Aug 31, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions players celebrate following the game against the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium. Penn State defeated Syracuse 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Power Rankings: Week One


1. Ohio State (1-0) – 44 points (all first-place votes) (LW: 1)

Ricky: The Buckeyes will most likely be the #1 team in the Big Ten Power Rankings unless they lose, but the OSU team played on Saturday had some “learning points” to take with them into this week of preparation. Urban Meyer is a perfectionist, and his Ohio State team wasn’t perfect against Buffalo. Expect that to get better as the season goes on.

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

T2. Michigan (1-0) – 38 points (LW: 3)

Ricky (2nd): Yes, the Wolverines pulled off a record breaking win against the Chippewas of Central Michigan, but it’s CMU. Michigan might have been able to run the table in Week One, but next week they will play #14 Notre Dame on ABC in primetime. Also, things get hyped up once College Gameday comes to town.

T2. Wisconsin (1-0) – 38 points (LW: 4)

Ricky (3rd): Wisconsin surprised me, but, to be honest, they played UMass. Yes, I had the Badgers low in my Preseason Rankings because of their new head coach Gary Anderson, but Wisconsin could be the dark horse of the Big Ten this year. The Badgers should continue this kind of performance next week against Tennessee Tech with ease.

4. Nebraska (1-0) – 29 points (LW: 2)

Ricky (5th): Nebraska got lucky. Plain and simple. When you have a quarterback like Taylor Martinez, a team like Wyoming should be have been a cakewalk. The Cornhuskers want to finally get over the hump and win a conference title (not just get there). I’m not saying the season is over because Nebraska only beat the Cowboys by 3, but Husker nation should a little concerned heading into week two.

5. Northwestern (1-0) – 26 points (LW: 7)

Ricky (4th): I’ll be honest, I ranked the Wildcats so low in the Preseason Rankings because of my dislike of Northwestern. However, they were able to get a nice win over a fellow FBS school (while everyone was losing to FCS schools it seemed). However, if it wasn’t for Collin Ellis’ two defensive touchdowns, then NU would be 0-1 and not 1-0.

6. Penn State (1-0) – 22 points (LW: 5)

Ricky (7th): When you have a freshman as your starting quarterback, some people are going to knock you down a peg. For Penn State, Christian Hackenberg had a nice first college game, but 23 points is not going to be enough for when they play Michigan and Ohio State. In order to beat those teams, PSU will need their FGs from Saturday to be TDs instead.

T7. Indiana (1-0) – 18 points (LW: 8)

Ryan (8th): Despite dropping 73 points, 3 shy of their all time school record, in their opener against Indiana St., the Hoosiers still gave up 35 points to a team picked to finish 6th in the toughest conference in the FCS. I give them credit for the offensive outburst, but it still appears defense is a work in progress.

T7. Michigan State (1-0) – 18 points (LW: 6)

Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan (6th): Last week, I had MSU in the 3 spot due to their soft conference schedule and rock solid defense. The defense didn’t disappoint, scoring 2 touchdowns that ultimately provided the W for the Spartans. The offense continues to be a work in progress, and until it gets figured out I am moving them down the rankings.

9. Illinois (1-0) – 11 points (LW: 11)

Ryan (11th): Illinois got out to a commanding lead showcasing it’s brand new offense, but then let SIU back into the game down the stretch, causing those who managed to remain in the stands for the conclusion of the game to collectively hold their breath in the final minute.

10. Minnesota (1-0) – 10 points (LW: 9)

Ryan (9th): The Golden Gophers had a golden start to their year, laying a 51-23 beating on the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV. Minnesota did it behind 221 yards rushing on 38 carries, 3 rushing TDs, and only committed one penalty for 5 yards during the course of the game. Head Coach Jerry Kill has the Gophers headed in the right direction.

