There were several shake-ups in the Big Ten Power Rankings in Week 4. While there were a few upsets, it was nothing like what happened earlier this month in the sport. Which team stood out the most last weekend? Penn State. After the Nittany Lions took a dominant win over Auburn on the road. With this victory James Franklin and the company has grown into an elite Big Ten company.
While Pennsylvania may return (if Texas allows us to borrow a phrase), Ohio and Michigan remained at the top of the conference. Once again, it looks like by the end of the regular season, the two are on track to clash for conference supremacy. Elsewhere, Minnesota and Michigan State flipped with a game between the two schools on deck.
Don’t watch now, but mid-range teams could also have intriguing matches this weekend.
Let’s dive into this week’s rankings with Penn State headlines:
1. Ohio State (3-0)
Last week: #1
Last game: 77-21 victory over Toledo
Next game: September 24 vs. Wisconsin
One of the biggest matches of the weekend is here. Ohio State took care of things against Toledo with 77 points, so there’s not much more to say about it. The Buckeyes are clearly the best team in the past three weeks, largely due to the win over Notre Dame that opened the season. When comparing the Buckeyes’ schedule to Michigan’s, Ohio has a slight advantage.
2. Michigan (3-0)
Last week: #2
Last game: 59-0 victory over UConn
Next game: September 24 vs. Maryland
JJ McCarthy is true, but the quarterback’s depth will be tested as Cade McNamara is expected to miss a few weeks with a leg injury. McCarthy won the job anyway, but the Wolverines better hope their young, budding superstar stays healthy. The team is working on all three phases of the game and we are finally getting a Big Ten matchup for Michigan in 2022 starting with the Terps.
3. Penn State (3:0, 1:0)
Last week: #4
Last game: 41-12 victory over Auburn
Next game: September 24 vs. Central Michigan
Can you believe what the Nittany Lions did on the road against the Tigers? Shish. Talk about total domination. While Auburn may be a mess, Penn State certainly stepped it up in the first quarter of the 2022 season after a messy end last year. James Franklin has this team. Sean Clifford plays well, and freshman Nick Singleton has revived the running game. Follow this team.
4. Minnesota (3-0)
Last week: #5
Last game: 49-7 victory over Colorado
Next game: September 24, Michigan.
The Golden Gophers continued their steady climb in the power rankings with another dominant win. Judging by the way the Big Ten of the West has developed over the first few weeks, Minnesota is the clear leader in the club. Now comes the tricky part, a big 10 win on the road against the Spartans, who suffered their own losses on the road and fell a bit on this list.
5. Michigan State (2-1)
Last week: #3
Last game: 39-28 loss to Washington
Next game: September 24 vs. Minnesota
Well, that was rude to the Husky, wasn’t it? The Spartans were unable to deploy their strong ground game, and Mel Tucker’s team was unable to stop Michael Penix Jr. and Washington’s assault. Tanner Morgana and Mohamed Ibrahim will be in town this weekend so the defense better get ready. Michigan State is still quite talented, so the team hasn’t fallen too far since their first loss of the season.
6. Wisconsin (2-1)
Last week: #6
Last game: 66-7 victory over New Mexico State
Next game: September 24, Ohio.
It was a stunning win that the Badgers needed after their disappointing loss to Washington State. Although the team scored 66 points, it can be difficult to do so against the new Buckeyes defense. This will determine where Wisconsin ends up in the Big Ten overall despite being at the start of the season. Hell, we haven’t even gotten to October yet.
7. Maryland (3-0)
Last week: #8
Last game: 34-27 victory over SMU
Next game: September 24 in Michigan
The Terrapins also continued their ascent, climbing into position after a solid win over SMU and some other bruised toe teams. Hey Maryland 3-0, you can’t ask for more as Mike Loxley is halfway to bowling this season. But when it comes to playing the Big Ten, there’s no warm-up period considering Maryland is due to head to Ann Arbor this weekend. This place will rock.
8. Purdue (1-2, 0-1)
Last week: #7
Last game: 32-29 loss to Syracuse
Next game: September 24 vs. Florida Atlantic
The Boilermakers will certainly have the upper hand in their next competition, but it was a tough defeat for Orange away. Ultimately, Syracuse ended the fourth quarter despite Purdue leading 9-3 at halftime. A bad look for Jeff Brom’s crew as the team already has two defeats. The Boilermakers only dropped one place due to the fact that the next team didn’t impress even in victory.
9. Rutgers (3-0)
Last week: No. 9
Last game: 16-14 victory over Temple
Next game: September 24 vs. Iowa
The Scarlet Knights were a double-figure favorite on the road against the rebuilding program and it turned into a dogfight. Rutgers could have been in the top 8 this week, but the team didn’t score an offensive touchdown against the Owls. Offense remains a major problem without a consistent quarterback and other inconsistencies in passing play, but special teams and defense remained on the edge of the elite despite competing for three weeks. With Iowa reeling, Rutgers could make his mark this weekend with a win.
10. Indiana (3-0, 1-0)
Last week: #12
Last game: 33-30 OT win over Western Kentucky
Next game: September 24th in Cincinnati
Don’t look now, but Indiana started 3-0 after going 2-10 in 2021, so Tom Allen’s team already has progress. It will be much more difficult now with the Bearcats on deck and then the Big Ten will resume play. It was a hard-fought Hoosiers overtime win that lifted them up two spots after the third week. It’s hard to judge this team as a whole, but it’s certainly an improvement over last season.
11. Iowa (2-1)
Last week: No. 11
Last game: 27-0 victory over Nevada
Next game: September 24 at Rutgers.
We can’t pick up Iowa this week after what we’ve seen in the first two weeks. But at least the team scored 27 points and earned a shutout. But since it was against Nevada, it’s hard to weigh that heavily. The rushing game was good, but Spencer Petras only completed 14 of 26 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown, which was a good result by this season’s standards. An exciting game against Rutgers will take place in Piscataway this coming weekend.
12. Illinois (2-1, 1-0)
Last week: #13
Last game: GOODBYE
Next game: September 22 vs. Chattanooga
Illinois is moving forward thanks to the defeat of the Northwest in Week 3. The Fighting Illini had a week off, but on Thursday night they took on Chattanooga. Without a doubt, they will win, after which Illinois will resume the game of the Big Ten. So congratulations Bret Bilemah, you guys can win even during the weekend. Illinois could very well be 3-1 in October against Wisconsin.
13. Northwestern (1-2, 1-0)
Last week: #10