B1G Power Rankings after Week 3: Turning Saturday into 'Sad'urday
The B1G really could’ve used a mulligan on Saturday after one of the most abysmal weekends for a single conference in history.
Just how bad was Week 3 for the B1G? It was the first time since 1936 that the league had lost seven non-conference games on one day. Yes, that’s more than eight decades of history.
When Saturday evening came to a close, the B1G had a record of 6-7, with just one significant win and a handful of embarrassing losses. Oh, and every other league around college football was pointing and laughing at the conference’s struggles.
Here are the power rankings after a “Sad”urday in the B1G.
14. Rutgers, 1-2 (lost to Kansas 55-14)
Honestly, Rutgers is closer to 114th than 14th. It’s not just that the Scarlet Knights dropped a game to Kansas, which is bad enough, but that they were slapped around in a 55-14 loss. By the way, Kansas hasn’t won more than three games in a season since 2009 and was 1-11 last year. This is a new low for Rutgers.
13. Purdue, 0-3 (lost to Missouri 40-37)
At some point, you have to win a football game. Purdue’s lost three times by a total of eight points, thanks to silly mistakes and poor defense at the end of games. The Boilermakers are just fortunate that Rutgers was so embarrassing this week, otherwise they’d occupy that last-place spot.
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12. Nebraska, 0-2 (lost to Troy 24-19)
Things might have been different for the Huskers if they would’ve had Adrian Martinez available. The offense was too sluggish to start and couldn’t overcome a 17-point deficit. Nebraska is enduring some growing pains in Scott Frost’s first year.
11. Northwestern, 1-2 (lost to Akron 39-34)
Akron’s five-point win over Northwestern marked the program’s first victory over a B1G team since 1894. Fun fact: the President of the United States that year was Grover Cleveland. This was an ugly loss for Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats. There’s really no way around it.
10. Illinois, 2-1 (lost to USF 25-19)
Headed into the weekend, you probably expected Illinois to be one of the teams with an embarrassing loss for the B1G. But the Illini actually had chances to beat USF and enter conference play at 3-0. Maybe Lovie Smith’s beard really is a sign of changing times in Champaign.
9. Maryland, 2-1 (lost to Temple 35-14)
Maryland looked really good in Week 1 upsetting No. 23 Texas. It looked good a week later, racking up 444 rushing yards in a 45-14 win over Bowling Green. The Terrapins looked nothing like the team that took the field the first two weeks of the season. Temple was 0-2 and still blew out the Terps. Not a great day in College Park.
8. Indiana, 3-0 (def. Ball State 38-10)
Hey! A B1G team that won a game this week. And in convincing fashion nonetheless. Indiana asserted its dominance on the ground against a Ball State team that gave Notre Dame a run for its money. With such a strong rushing attack, the Hoosiers might have a chance to surprise a team or two this season.
7. Minnesota, 3-0 (def. Miami (OH) 26-3)
The offense didn’t look as crisp as it had previously, but that’s understandable with starting running back Rodney Smith done for the season. The Gophers defense was stout and surrendered just three point to the RedHawks. It wasn’t a pretty win, but Minnesota is still 3-0.
6. Michigan State, 1-1 (bye week)
Mark Dantonio and the Spartans had a week off to think about that loss to Arizona State. They’re back in action next Saturday against Indiana.
5. Wisconsin, 2-1 (lost to BYU 24-21)
Nobody expected BYU to pull off the upset in Madison, but it happened. Let’s give some credit to the Cougars, who probably aren’t as bad as they were a year ago. Still, this was a game Wisconsin could’ve and should’ve won. By the way, where was Jonathan Taylor down the stretch?
4. Michigan, 2-1 (def. SMU 45-20)
You could sense the frustration in Ann Arbor early in this one. Michigan’s offense had trouble getting started out of the gate, but once they finally started hitting, it was hard for SMU to stop. The Wolverines put up 45 points and rushed for nearly 200 yards without top running back Karan Higdon. Not bad.
3. Iowa, 3-0 (def. Northern Iowa 38-14)
I don’t care that it was an FCS opponent, Iowa’s defense was dominant once again and the offense finally got on track. Nate Stanley completed 23-of-28 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first time we’ve seen the good side of the junior quarterback. Iowa’s defense is the reason it sits at No. 3 in the power rankings.
2. Penn State, 3-0 (def. Kent State 63-10)
The 2018 Penn State has looked more like 2016 Penn State the last two weeks. You know, the team that won the B1G Championship? The Nittany Lions outscored Kent State 35-0 in the second half just a week after outscoring Pitt 37-0 in the second half. This offense is starting to believe it can score on every possession.
1. Ohio State, 3-0 (def. TCU 40-28)
A two-touchdown victory in a hard-fought win over No. 15 TCU. Nobody has done anything more impressive in the B1G yet this season. And the Buckeyes might get even better now that Urban Meyer returns next Saturday. Everyone wanted to see how Ohio State would fare against a team of TCU’s caliber. They fared pretty well, I’d say.