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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 5

The B1G is revving up as we start to hit the mid-season with some teams falling off pace, some looking like contenders, and others just trying to not have the wheels fall off already.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Nebraska Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 Power Rankings:

Ryan’s Rankings:

1: Michigan (-)
Yep, Michigan blew the doors off of Nebraska in Lincoln. Not really a surprise there. At what point does Michigan jump Georgia for the #1 ranking?
2: Penn State (-)
Penn State struggled a bit to start the game at Northwestern and was actually tied with the Wildcats at halftime. Then Penn St remembered who they were and outscored Northwestern by 28 in the second half. A bye week and a cupcake game against UMass will give Penn State nearly 3 weeks to prepare for Ohio State.
3: Ohio State (-)
Speaking of preparation, Ohio State is not afforded that luxury as their next two opponents are Maryland and Purdue on the road. Two straight potent offenses prior to Penn State is a tall task, but programs like OSU are made for this.
4: Maryland (-)
Drubbing Indiana isn’t enough to get Maryland into the top 3. Beating Ohio State in Columbus would be, however.
5: Wisconsin (-)
Wisconsin didn’t play this week so they didn’t do anything to hurt their stock.
6: Iowa (-)
Cade McNamara went down with a torn ACL and the Iowa offense is in shambles. Backup Deacon Hill will get his first career start this week but the offense surely can’t get worse, right? The Iowa offense did not meet their quota this week. Offensive season average: 19 points.
7: Rutgers (+1)
Rutgers is winning the games it’s supposed to. That is more than several other programs can say. I can’t quite put them in the top six after beating the brakes off of Wagner.
8: Purdue (+4)
Well well well, how the turntables. Purdue looked pretty good in the first half against Illinois but turned it up a notch in the second to get a 25-point victory. Yes, Illinois has its issues, but they are no slouch either. The offensive opponent is not going to get harder this week against Iowa, so that’s encouraging.
9: Minnesota (-)
Minnesota’s three wins this season are against Louisiana, Nebraska, and Eastern Michigan. The Northwestern collapse changed the outlook on the entire season.
10: Illinois (-3)
Let’s face it, very little went right for Illinois against Purdue and the defense is really struggling. Getting Nebraska at home this week could provide a spark or end in disaster.
11: Nebraska (-1)
Nebraska’s leading rusher is the backup quarterback. Let that sink in. The Matt Rhule era is not off to a hot start.
12: Northwestern (+1)
Northwestern is showing fight and that’s really encouraging. Tied at halftime against Penn State is more than others can say. They aren’t at the upset a top program stage but they are doing better than most expected.
13: Michigan State (-2)
The wheels aren’t completely coming off for MSU but it’s been a struggle. Losing to Iowa who mainly played their backup QB is not a great look, especially considering they gained over 125 more yards than Iowa.
14: Indiana (-)
Life at the bottom of the Big Ten sucks. That’s why there’s plenty of alcohol in Bloomington to help you forget.

Jed’s Rankings:

1: Michigan Wolverines (-)
Rinse and repeat from the last couple of weeks. Until Michigan gets beat, they’ll remain at the number one spot. Michigan has looked like the most impressive team, not just in the B1G, but in the entire country. It is CFP or bust for the Wolverines.
2: Penn State (-)
Well, Penn State really looked like they were looking ahead by two full weeks to Ohio State in that first half against Northwestern (they get UMASS this week). After being tied 10-10, Penn State looked much more like a fringe CFP player by outscoring Northwestern 31-3. The luster of that potential matchup with OSU could dampen a bit if the Buckeyes don’t beat a very good Maryland team.
3: Ohio State (-)
The Buckeyes were off this past week while the two programs ahead of them looked impressive. OSU has a chance to likely grab one of the best early conference victories by beating what looks to be a good Maryland squad.
4: Maryland Terrapins (-)
Maryland took care of business just like a team that is considered in the upper echelon should against a team like Indiana. The Terrapins buried the Hoosiers early on with a 21-3 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 44-17 victory. The Terrapins get a chance to make a major splash in the B1G and nationally when they visit Ohio State.
5: Wisconsin Badgers (-)
I seriously considered putting the Scarlett Knights here but I still think the Badgers deserve some credit here for their only loss being against what looks like a very good Oregon State squad. The Badgers could drop some as they take on the Scarlett Knights in what could leave the East dominating spots 1-5 next week.
6: Rutgers Scarlett Knights (-)
Just like Maryland, Rutgers has a chance to really put their foot down on the kind of season they are going to have. Up to this point Rutgers hasn’t really been challenged other than getting drubbed by Michigan (which is understandable). Rutgers can get to 5-1 with Michigan State and Indiana to follow to get bowl eligible before their schedule gets really difficult.
7: Iowa Hawkeyes (-)
Well, the Hawkeyes continue to look totally and utterly terrible on offense but continue to win with defense and special teams. A major issue moving forward is the loss of starting QB Cade McNamara who will be replaced by sophomore Deacon Hill but running back Kaleb Williams may make an appearance this weekend.
8: Purdue Boilermakers (+4)
That’s what a complete game performance looks like and the Boilers showed some bite against a really poor Illini team. Purdue really controlled the game from start to finish but a 21-0 third quarter and a defense that got 6 sacks and more hurries than that finally looked like they were able to generate stops on 3rd down. The Boilers get the Hawkeyes this week who will be without starting QB Cade McNamara who has some ability to run. His replacement, Deacon Hill, isn’t a running threat.
9: Minnesota Golden Gophers (+2)
The Golden Gophers really struggled with Louisiana but a victory will get you pushed up two spots because of how bad the rest of the conference really is. PJ Fleck’s team is struggling to replace all of that major production from their 5th and 6th year
10: Michigan State Spartans (+3)
In what conference can you lose to a team that is ranked seventh in the power rankings and still move up three spots? Welcome to the B1G from spots eight to fourteen. Michigan State fired Mel Tucker and looked like they might be able to get a win against Iowa before the Hawkeyes fully Hawkeyed the game in the fourth quarter. It went like this with MSU leading 16-13: both teams punt twice, Iowa field goal, Iowa punt return for touchdown, MSU fumble, Iowa field goal, MSU interception. Just a brutal way to end a game.
11: Northwestern Wildcats (-1)
Well, Northwestern made it close with Penn State for a half before getting blown out 31-3 in the second half. That’s probably more who the Wildcats are as a program right now under an interim head coach and with controversy still swirling around them. They get a layup against Howard and a game they can win against Nebraska. It’s still not out of the question that the Wildcats could go bowling this season.
12: Nebraska Cornhuskers (-4)
The Matt Rhule era looks like it might have a painful transition year away from Scott Frost. Yes, everyone in the B1G outside of OSU and PSU probably get shellacked against Michigan but this team got beat by a hapless Minnesota team, dominated by what looks like a pretty average Colorado team, and struggled against Louisiana Tech. Lucky for the Huskers they get Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, and Michigan State over the next four weeks. Those could be four wins...or it could be as disastrous of a run in that program’s history.
13: Illinois Fighting Illini (-4)
The Illini are one spot away from being in the basement and after getting utterly dominated by the Boilermakers, there really isn’t much lower to go. The only thing that could be worse would be in their football stadium caught fire or something.....
14: Indiana Hoosiers (-)
The Hoosiers remain dead last here and firing your offensive coordinator mid-week doesn’t really bode for a lot of confidence. Tom Allen has two weeks to prepare for Michigan but it will make very little difference. Indiana will be lucky to get to four wins this season and it will be very interesting to see if that means Tom Allen gets another year.

Fan’s Rankings:

1: Michigan (-)
Avg rank: 1.41
2: Ohio State (+1)
Avg rank: 2.41
3: Penn State (-1)
Avg rank: 2.47
4: Maryland(+1)
Avg rank: 4.15
5: Wisconsin (-1)
Avg rank: 5.18
6: Iowa (-)
Avg rank: 7.03
7: Rutgers (-)
Avg rank: 7.09
8: Purdue (+3)
Avg rank: 7.50
9: Minnesota (-)
Avg rank: 9.24
10: Illinois (-2)
Avg rank: 10.71
11: Nebraska (-1)
Avg rank: 11.00
12: Michigan State (-)
Avg rank: 11.26
13: Northwestern (-)
Avg rank: 11.94
14: Indiana (-)
Avg rank: 13.62

B1G Teams as Cars / Trucks:

After a week of Taylor Swift music, Ryan and I felt like we should add some muscle to these power rankings...unlike what we are seeing from the B1G West.