11. Iowa (0-1) – 9 points (LW: 10)

Ryan (10th): The Hawkeyes took the loss on their home turf to the visiting NIU Huskies on a last second field goal. While they may not be deserving of a #10 ranking in the conference considering the fight they put up against a solid Huskies squad, I can’t justify moving them above a Minnesota team that won in impressive fashion in their home opener.

12. Purdue (0-1) – 0 points (LW: 12)

Ryan (12th): Purdue gave up 42 points and only answered with 7. The Boilermaker D gave up 221 yards on 47 carries. The Boilermaker offense turned the ball over 4 times and only amassed 65 yards rushing. As a team, the Boilermakers took seven penalties for 40 yards. It’s safe to say it’s a train wreck in West Lafayette.

The Writing Illini Big Ten power rankings are a collection of votes from our staff. Commentary is provided by lead editor Ricky Widmer and staff writer Ryan Kraemer.

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Tags: Football Illinois Fighting Illini Indiana Hoosiers Iowa Hawkeyes Michigan State Spartans Michigan Wolverines Minnesota Golden Gophers Nebraska Cornhuskers Northwestern Wildcats Ohio State Buckeyes Penn State Nittany Lions Purdue Boilermakers Wisconsin Badgers

  • metalhead65

    did you not watch the IU game? aside from the first drive the IU defense played very well for a IU defense! Indiana State got the rest of their points off turnovers and special teams. the score they got in the 4th qtr. was against the bench players. so yes it was a impressive game no matter who they played. they barely beat this team a year ago and are usually the team that gives up the 73 not scoring it. I don’t recall anybody say like Wisconsin getting the well they drop 89 points on IU but they suck. no all you heard when they were getting killed was how good the team that beat them was. you have the badgers high for beating mass. and next week they play tenn. tech? at least people have heard of Indiana State.

    • @RPKraemer

      First off, I gave them credit for the offense. It was impressive. Coach Wilson had them heading this direction from a scoring standpoint so it wasn’t all that surprising considering they were playing an FCS team that wasn’t even picked in the top half of their conference.

      The Indiana D gave up 2 passing TD’s in the 1st half with their starters in the game – an 11 yarder in the 1st and a 17 yarder in the 2nd. I don’t think offense will be a problem at all with Indiana, and I get where you are coming from with last years game being close. The thing is, they are a year deeper in their system so they SHOULD be better on D, and they SHOULD be waxing a team that’s been picked to finish 6th in an FCS conference if you are expecting them to be contenders this season.

      I don’t have the Badgers high for beating Mass. I personally voted the Badgers high for shutting out a MAC school that also has the same allotment of scholarships. It appears the other 3 writers voted them high as well since they ended up in the position they are currently holding.

      The reason you don’t hear people say “well, Wisconsin dropped 89 on IU, but they suck,” is because they both have 85 scholarships. You may or may not know this, but FCS schools only have 63. So, inherently, the FCS schools typically provide a solid half or even 3 quarters, but then fade away because they tire out without the depth that an FBS team has. Wisconsin also has a track record of winning. Indiana doesn’t.

      IU seems to be heading that direction, but until they prove it against the 6 teams we have listed above them this week in the rankings I will be hard pressed to move them any higher in the league than they are now.

      Thank you for reading and thank you for the comment.

  • brucekennedy

    Come on Ricky, read your own material. You chastise Michigan for playing Central Michigan University by adding this tidbit…” but it’s CMU.” That is all fine and dandy but then you make Wisconsin sound like the next BCS champion because they impressed you by beating UMass. Please, it’s UMass for goodness sakes. I’m not trying to denigrate Wisconsin, but let’s at least have a little objectivity in our article. If it is no big deal to beat CMU then believe me it is no big deal to beat UMass, at least not in football. And probably not in basketball either, now that Calipari has been gone for some time.

    • Ricky Widmer

      Thanks for the comment Bruce. I said in my Wisconsin response, “to be honest, they played UMass.” I know UMass is nothing special, and I definitely didn’t try to make the Badgers should like a BCS Champion.