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Big Ten Football Week 2 Power Rankings: Wisconsin, Iowa continue to fall

Here is how the conference looks following Week 2 action.

Arkansas State v Ohio State Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

It is Week 2 and we have already seen some amazing things during the 2022 season.

The major contenders in the conference are shining (Ohio State, Michigan), there are some putrid offenses being shown (Iowa, Wisconsin), there are firings, and yes — Rutgers scored 66 points.

After two weeks of intense action around the Big Ten, here is how the power rankings look to this point.

14. Nebraska (1-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 13

Week 2: L, 45-42 vs. Georgia Southern

This was a make-or-break year for Scott Frost and he made it though one quarter of it. What should have been a 3-0 start is now 1-2 for the Huskers and Frost is gone. After a 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern, the university decided to make a change. It says a lot that Nebraska decided to eat the extra money and get rid of Frost early. His buyout would have went from $15 million to $7.5 million on Oct. 1. That says all you need to know about Frost and Nebraska this year.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. No. 6 Oklahoma

13. Iowa (1-1)

Previously: 11

Week 2: L, 10-7 vs. Iowa State

Iowa is 1-1 and has outscored opponents 14-13 in two weeks. Again, we expected the Hawkeyes to struggle on offense and play strong defense but this is another level. There is nothing shown offensively so far that gives fans hope. That will have to change if Iowa wants to have any success once conference play begins.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. Nevada

12. Northwestern (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 10

Week 2: L, 31-23 vs. Duke

Northwestern struggled early against a mediocre Duke team after a week off. The Wildcats attempted to come back and had a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime. Evan Hull fumbled at the one-yard line after a monstrous day. Is this an omen for what Northwestern’s season? It could very much be.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. Southern Illinois

11. Illinois (2-1, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 14

Week 2: W, 24-3 vs. Virginia

A 2-1 start was to be expected when looking at the schedule for Illinois. The fact that they are not unbeaten to this point has them down in the rankings despite the winning record. The Illini suffered a loss to Indiana, who is improved but did not win a conference game last season. Illinois will still have plenty to show moving forward.

Week 3: BYE

10. Indiana (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 12

Week 2: W, 35-22 vs. Idaho

Indiana was as bad as could be last season and has already had more success in 2022. This includes a Big Ten victory and they followed it up with a non-conference victory at home. The transition period for Indiana is here and the Hoosiers have a long way to go but there is already better wins than there was last season.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. Western Kentucky

9. Wisconsin (1-1)

Previously: 3

Week 2: L, 17-14 vs. Washington State

There is officially trouble in Madison. Yes, there has been just two weeks of action but an outright loss as a double-digit favorite will cause panic for any ranked team. Braelon Allen might be one of the best running backs in the nation but there is no consistency for the Badger offense. Wisconsin will have plenty of questions to answer once Big Ten play begins. A matchup against New Mexico State this week is the perfect time to right the ship.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. New Mexico State

8. Purdue (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 9

Week 2: W, 56-0 vs. Indiana State

Purdue had a few extra days to recoup from the loss, which should have been a win, against Penn State. The Boilermakers rebounded against a bad Indiana State team. To this point, Purdue looks like it will be competitive in the conference but we are not sure just yet. Power rankings tend to work themselves out week to week and that is what will happen in the case of Purdue.

Week 3: 9/17 at Syracuse

7. Rutgers (2-0)

Previously: 7

Week 2: W, 66-7 vs. Wagner

Rutgers is now 2-0 for the second consecutive year and has a chance to win its third straight on Saturday. for now, the Scarlet Knights will stay put in the power rankings. Wagner has not won a game in over three years so it was not a groundbreaking victory. With that being said, Rutgers beat a bad team the way you are supposed to. Now, the Scarlet Knights cannot let up against Temple.

Week 3: 9/17 at Temple

6. Maryland (2-0)

Previously: 8

Week 2: W, 56-21 at Charlotte

Is the depth there for Maryland? Can it be physical enough this season? The talent and athleticism is there for the Terps and now it is about putting the other aspects of the game together. Taulia Tagovailoa is off to a hot start against lesser opponents. This week will be a huge test for the Terps as they host SMU.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. SMU

5. No. 11 Michigan State (2-0)

Previously: 5

Week 2: W, 52-0 vs. Akron

Michigan State looked more in sync against Akron than it did in Week 1. The Spartans will put it together as the season goes on. Now, it will be interesting to see if the team can compete with the likes of Ohio State and Michigan. There is plenty of experience back for the Spartans and Mel Tucker continues to turn the corner.

Week 3: 9/17 at Washington

4. Minnesota (2-0)

Previously: 6

Week 2: W, 62-10 vs. Western Illinois

All phases of the game seem to be clicking for the Gophers so far this season. That is exactly what these non-conference matchups are for. The defense is strong and Minnesota is running the ball well. Will it put up 60 points once Big Ten play begins? Highly unlikely but these games are going the way Minnesota was hoping thus far.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. Colorado

3. No. 22 Penn State (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 4

Week 2: W, 46-10 vs. Ohio

Penn State has a slight edge here because it holds a road victory in conference play already. The big question mark on the team is Sean Clifford, according to some. At the end of the day, there are weapons available and Clifford has years of experience. The team is going to play defense all year. It will come down to if the offense can be consistent enough to keep up.

Week 3: 9/17 at Auburn

2. No. 4 Michigan (2-0)

Previously: 2

Week 2: W, 56-10 vs. Hawaii

Michigan has one of the worst non-conference schedules in the Big Ten. Over the last two weeks, Jim Harbaugh has been trying to figure out his quarterback situation. This could be the reason for the light schedule coming off a conference title. The Wolverines are legitimate once again and it will be interesting to see how Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy are used.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. UConn

1. No. 3 Ohio State (2-0)

Previously: 1

Week 2: W, 45-12 vs. Arkansas State

Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming did not play in Week 2 but they were not needed against Arkansas State. The Buckeyes are the class of the Big Ten until proven otherwise. Sorry Michigan fans, one year does not change the course of the conference. Ohio State remains a National Title team and will be until prove otherwise.

Week 3: 9/17 vs. Toledo