Big Ten Power Rankings following Week 5
Just like that, another week of college football — and the entire month of September — is in the books! We have now completed 5 weeks of the season, and October is traditionally the month when true contenders begin to rise to the top.
As we close the book on September, the B1G produced some more interesting results. The top 6 teams in these power rankings produced chalk (with a couple of byes), but the shuffling in the middle of the league is still ongoing.
Without further ado, here are Tradition’s latest B1G Power Rankings:
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14. Minnesota (3-2)
Last week: vs. Louisiana, W 35-24
The Gophers secured another nonconference win by outscoring Louisiana 21-7 in the second half. You would like to see a more efficient performance before gearing up to face Michigan, but a win is a win. One point to consider: Minnesota is 3-0 at home, and that’s where the showdown with the Wolverines will be next Saturday.
13. Northwestern (2-3)
Last week: vs. Penn State, L 41-13
The Wildcats fought hard for a half, that’s the big positive. Unfortunately, Ben Bryant was injured late in the blowout and that is concerning. Hopefully it proves to be a minor ailment.
12. Indiana (2-3)
Last week: at Maryland, L 44-17
Indiana maintains this spot but only barely after the results of the past two weeks. The Hoosiers do get a bye week, but their next game will be against Michigan in Ann Arbor. Hardly a time to try and get things right.
11. Illinois (2-3)
Last week: at Purdue, L 44-19
It’s like Bret Bielema said, Illinois must be ready to ask some hard questions after a blowout loss to Purdue. If Bielema was being genuine about liking the pieces on offense, the team has to hit the drawing board for a way to make things work. Oh, and the defense is still a mess.
10. Nebraska (2-3)
Last week: vs. Michigan, L 45-7
Forget real victories, there were not even any moral victories to take from Week 5. Nebraska’s defense allowed 249 yards rushing and 4.9 yards per carry while JJ McCarthy shredded the Huskers passing the ball. Offensively, Nebraska was just 3-for-10 on 3rd-down conversions.
9. Michigan State (2-3)
Last week: at Iowa, L 26-16
Michigan State showed some fight in Iowa City, but the offense held the team back this week. Noah Kim threw 3 interceptions and the Spartans turned the ball over 4 times with all the points coming via field goals and a Cal Haladay scoop-and-score.
8. Purdue (2-3)
Last week: vs. Illinois, W 44-19
Purdue found something in the second half against Illinois with Tyrone Tracy Jr. eclipsing 100 yards rushing and the Boilermakers hitting 400 yards of offense in a big win over Bret Bielema. Of larger note: Purdue’s defense held Illinois to 2-for-14 on 3rd-down conversions.
7. Rutgers (4-1)
Last week: vs. Wagner, W 52-3
Gavin Wimsatt accounted for 3 touchdowns while Kyle Monangai rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown. In Rutgers’ attempts to return to a bowl game, Greg Schiano’s program needs just 2 wins across October and November to reach the postseason.
6. Iowa (4-1)
Last week: vs. Michigan State, W 26-16
After the disastrous offense of a week ago, the Hawkeyes were off to a better start but had the game derailed due to another injury to Cade McNamara. Despite the adversity, Cooper DeJean rescued Iowa with a late punt return touchdown to remind everyone he’s the best player on the field for the Hawkeyes.
5. Wisconsin (3-1)
Last week: BYE
4. Maryland (5-0)
Last week: vs. Indiana, W 44-17
Mike Locksley has the Terrapins 5-0 for the first time since 2001. Taulia Tagovailoa accounted for 6 total touchdowns, and Maryland is clearly the 4th-best team in the B1G at this juncture. Maryland will get its shot(s) to upset the pecking order in the B1G East.
3. Penn State (5-0)
Last week: at Northwestern, W 41-13
The first-half performance is not one fans will want to revisit but James Franklin did not sound too bothered by a slow start on the road. A lot of that probably has to do with a dominant defense, but the test will be how that defense matches up against the best in the B1G as opposed to Northwestern.
2. Ohio State (4-0)
Last week: BYE
1. Michigan (5-0)
Last week: at Nebraska, W 45-7
Michigan heard all the talk about the first road game of the season. The Wolverines thoroughly dominated Nebraska, racing out to a 28-0 first-half lead before cruising to the finish. No surprises here as Michigan prepares to face Minnesota on the road.