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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 2

It’s ‘Nothing But A Good Time’ when Ryan & Jed are back to ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ for this week’s ‘Final Countdown.’

Week 2 Power Rankings Review:

Well, the B1G played out pretty much as expected last week with the exception of Nebraska struggling against the Colorado ‘Prime-alos,’ Wisconsin getting badgered in Pullman, Washington by the Cougars of Wazzou, and the Illini showing little fight against the Kansas Jayhawks. Other than those lackluster performances, the B1G showed flexed its’ muscle a bit with the top three programs winning easily and some other programs grabbing quality road wins.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad week for the conference that has long touted itself as the preeminent football conference in the country but losing some key matchups against fellow power conference opponents like Kansas, Colorado, and Washington St. leaves the conference ‘On the Edge of a Broken Heart’ and trying to avoid a ‘House of Pain’ in week 3.

Ryan’s Rankings:

1: Michigan (-)
Game 2 sans-Harbaugh still resulted in a victory, albeit not as large as expected. Blake Corum hasn’t fully taken off so far, so that’s something UM fans can look forward to.
2: Penn State (+1)
If you’re following the eye-test, Penn St has looked the best so far this year. Like I said, a lot is riding on Drew Allar but the sophomore looks like a budding star. Let’s see how the youngster does in a road game though.
3: Ohio State (-1)
Beating an FCS team by 28 seems bad for Ohio St. We usually expect to see 60-70 point shutouts in these matchups.
4: Iowa (+1)
Winning a rivalry game on the road is never an easy task. At least the Cy-Hawk game produced more points than last year’s midwestern clunker. The Iowa offense did not meet their quota this week. Offensive season average: 18.5 ppg (I am not counting the pick six)
5: Maryland (+1)
Maryland took care of business and Lia Tagovailoa is still very good. It’s almost like it runs in the family.
6: Michigan State (+2)
On the field, they’re fine. Beating an FCS team tells you nothing. Off the field, there’s some issues. Chalk up another Big Ten head coaching scandal.
7: Wisconsin (-3)
So this is what happens when you stop Wisconsin’s run game? Duly noted. Losing three fumbles certainly didn’t help the Badgers, either.
8: Purdue (+1)
Beating an ACC team on the road is nothing to sneeze at. Add in a 6-hour rain delay and it’s more of a story of perseverance. The offense needs to continue to build, however.
9: Minnesota (-2)
The defense is clearly the strength but it was 10-6 at halftime vs a bottom half MAC team. I’m not sure how much Minnesota can rely on their defense against better squads.
10: Illinois (-)
Don’t get fooled by the 34-23 final score. Illinois was down 34-7 with under 20 minutes left. I expected a tad bit more out of the Fighting Illini.
11: Rutgers (+1)
A commanding win over a bottom-tier American team doesn’t get all the glamor, but a win is a win.
12: Nebraska (-1)
Jeff Sims has thrown more interceptions in 6 quarters for the Cornhuskers than the entirety of last season at Georgia Tech. Throw in two lost fumbles and he’s averaging three turnovers a game.
13: Indiana (-)
Beating an FCS team does not let you leapfrog a tumbling Nebraska.
14: Northwestern (-)
Credit where it’s due: they beat the team they’re supposed to beat. They still don’t inspire confidence though.

Jed’s Rankings:

1: Penn State Nittany Lions (+2)
It’s hard to ignore what Penn State has done, even against some questionable opponents. Penn State just looks like the most complete team up to this point.
2: Michigan Wolverines (-1)
Michigan keeps rolling along and they have only one more week without Jim Harbaugh on game days. This is more of an indication of how good PSU has been versus Michigan looking poor.
3: Ohio State Buckeyes (-1)
OSU again looked a little lackadaisical and disinterested against another inferior opponent. Getting MHJ involved more was a step forward but Youngstown State may have been the weakest week 2 opponent for any B1G team.
4: Iowa Hawkeyes (+1)
Iowa, until they get beat or those ahead of them lose some games, will probably stick right at 4. This team really looks like the one that went undefeated in the regular season, got beat by likely the weakest CFP team ever in Michigan State, and then got blown out by Stanford in the bowl game.
5: Maryland Terrapins (+1)
Led by a vastly improved Tagovailoa, the Terps have a solid offense and what looks like an improved defense. I’m weary of the Terps who seem to have an annual fall off once the calendar moves to October.
6: Michigan State Spartans (+2)
This will be interesting to see what happens following Mel Tucker’s firing/not firing due to inappropriate behavior (put mildly).
7: Wisconsin Badgers (-3)
Well, the Badgers looked ok against Buffalo but really fell flat against Wazzou in Pullman, WA. Can they bounce back or will there be big struggles in Luke Fickell’s first year?
8: Minnesota Golden Gophers (-1)
Yes, Minnesota is 2-0 and might be a little low on this list but who have they played? An 0-2 Nebraska team and Eastern Michigan. Not all 2-0 teams are equal.
9: Purdue Boilermakers (+2)
Purdue was well on its’ way to dominating the game at Virginia Tech before weather put a 5 hour wait on the Boilermakers. They still came out to a 17-0 lead that they lost but to their credit, they found a way to win. That’s something that hasn’t traditionally happened.
10: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+2)
Be weary of the Scarlett Knights who might be a lot better than what this #10 ranking is. They get Virginia Tech in Piscataway which should give us a little better of a read on them in week 3.
11: Illinois Fighting Illini (-2)
The Illini defense really seems to be struggling without Ryan Walters and Kevin Kane there running it for them. The Illini struggled to beat Toledo in week 1 and then lost to Kansas in week 2, which wasn’t even as close as it really looked. The Illini get red hot Penn State this week and that likely means a 1-2 start.
12: Nebraska Cornhuskers (-2)
All of the off season hype and expectations are for naught. Rhule has made some blatant mistakes and the team just can’t put together things for a half, let alone a whole game. Nebraska should get victory #1 for the Matt Rhule era against Northern Illinois.
13: Indiana Hoosiers (-)
Indiana looked more like a mouse that was being toyed with in week one by Ohio State and then blew the doors off an overmatched Indiana State team. This week will give an accurate reading into the state of the program as they will play a familiar head coach in Jeff Brohm and Louisville in Indianapolis.
14: Northwestern Wildcats (-)
Northwestern got a win and looked semi-competent doing so but how good is UTEP from where they had been in the last two seasons? This team still got dominated by Rutgers in week 1.