Michigan: Ford F150
The standard when it comes to trucks worldwide, the Ford F150 has seen a bit of a revolution with a new electric version coming out. The beefy and rugged look of the F150 matches what Michigan is all about under Jim Harbaugh and he brought back that toughness that made Michigan so good in decades past. Plus, it’s fitting that the closest university to Dearborn is represented by a Ford.

Ohio State: Ford Mustang
The classic All American muscle car, the Mustang is everything that Ohio State football is. Oozing with tradition, an iconic branding, consistent over decades, and innovative, the Buckeyes just seem to continue to be at the top of the college football world like the Ford Mustang is in the car world.

Penn State: Chevy Camaro
If Wisconsin is the less successful version of Michigan, then Penn State is the less successful version of Ohio State. So if OSU is a Mustang, Penn State gets to be a Camaro. A great car by itself, the Camaro died for a bit and then came back to life. It also will just never be a Mustang.

Wisconsin: Ram F1500
Literally the same truck as the F150 but not as successful.

Maryland: M1 Abrams Tank
Well, what would you expect us to go with when Maryland’s mascot is a turtle? A tank would be a perfect comparison. This season though, Maryland looks to have the firepower to back up that tough exterior.

Iowa: Chevy Nova
When the translation literally means ‘not going’ and there is a program who is ranked 132nd out of 133 teams in total yards per game (240.8), this was an easy one.

Rutgers: Lincoln Continental Mark V
When your university is in the land of the mob and plausible deniability, you go with the car that gives off those vibes. The car also is pretty luxurious although it does have a pretty gaudy look to it and screams ‘I’m fancy...’ kind of just like Rutgers’ fans telling us they fit in the B1G. Also, Greg Schiano just looks like he owned one of these cars at some point.

Illinois: Rosenbauer Fire Truck
Again, taking the easy way out here with the fact their stadium was literally on fire this week, the program itself is a bit of a dumpster fire with 21 losing seasons since Ron Zook took over in 1997.

Minnesota: Chevy Suburban
Just like the Chevy Suburban, Minnesota Football has been around forever, and while most of the time you forget about it once in a while you see one and think “huh, that’s kind of a nice car.” Then, the next year you forget about it (thanks to @ArmchairQB_UM)

Nebraska: Chevy SSR
Remember seeing these things on promos around the turn of the century and thinking ‘man, this thing looks cool?’ At auto shows, the SSR got positive reviews and every one thought it would be a hit. Once it hit production though, it was almost dead on arrival and ended up being a huge dud, just like Nebraska as it entered the B1G.

Purdue: GMC Sierra
Recently going through some redesigns, the Sierra looks similar but continues to have some upgrades available just like Purdue under new head coach Ryan Walters. Purdue could either be just the regular Sierra model or it could end up being the luxury Denali under Walters.

Michigan State: Chevy El Camino
What better way to represent Michigan State than with a car that kind of wants to be a truck but also wants to be a sports car. Michigan State seems to so desperately to want to be both Michigan and Ohio State and can’t seem to make up its’ mind. Instead, it just ends up failing at being both. I’m also upset we can’t get a Mel Camino reference in here....

Northwestern: Smart Car
What better way to represent such a fine academic institution’s football program than a car that has smart in the title? Also, the car is so small it is almost pointless to own unless it serves an exact purpose, kind of like going to Northwestern.

Indiana: Chevy Corvair
Indiana fired their offensive coordinator after a really poor start to this season but it’ll likely not make any difference as new OC Rod Carey said ‘there is no time to make drastic changes.’ Sure sounds a lot like how Ralph Nader described the Chevy Corvair: Unsafe at any speed.

West Teams

Oregon: Wisconsin Dells Army Duck
Way too easy. Now they have to come on over to Midwest country, it’s a match made in heaven.

Washington: Toyota Tundra
I really wanted to put a dog sled but that’s not a motor vehicle. The northern-most team will get a truck named after the frozen northern land. Pretty simple.

USC: Tesla Model S
Sleek, modern, and screams California.

UCLA: Chevy Corvette
Another program that symbolizes America. This one is all about speed though.