #DominatetheState?!?!? ttfp is at best the third-best team in PA.  Up Next: Buffalo.

Because I can't stop watching it, here's a gif of Hackenberg getting sacked by a 2 man rush. I feel kind of bad for number 66 - his man backed off, and he was desperately trying to find someone  - anyone - to block, but the damage was already done. Enjoy.