Fan’s Rankings:

1: Michigan (-)
Avg rank: 1.32
2: Penn State (-)
Avg rank: 2.16
3: Ohio State (-)
Avg rank: 2.76
4: Iowa (+1)
Avg rank: 4.84
5: Wisconsin (-1)
Avg rank: 6.50
6: Minnesota (+2)
Avg rank: 7.00
7: Maryland (-1)
Avg rank: 7.03
8: Purdue (+2)
Avg rank: 7.55
9: Michigan State (-2)
Avg rank: 7.95
10: Illinois (-1)
Avg rank: 9.37
11: Rutgers (+1)
Avg rank: 10.84
12: Nebraska (-1)
Avg rank: 11.76
13: Indiana (-)
Avg rank: 12.39
14: Northwestern (-)
Avg rank: 13.53

B1G Teams as 80’s Hair Bands:

With Lafayette being the home of one of the greatest rock bands of all time in Guns N’ Roses, let’s slip on our best pair of ripped jeans, find that fitted leather jacket, and tighten that bandana one more time for some alternative B1G Rankings.

Michigan: Aerosmith
Aerosmith is just one of those timeless groups that, no matter what happens, just seems to be at the elite level of touring musicians. Michigan’s football program saw a dip for awhile but rebounded back just like Aerosmith did with their theme song for the movie ‘Armageddon.’
Penn State: Mõtley Crüe
If you’ve ever seen ‘The Dirt’ on Netflix, you’re left wondering “how are these guys still even alive after all the crazy stuff they did?” We wonder the same thing about PSU athletics.
Ohio State: KISS
I think you’ve got to go with KISS here. Likely the greatest Hair Band of all time, Kiss is one of the greatest to ever rock a stage.
Iowa: Quiet Riot
The title of the band is a great relation to Iowa’s football program. Quietly goes about their business and typically throws a wrench into things for others, or even themselves.
Wisconsin: Van Halen
Van Halen has famously changed front men from David Lee Roth to Sammy Hagar. Sure the vibes changed a bit but the result was the same as Van Halen release four straight number 1 albums after the change.
Minnesota: Ratt
A Gopher is essentially a rodent and we all know Purdue has a general disdain for everything Minnesota Gopher related. They get the honor of being Ratt for really no other specific reasons.
Maryland: Europe
A band that just seems geographically out of place (and this is before the west coast teams make them seem close). Maryland is definitely in the ‘Final Countdown’ to when they no longer have to play Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan State every season.
Purdue: Guns N’ Roses
Axl Rose, a Lafayette native, is one of the most iconic lead singers of all time. Purdue, is one of the greatest producers of the lead singers in college football: the Quarterback. Not to mention they literally have a song many say is about Slayter Hill in ‘Paradise City.’
Michigan State: Twisted Sister
A band made famous for its songs ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ and ‘I Wanna Rock’, the MSU program has had some scandals unveiled, including one currently. Well the program is at a zero tolerance state and won’t take it because they just wanna rock (play sportsball).
Illinois: Whitesnake
From the band best known for ‘Here I Go Again’, Illinois often has optimism for a season before getting beat down to a team like Kansas and here they go again.
Rutgers: Bon Jovi
If we didn’t select Bon Jovi here for the only New Jersey school, there might actually be a riot at the next athletic event between the two schools. Rutgers fans may be one of the fanbases who continually are ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ of achieving sustained success in the B1G
Nebraska: Poison
Remember when Nebraska was supposed to come into the Big Ten and act as a poison because everyone would have to adjust to them? Turns out that the Big Ten was the poison to Nebraska football. ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ but Nebraska has become more of a unthreatening daisy.
Indiana: Slaughter
This one reflects well to the final score of most IU games, especially against Big Ten East foes.
Northwestern: Faster Pussycat
Again going strictly by name how could you not go with Faster Pussycat here? I mean, it really writes itself for this one, doesn’t it?

West Teams
USC: Hollywood Roses
C’mon now, this is too easy.
Another one, but UCLA doesn’t have the glamor of Hollywood compared to USC.
Oregon: Def Leppard
Very fitting for the band that always puts on a good show since Oregon’s offense is always a treat.
Washington: Asia
Same reasoning as Maryland, just Westbound rather than East.