1. No. 4 Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 24-0 vs. Indiana
Next: 10/9 at Iowa
Penn State keeps winning and doing it in impressive fashion. The offense did not explode against Indiana but the defense did not allow a point. That is some serious momentum heading into a game where they will need it. The defense will have to step up once again in Iowa because it might be a long afternoon for the offense.
2. No. 3 Iowa (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 51-14 at Maryland
Next: 10/9 vs. Penn State
Iowa forced seven turnovers against Maryland. They put up 50 points in a game where many thought the Terms might give them a bit of a run. That did not happen as the game was over very early. This is a legitimate defense for the Hawkeyes and they will only continue to improve. If they can take down Penn State, they have the best resume in the Big Ten by far to that point.
3. No. 9 Michigan (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 38-17 at Wisconsin
Next: 10/9 at Nebraska
Michigan continues to win and took advantage of a bad Wisconsin team this weekend. The Wolverines struggled to run the ball once again but forced three turnovers and Cade McNamara did more than enough to run the offense. He finished with 197 yards and two touchdowns while continuing to take care of the football. Michigan has proven to be one of the better teams in the conference this season but the Wolverines’ year comes down to their late-season matchup with Ohio State.
4. No. 7 Ohio State (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 52-13 at Rutgers
Next: 10/9 vs. Maryland
Sever overreactions to the loss to Oregon in Week 2. It is hard to believe Ohio State will not win the Big Ten. They are already back up to seventh in the nation and they will continue to rise if CJ Stroud remains consistent. He was able to light up Rutgers on Saturday using Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. This is an explosive offense that is only going to continue to improve.
5. No. 11 Michigan State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 48-31 vs. Western Kentucky
Next: 10/9 at Rutgers
Michigan State took care of business against a team they were supposed to beat in Western Kentucky. Mel Tucker is continuing to turn this program around and has them up to No. 11 in the nation. The Spartans have a revenge spot coming up this weekend in Piscataway against Rutgers.
6. Maryland (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten)
Most Recent: L, 51-14 vs. Iowa
Next: 10/9 at Ohio State
This is a strange spot. Maryland was just steamrolled at home and turned the ball over seven times. Taulia Tagovailoa threw five interceptions and the offense was dominated. It happened against a top-three team in the nation and the best team in the Big Ten right now. The problem is, who should be above them? Maybe Nebraska but Rutgers and Minnesota cannot be justified to put ahead of Maryland right now. Using process of elimination, the Terps are going to remain in this spot one more week.
7. Nebraska (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 56-7 vs. Northwestern
Next: 10/9 vs. Michigan
The biggest raise of the week comes for the Cornhuskers. We have seen a competing Scott Frost team that has been unable to pull out close games against superior opponents. There is a lot to be said about that. There is more to be said about this one. This game against Northwestern showed that Nebraska is middle of the pack. They dismantled the Wildcats and seemed to be making a statement.
8. Rutgers (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten)
Most Recent: L, 52-13 vs. Ohio State
Next: 10/9 vs. Michigan State
Fans, take a quick breathe. There were some out there who thought Ohio State would lose this game? Yes, the Scarlet Knights competed with Michigan. The Buckeyes are on another level once again. They will find their way to the top of these rankings once the season is finished. As for Rutgers, they still have a lot to prove before they can take down an elite opponent. The good news is, looking at the schedule, Rutgers can find three more wins.
9. Minnesota (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 20-13 at Purdue
A loss to Bowling Green just doesn't go away. That was not a book ahead spot. The Gophers should not have been looking ahead to a mediocre Purdue team. It was a loss that will impact their entire season. Even after a win, Purdue remains a bit near the bottom and will remain there until further notice. Minnesota can not live on staying within two scores of Minnesota in Week 1 all season.
10. Purdue (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten)
Most Recent: L, 20-13 vs. Minnesota
Purdue had to fall a bit after losing on their home field to Minnesota. This was a winnable ways for both sides but 13 points is not acceptable. Aidan O’Connell threw for 371 yards but this did not translate into point. The Boilermakers have some work to do over the course of the season.
11. Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2 Big Ten)
Most Recent: L, 38-17 vs. Michigan
Next: 10/9 at Illinois
Wisconsin is losing and losing ugly. Michigan and Notre Dame won lopsided matchups and the Badgers mustered just 10 points against Penn State. The one-time elite prospect is not looking the part under center. Graham Mertz has two touchdowns and six interceptions during Wisconsin’s 1-3 start. No one is going to shed a tear for the Badgers. Consider this a lost season where they need a new quarterback.
12. Indiana (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten)
Most Recent: L, 24-0 at Penn State
Indiana allowed just 24 points on the road against Penn State but their offense was unable to keep them in the game. Michael Penix Jr. is banged up and an already ugly season for the Hoosiers could get worse very soon.
13. Illinois (2-4, 1-2 Big Ten)
Most Recent: W, 24-14 vs. Charlotte
Next: 10/9 vs. Wisconsin
Illinois ended a four-game losing streak with a 10-point win over Charlotte. This game should have been more lopsided. Illinois is not right at the moment. It will be interesting to see if the Illini can pull off an upset against Wisconsin. The Badgers are broken but in some matchups, names and tradition alone can win games. The Illini will be at home looking for a statement victory.
14. Northwestern (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten)
Most Recent: L, 56-7 at Nebraska
The season-opening loss to Michigan State left some scratching their heads but it turns out that the Spartans are good and the Wildcats just aren't. This was proven during a 56-7 loss to Nebraska this season. Pat Fitzgerald is a tough head coach who usually has his team ready to go but not last week and not this year.