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Big Ten Football Week 4 Power Rankings: Teams show true colors during conference play

Here is how the conference looks following Week 4 action.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Big Ten schedule is fully underway and teams will begin to place themselves where they belong in the standings.

All teams will now be up against each other for the first time in Week 5. It is the best time of the year when looking at the schedule. Below, checkout the latest addition of the power rankings through four weeks.

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

Previously: 14

Week 4: BYE

Nebraska was idle this week but at lest fans didn't have to watch a loss so there’s that. There is not much to say on this team at the moment as the Huskers continue to be at the bottom of the conference.

Week 5: 10/1 vs. Indiana

13. Northwestern (1-3, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 13

Week 4: L, 17-14 vs. Miami Ohio

The fact that Northwestern won a game shows how bad Nebraska really is. The Wildcats are showing no improvement from last season/ Ryan Hilinski looked decent against Miami Ohio but the run game could not get going. After watching Northwestern through four games, it wold be surprising to see them win many more.

Week 5: 10/1 at No. 11 Penn State

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

Previously: 9

Week 4: L, 45-24 at Cincinnati

Indiana was dominated through the air against Cincinnati, who is not the same team that made the CFB Playoff last season. Indiana came back down to Earth after an undefeated start and it is unknown how any more games will be won. Connor Bazelak threw the ball 66 times against the Bearcats. That is not a recipe for success.

Week 5: 10/1 at Nebraska

11. Michigan State (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 7

Week 4: L, 34-7 vs. Minnesota

To those who thought Michigan State was trapped last week against Washington and could bounce back, you were horribly wrong. Payton Thorne struggled and the defense got shredded in the run game. Mel Tucker has his contract but the magic of last season is gone in East Lansing. the Spartans have Maryland, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan coming up. The road is not favorable.

Week 5: 10/1 at Maryland

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

Previously: 12

Week 4: W, 28-26 vs. Florida Atlantic

Purdue continues to sleepwalk a bit following a loss to Penn State in its first game. The Boilermakers earned a hard-fought victory with Austin Burton under center but a close call against Florida Atlantic is not worth much. Purdue continues to be a question mark moving forward.

Week 5: 10/1 at No. 21 Minnesota

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

Previously: 6

Week 4: L, 27-10 vs. Iowa

Rutgers is back in the bottom half of the Big Ten. Is this what fans were looking for? A 3-0 start was not even good enough for the Scarlet Knights to enjoy movement in power rankings. They have a good defense, better than anticipated. Rutgers does not have a solid option at quarterback. That is not a good sign now that Big Ten play has arrived.

Like these rankings have said in the past, teams will begin to work themselves out once conference play begins — and we see that here.

Week 5: 10/1 at No. 3 Ohio State

8. Illinois (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 10

Week 4: W, 31-0 vs. Chattanooga

Illinois has an inexcusable loss to Indiana on its resume but is unbeaten in non-conference action. until we see something significant from the Illini, it is impossible to buy in.

Week 5: 10/1 at Wisconsin

7. Wisconsin (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 8

Week 4: L, 52-21 at No. 3 Ohio State

Wisconsin actually moved up a spot following a 31-point beatdown at the hands of Ohio State. The Badgers moved up for two reasons. First, there are not many teams that the Buckeyes will not blowout this season. Second, the rest of the Big Ten had bad weeks allowing Wisconsin to move up.

Week 5: 10/1 vs. Illinois

6. Iowa (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 11

Week 4: W, 27-10 at Rutgers

The offense remains a huge cause for concern but Iowa has one of the best defenses in the nation. The Hawkeyes took control of Rutgers using two defensive touchdowns and that was enough. For the offense to take a step forward, Spencer Petras needs to target Sam LaPorta — case closed.

Week 5: 10/1 vs. No. 4 Michigan

5. Maryland (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten)

Previously: 4

Week 4: L, 34-27 at No. 4 Michigan

It’s time to say this...Maryland is a good football team. Good not great. There are wins on the Terps schedule coming up and it could begin with Michigan State. Maryland was able to move the ball often against Michigan and had a chance to steal that game in the Big House. Maryland is athletic and physical. If the offense can limit the turnovers, this will be a tough team.

Week 5: 10/1 vs. Michigan State

4. No. 11 Penn State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 3

Week 4: W, 33-14 vs. Central Michigan

It was a very matter-of-fact victory for Penn State over Central Michigan. It is time for the Nittany Lions to get into the Big week. They await a poor Northwestern team that they should roll over. This team will go as far as Sean Clifford takes them. If Clifford is a game manager who uses his legs, the team will succeed. If Clifford begins to turn the ball over, it will not be a good sign.

Week 5: 10/1 vs. Northwestern

3. No. 21 Minnesota (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 5

Week 4: W, 34-7 at Michigan State

Tanner Morgan finished 23-for-26 for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Mohamed Ibrahim eclipsed 100 yards as the Golden Gophers went for 240 on the ground. Minnesota played strong defense against Michigan State. This is a team that is looking for real early on. Minnesota has a chance to continue its hot start against Purdue.

Week 5: 10/1 vs. Purdue

2. No. 4 Michigan (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 2

Week 4: W, 34-27 vs. Maryland

Michigan remains as the second team in the rankings after another victory. Blake Corum was the reason the Wolverines were able to survive against Maryland. He totaled 243 yards on the ground and scored twice. Maryland was able to move the ball but Michigan came away with two interceptions. It will be interesting to see if the defense can perform at the level it did last season.

Week 5: 10/1 at Iowa

1. No. 3 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Previously: 1

Week 4: W, 52-21 vs. Wisconsin

Anyone who has had Ohio State anywhere but No. 1 in the Big Ten to this point is crazy. The Buckeyes are one of the three best teams in the nation. CJ Stroud is putting up video game numbers and is looking like the Heisman favorite. This is an offense that looks like it can put up 50 points at will and it does not get any harder with Rutgers coming in.

Week 5: 10/1 vs. Rutgers