Congratulations college football fans, we did it! Another offseason has finally passed with the 2023 football season officially here.

With Week 1 upon us, the time to take a look at the Big Ten Power Rankings is here ahead of the start of games. And in the B1G, that look includes a number of new faces and players for the season to come.

Ryan Walters, Luke Fickell and Matt Rule also enter the league as new head coaches. Meanwhile, Northwestern embarks on the season with an interim head coach after the firing of Pat Fitzgerald late in the offseason.

Without further ado, here are Tradition’s Big Ten Power Rankings entering the season. As always, rest assured these rankings are bound to change over the course of the season:

14. Northwestern

Last Season: 1-11

There’s not a lot that needs to be said here. After 11 losses last season — including to FCS Southern Illinois — Northwestern has dealt with a hazing scandal and the firing of longtime head coach Pat Fitzgerald. There is no point trying to determine what to expect from the Wildcats this fall as the program simply tries to make it through a trying year.

13. Indiana

Last Season: 4-8

Indiana is still looking for answers after a 6-18 mark over the past 2 seasons. To make matters worse, QB Dexter Williams II — one of the lone bright spots a season ago — is unavailable to start 2023 after a serious knee injury.

12. Rutgers

Last Season: 4-8

Rutgers took a step back a season ago and was near the bottom of the country in offense and defense. To help address some of those issues, Greg Schiano brought in long-time PJ Fleck assistant Kirk Ciarrocca to lead the offense. A lot will also depend on the progression of QB Gavin Wimsatt.

11. Nebraska

Last Season: 4-8

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for Nebraska under Matt Rhule. However, determining how the Huskers fare in 2023 is a tall task. Rhule could have things clicking early in a winnable B1G West, or the full rebuild at Nebraska could take a while to jumpstart.

10. Michigan State

Last Season: 5-7

Mel Tucker’s program took a step back last season and dealt with the offseason departure of Payton Thorne and Keon Coleman. Now, Tucker needs to show the Spartans can regroup and reload while getting back to the postseason after missing out in 2022.

9. Purdue

Last Season: 8-6

Ryan Walters steps into his first head coaching gig at Purdue after cementing his rise through the coaching ranks as Bret Bielema’s DC at Illinois. The Boilermakers lost a number of key pieces, but Walters landed transfer QB Hudson Card from Texas and brought in OC Graham Harrell from West Virginia to lead the offense.

8. Wisconsin

Last Season: 7-6

Luke Fickell steps in to lead the Badgers, and he is not taking over a program that is completely bare in terms of talent. Bringing in OC Phil Longo is a nice move, and adding QB Tanner Mordecai via the transfer portal gives Wisconsin a veteran leader on offense.

7. Minnesota

Last Season9-4

Minnesota has won at least 9 games in 3 straight full-length seasons (3-4 in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign). PJ Fleck has things clicking for the Gophers, though it is worth noting Minnesota was one of the most experienced teams in the country last year. The good news is new starting QB Athan Kaliakmanis got his feet wet with 11 appearances during 2022.

6. Maryland

Last Season: 8-5

Maryland returns star QB Taulia Tagovailoa. The offense has a chance to be more balanced this fall after RB Roman Hemby’s breakout performance a season ago. If the Terrapins stay healthy, they should have enough firepower to push any team in the conference.

5. Illinois

Last Season: 8-5

Illinois lost a number of key pieces from last season’s 8-win team. However, the Illini could be one of the B1G’s best teams in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Ole Miss transfer Luke Altmyer has nailed down the starting QB job and has some key playmakers back at receiver.

4. Iowa

Last Season: 8-5

There’s no point in rehashing the disaster that was Iowa’s offense last season. If Cade McNamara is healthy, the QB position should be stabilized, and Kirk Ferentz has indicated he feels much better about the offensive line this fall. Add that combination to what should be another strong defense, and the Hawkeyes will compete for the B1G West once again.

3. Penn State

Last Season: 11-2

Penn State is a program on the rise entering 2023 and has a lot of talented pieces, but are the Nittany Lions seasoned enough to upset the powers in the B1G East? No one should be surprised if Penn State pulls off some major upsets. However, it’s more likely the program will show growth this fall before a true ascension under Drew Allar and Nick Singleton in 2024.

2. Ohio State

Last Season: 11-2

Ohio State enters the season with more questions than usual. While a lot of attention has been placed on the QB battle, the status of the offensive line and the defense overall are likely even bigger stories. Still, the Buckeyes should be in contention for the B1G title all season long.

1. Michigan

Last Season: 13-1

“To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man,” and all that jazz. Nothing else really needs to be said as we embark on the season. With back-to-back B1G titles and key returnees, Michigan begins the year at the top of these rankings.