B1G Power Rankings following Week 4
Don’t look now college football fans, but we are officially through Week 4 of the college football season. And by the time next Saturday rolls around, we will be kicking of the month of October.
Coming out of the first full month of the season, there have been some interesting results and the first head coach openings added to the coaching carousel. We are also fully into the conference slate portion of the season with the race to Indy slowly taking shape.
Without further ado, here are Tradition’s B1G Power Rankings following Week 4:
14. Nebraska (1-3)
Last week: BYE
Up next: vs. Indiana
13. Northwestern (1-3)
Last week: vs. Miami (OH), L 17-14
How did we get here, and can the Wildcats please go back to Dublin? Ever since returning from Ireland, Northwestern has been a case of letdown performances highlighted by turnovers and miscues. This time around, the Wildcats surrendered 10 unanswered points over the final 7 minutes of game time. We’ll see if Pat Fitzgerald makes any changes moving forward.
Up next: at Penn State
12. Illinois (3-1)
Last Week: vs. Chattanooga, W 31-0
For the first time in over a decade, Illinois has run through nonconference play with a perfect mark. To make that even more impressive, the Illini have yet to allow a touchdown at home in 2022. Thursday’s blowout win also provided a coming-out party for Pat Bryant in the Illini passing attack.
Up next: at Wisconsin
11. Indiana (3-1)
Last Week: at Cincinnati, L 45-24
For as good as the 3-0 start to the season was, Saturday’s game was a brutal reminder of the true state of the Hoosier program. Dominated in the trenches, careless with the ball and unable to pull off the huge defensive or special teams play, Indiana still has a ways to go to handle the heart of the B1G schedule. We’ll see how the team responds with a road trip to face a program in an even worse state than Indiana.
Up next: at Nebraska
10. Rutgers (3-1)
Last week: vs. Iowa, L 27-10
In true Rutgers fashion, the Scarlet Knights came out fighting hard against Iowa. Unfortunately, a run game that failed to get rolling and 3 turnovers – including 2 returned for touchdowns – doomed Rutgers against the Hawkeyes. It’s a good thing the Scarlet Knights stacked their wins during nonconference play because the meat of the schedule is picking up.
Up next: at Ohio State
9. Purdue (2-2)
Last week: vs. FAU, W 28-26
Playing without star QB Aidan O’Connell, a win is a win. A pair of first-half touchdowns to Charlie Jones helped Austin Burton settle into the game. Burton also stepped up late with a key touchdown to TJ Sheffield. Now, attention turns to whether or not O’Connell will be able to go on the road against Minnesota in Week 5.
Up next: at Minnesota
8. Michigan State (2-2)
Last week: vs. Minnesota, L 34-7
Two weeks, two blowout losses, two disastrous showings on defense. That’s essentially where we’re at with the Spartans, and to make matters worse, another defender left with an injury with Khris Bogle limping to the locker room in the first half. Mel Tucker and Michigan State desperately need to regroup somehow. The only problem? Taulia Tagovailoa and a deep WR room await the Spartans in Week 5.
Up next: at Maryland
7. Wisconsin (2-2)
Last week: at Ohio State, L 52-21
Wisconsin was overmatched in a game it was always supposed to lose on the road in blackout situations vs. the Buckeyes. The only really disappointing aspect is the Badgers gave up the most points ever of the Jim Leonhard era on defense, and tight end Clay Cundiff went down with what appeared to be a serious injury. Hopefully, Wisconsin can rebound when old friend Bret Bielema comes to Camp Randall Stadium in Week 5.
Up next: vs. Illinois
6. Iowa (3-1)
Last week: at Rutgers, W 27-10
Believe it or not, Iowa’s defense unit outscored Rutgers in Week 4. Who are we kidding? That was always the most likely outcome of this B1G crossover battle. The good news for the Hawkeyes is the ground game finally found some room to operate in the game against the Scarlet Knights. We’ll find out quickly if that was real growth in the ground game when Michigan comes to town for a B1G Championship rematch.
Up next: vs. Michigan
5. Maryland (3-1)
Last week: at Michigan, L 34-27
It’s not often you move up 3 spots with a loss, but it’s hard to deny what Maryland put up in Week 4. A tough road trip to Ann Arbor nearly produced an upset win for the Terrapins, save some “cheap” touchdowns that Maryland set up for Michigan. The defense still presents some issues, but the Terrapins get a chance to cement their spot on these rankings with a matchup against a reeling Michigan State squad in Week 5.
Up next: vs. Michigan State
4. Minnesota (4-0)
Last Week: at Michigan State, W 34-7
For three weeks, we’ve been wondering about the validity of the Gophers. Well, in Week 4 Minnesota put some of those questions to bed. PJ Fleck’s squad went on the road and piled up over 500 yards of offense and produced 3 takeaways. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but Mohamed Ibrahim had 100 yards on the ground and Tanner Morgan was efficient throwing the ball. It’s a winning combination for the Gophers.
Up next: vs. Purdue
3. Penn State (4-0)
Last week: vs. Central Michigan, W 33-14
Maybe this should be called the “hot-and-cold” game for Penn State. Sean Clifford opened the game on fire before cooling off and letting the Chippewas back in it. Thankfully, the Penn State defense locked down in the second half and Kaytron Allen produced the first 100-yard game of his young career.
Up next: vs. Northwestern
2. Michigan (4-0)
Last week: vs. Maryland, W 34-27
Saturday’s game against Maryland was a learning opportunity for the Wolverines. There were plenty of positives, but the opening conference win also shined a lot on some issues that will need to be addressed. The Wolverines will also go to bed thankful for Blake Corum who stepped up with a career outing with Donovan Edwards sidelined. Next up is the first road game of the season in a tough road trip to Kinnick Stadium.
Up next: at Iowa
1. Ohio State (4-0)
Last week: vs. Wisconsin, W 52-21
Well, that’s one way to begin conference play. As long as you enjoy highly potent, highly efficient offensive attacks, that is. CJ Stroud finally threw his first interception of the season, but he also threw 5 touchdowns. Cade Stover had a coming-out party, and Ohio State had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the big win.
Up next: vs. Rutgers