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Big Ten Football Week 3 Power Rankings: Rutgers on the move following 3-0 start

Here is how the conference looks following Week 3 action.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Barbara Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

It was another week that showed the good, the bad, and the ugly for the Big Ten.

The good, Ohio State and Michigan continue to look like title contenders. The bad, Northwestern losing to Southern Illinois and Purdue blowing a lead against Syracuse. And the ugly, the entire Big Ten West.

Below, check out how the conference power rankings look after three weeks of action.

14. Nebraska (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 14

Week 3: L, 49-14 vs. No. 6 Oklahoma

Well, Scott Frost wasn't the problem — at least not this season. Nebraska scored first on Saturday but Oklahoma scored the next seven touchdowns to run away and give the Huskers another embarrassing loss. This season might be over but Nebraska better nail its next hire of a head coach.

Week 4: 9/24 BYE

13. Northwestern (1-2, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 12

Week 3: L, 31-24 vs. Southern Illinois

Northwestern has yet to win a game in America and there might not be many on the schedule. An early victory over Nebraska in Ireland is not as impressive as it was three weeks ago. The Wildcats will lick their wounds after a bad loss to Southern Illinois and hope to rebound.

Week 4: 9/24 vs. Miami Ohio

12. Purdue (1-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 8

Week 3: L, 32-29 at Syracuse

Purdue now makes it two blown games over the first three. A 3-0 start quickly becomes 1-2 when a team cannot finish games. Yes, there will be talks of a pass interference but that does not change the fact that Syracuse scored 22 points in the fourth quarter. The Boilermakers have plenty of questions marks to this point of the season.

Week 4: 9/24 vs. Florida Atlanta

11. Iowa (2-1)

Previously: 13

Week 3: W, 27-0 vs. Nevada

Iowa was able to score more than seven points for the first time this season but there is just nothing exciting about this offense. On the other hand, the defense is elite and has two potential All-Americans. Will this be enough to pickup a road victory against Rutgers? There is plenty left to be desired about the Hawkeye offense.

Week 4: 9/24 at Rutgers

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

Previously: 11

Week 3: BYE

Illinois moves up one spot by default during an idle week. the collapse of Purdue was the reason for this. Now, Bret Bielema’s squad has plenty to prove once Big Ten play begins. In Week 4, there will not be a chance for this as Chattanooga awaits.

Week 4: 9/22 vs. Chattanooga

9. Indiana (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 10

Week 3: W, 33-30 (OT) vs. Western Kentucky

What we know — Indiana is 3-0 and improved from last season. What we do not know — how the Hoosiers will respond in these games moving forward. Indiana had to scratch and crawl back to defeat Western Kentucky in overtime. A less than impressive victory is not what Indiana needs heading to Cincinnati.

Week 4: 9/24 at Cincinnati

8. Wisconsin (2-1)

Previously: 9

Week 3: W, 66-7 vs. New Mexico State

A bit of normalcy for Wisconsin as it beat a bad team the way it was supposed to. Now, scoring 66 points against New Mexico State, one of the worst teams in the nation, is not going to get them back into the top five. The loss against Washington State is going to haunt the Badgers all season long. Now, a date with Ohio State awaits and a mediocre 2-2 start is on the horizon.

Week 4: 9/24 at No. 3 Ohio State

7. Michigan State (2-1)

Previously: 5

Week 3: L, 38-29 at Washington

First, Michigan State’s loss to Washington was not an upset. The Huskies were favored in the game and the outcome could have been seen from a mile away. Now, the Spartans find themselves quickly out of the AP Poll looking for answers. The road does not get any easier with a matchup with Minnesota coming.

Week 4: 9/24 vs. Minnesota

6. Rutgers (3-0)

Previously: 7

Week 3: W, 16-14 at Temple

Is Rutgers the sixth best team in the Big Ten? No. To this point of the season, the Scarlet Knights are finding to win games. It was an unimpressive performance against Temple but Rutgers was able to win a game to remain unbeaten. Now, the offense will have to try and muster up some points against one of the best defenses in the nation.

Week 4: 9/24 vs. Iowa

5. Minnesota (3-0)

Previously: 4

Week 3: W, 49-7 vs. Colorado

Minnesota completed a less-than-impressive schedule prior to its battle with Michigan State, which looks like a winnable game. The Gophers have not been tested just yet but look strong on both sides of the ball. The experience on offense will win some games for Minnesota this season. It will be interesting to see who will be upset by the Gophers this season.

Week 4: 9/24 at Michigan State

4. Maryland (3-0)

Previously: 6

Week 3: W, 34-27 vs. SMU

Maryland jumped Minnesota because of an impressive victory over SMU. This game was like a heavyweight fight where both sides threw punches and neither wanted to lay down. In the end, the Terps were able to make one more play and earn an impressive victory. The road is not easy for Maryland next week, traveling to Ann Arbor.

Week 4: 9/24 at No. 4 Michigan

3. No. 14 Penn State (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 3

Week 3: W, 41-12 at Auburn

Auburn might be down this season but a 41-12 victory on the road against an SEC team is no easy feat. Penn State continues to climb up the rankings and it is because of a strong defense. If Sean Clifford can limit mistakes and get the ball to his playmakers, the Nittany Lions will be in business. The only problem is that Penn State will have to play the two top teams in the conference this season.

Week 4: 9/24 vs. Central Michigan

2. No. 4 Michigan (3-0)

Previously: 2

Week 3: W, 59-0 vs. UConn

Michigan might have put together the weakest non-conference schedule that we have ever seen. Nonetheless, the Wolverines look the part of a top-five team and will begin to get tested once Big Ten play begins. There is not much to say about the team to this point other than the positives that we saw last season. Jim Harbaugh will continue to ride the defense and enjoy experience on the offensive side of the ball.

Week 4: 9/24 vs. Maryland

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

Previously: 1

Week 3: W, 77-21 vs. Toledo

CJ Stroud finished with five touchdown passes against Toledo. This was the same amount of incompletions he had — and it was all done without Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Now that Big Ten play is beginning, the Buckeyes will likely get their full squad of playmakers back on the field. Three games in, it is clear that Ohio State is one of the three best teams in the nation.

Week 4: 9/24 vs. Wisconsin