October hits, the weather gets a little nasty, and running backs assert themselves as the key players in The Big Ten.

Illinois’ Chase Brown and Michigan’s Blake Corum carried their teams to big victories Saturday, while Minnesota looked lost as Mohamed Ibrahim sat out with an ankle injury.

Power backs power the B1G, that much is clear after even Ohio State star QB CJ Stroud took a backseat to Miyan Williams and his 5 rushing TDs against Rutgers.

Things might get back to a more balanced normal in Week 6 if the rain relents, but for now we’ve got running backs dominating the top half of our player rankings.

10. Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State

The 6-3, 247-pound Strange continues to lead all B1G tights ends in receiving yards (231) and touchdowns (4) after a 20-yard TD catch and run against Northwestern. He also plays a key role as a blocker in Penn State’s improved running game.

He’s taken to hurdling defenders this year. And while he’s no Saquon Barkley, the home fans seem to like it.

9. Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

The 6-1, 209-pound sophomore couldn’t extend his interception streak to 4 games in a loss to Michigan, but he did make 7 tackles, 5 of them solo. He leads the Hawkeyes’ stout defense with 20 solo stops and ranks third in total tackles behind LBs Jack Campbell and Seth Benson. His 3 INTs give him a share of the Big Ten lead and he’s 2 off the national lead with 8 passes defended.

8. Joey Porter, CB, Penn State

Porter broke up another pass against Northwestern, and he and the Nittany Lions continue to lead the nation in passes defended. Porter has 10 and the team 54, which leads the FBS by 17 over second-place Illinois. Porter is also tied for 3rd on his team in tackles and tied for 2nd in solo stops.

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Projected to be Penn State’s first DB ever to go in the first round of the NFL Draft, he’s living up to the hype so far as a 6-2, 194-pound redshirt junior.

7. Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue

Held under 100 receiving yards for a 2nd straight week, Jones nonetheless still leads the B1G in catches (47), yards per game (117.6) and TD receptions (7).

6. JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

After another steady B1G start, this time against Iowa, McCarthy continues to lead the nation in completion rate (78.6%). His season totals are modest, but he’s slowly gaining traction since taking the starting job for good in Week 2. The 2021 5-star recruit has 6 TDs and is the only B1G starting QB who hasn’t yet thrown an interception in 2022.

He’s misfired on some deep shots, but this dart against Iowa shows what he’s capable of:

5. Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

Even after a relatively quiet game (4 catches, 70 yards) against Rutgers, Egbuka still ranks 3rd in the B1G and 10th nationally with 102.4 receiving yards per game. With 5 TDs and better than 17 yards per catch, he’s been a big-play target for CJ Stroud. The 6-1, 205-pound sophomore leads the Buckeyes in catches (30) and receiving yards (512). He and Marvin Harrison Jr. have been a great 1-2 punch while Jaxon Smith-Njigba works back from an injury.

4. Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota

Ibrahim’s value was never more evident than when he sat out with an ankle injury Saturday. With his streak of 100-yard rushing games stuck on 13, No. 21 Minnesota scored only 10 points vs. Purdue and lost for the first time this season.

The team that flattened Michigan State 34-7 a week earlier looked helpless without its tough-as-nails 24-year-old super senior.

Minnesota, the nation’s leader in time of possession, held the ball for less than 30 minutes against the Boilermakers. For Minnesota’s sake, Ibrahim needs to return as quickly as possible. He has a bye week before the Gophers face Illinois.

3. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan

Corum carried the Wolverines in a 2nd straight Big Ten battle, turning 29 rushes into 133 yards and a touchdown at Iowa. That came after he tore through Maryland for 243 yards and 2 TDs.

As suddenly as that, the 5-8, 210-pound sophomore leads the nation in scoring (10 TDs) and ranks 6th in rushing yards per game (122.2).

2. Chase Brown, RB, Illinois

The 5-11, 205-pound junior has been Bret Bielema’s workhorse back through 5 games, and he’s gone over 100 rushing yards in each after netting 129 in a 34-10 trouncing of Wisconsin.

Averaging a Power 5-best 146.2 rushing yards per game, Brown has Bret Bielema’s Illini rolling. Imagine the hype that would be emanating from Champaign if Illinois (4-1) hadn’t stubbed its toe against Indiana in Week 2.

1. CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State

The redshirt sophomore posted season-lows of 13 completions and 154 yards as he took a backseat to Miyan Williams and the running game in a rout of Rutgers.

His 2 TD passes still tied for the best total in a rainy Week 5 across the B1G. He’s at 18 TDs and 2 INTs on the season. He should have more fun this Saturday against Michigan State.

He’s a Heisman candidate as long as the No. 3 Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0) remain unbeaten.