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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 4

In your ‘Wildest Dreams’ you know ‘All Too Well’ this week’s power rankings will probably lead to some ‘Bad Blood’ and may leave you wishing to go ‘Back to December.’

Chicago Bears v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Week 4 Power Rankings Review:

Ryan’s Rankings:

1: Michigan (-)
Ho hum, Jim Harbaugh is back. Michigan spotted Rutgers 7 before dropping 31 and cruising to victory. Michigan doesn’t have a difficult game until 11/11 at Penn State. Then they get to go to Maryland and face Ohio State at home. But apparently, it’s Michigan against the world anyway.
2: Penn State (-)
Penn State had the most emphatic win of the weekend, allowing under 100 yards on defense and pitching a shutout to the inept offense that is Iowa. The 3 games between OSU, PSU, and Michigan are going to be amazing this season.
3: Ohio State (-)
The Buckeyes did not look great against the Irish, but they did get the win, albeit against 10 defenders. Somehow the offense put up over 350 yards, had no turnovers or missed kicks, and only scored 17. This is not the same machine as previous years.
4: Maryland (+1)
Maryland looks like the clear best outside of the top 3. Having a Tagovailoa as QB may have something to do with that. The brothers put up a cool 101 points this weekend and are a combined 7-0 between Maryland and the Dolphins. That seems adequate.
5: Wisconsin (+1)
Wisconsin did Wisconsin things to Purdue this week. Luke Fickell was put in the best spot of the newcomers to rebuild, and it shows. Purdue and Nebraska are struggling (I’m not counting Northwestern until they hire a permanent coach). The real question is whether Fickell can bring the Wisconsin program up to the Michigan and Ohio State (or USC when they come) level. Jury is still out.
6: Iowa (-2)
I’m not sure I have ever seen a worse performance on offense, and I have seen a lot of football games in my life. Contract be damned, Brian Ferentz should be fired for this game alone. 1/9 third down efficiency, 4 total first downs, 76 total yards, 4 lost fumbles, and only 14:33 time of possession. I understand that Penn State is an elite opponent, but something has to change. Oh, and the defense was bad too. The Iowa offense sure as hell did not mee their quota this week. Offensive season average: 19 points.
7: Illinois (+1)
Nobody outside of the top 4 had a pretty game this week. Illinois hung around with Florida Atlantic before winning by 6 but Illinois was actually down in this game 10-0. Luke Altmyer threw for 300 yards and no interceptions (he did lose a fumble), but considering the competition, it was almost expected of him.
8: Rutgers (+1)
Despite scoring first, Rutgers is still not in a spot to compete with Michigan. We may have nearly reached the part of the season where things go downhill for the Scarlet Knights. They get one more cakewalk against Wagner but will basically need to win the MSU and IU games if they want a shot at a bowl game.
9: Minnesota (-2)
If not for the teams behind them, Minnesota would have crashed even harder after blowing a 21-0 lead to Northwestern. Minnesota’s only wins were against a Jeff Sims led Nebraska team and Eastern Michigan and let’s not forget that Minnesota’s crossover games are against Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State.
10: Nebraska (+2)
Nebraska is getting Jeff Sims production out of Heinrich Haarberg and the Cornhuskers have won back-to-back games. Make no mistake, Nebraska was tied 7-7 after halftime at home against Louisiana Tech. As a Bears fan, I know all about having a team that features a running QB who struggles to throw the ball. Against more apt competition, that does not end well.
11: Michigan State (-1)
Things are not going well in East Lansing as Mel Tucker has just been fired again (perhaps for the final time). MSU moved the ball well but 5 turnovers usually kill any chance of winning, especially against a good Maryland team. I’m not sure MSU makes a bowl game this season as they still have to face the big 3 in the East and have trips to Iowa, Rutgers, and Minnesota.
12: Purdue (-1)
Do I actually think that Purdue is worse than Nebraska and Michigan State? No, but results on the field need to be accounted for. Purdue has the offensive firepower to compete but outside of maybe 3 quarters this season, the offense has not had consistent success. Pair that with a defense that is really struggling and here Purdue sits.
13: Northwestern (+1)
I did not think that Northwestern had this type of victory in them. Good for the Wildcats who stormed back against Minnesota to overcome a 21-0 deficit and win in OT. Ben Bryant had the game of his life and Northwestern deserves to come out of the basement for now.
14: Indiana (-1)
Indiana was a missed 32-yard field goal attempt away from losing to Akron. Then, the Hoosiers needed to use 4 OT’s to put the Zips away. A win is a win but for power rankings, not all wins are treated equally.

Jed’s Rankings:
1: Michigan Wolverines (-)

This isn’t going to change as long as the Wolverines keep winning and getting their head ball coach back should help them take another step forward. With the next five weeks featuring a run of games against Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan State, and Purdue, Big Blue should be 9-0 when they have to go to Penn State.

2: Penn State Nittany Lions (-)

Penn State may actually be a bit better than Michigan is right now but until Michigan drops a game, they’ll likely stay at #1. Penn State has a real opportunity to be 8-1, at worst, when they face off against Michigan. That one loss would likely come against the #3 team on this list.

3: Ohio State Buckeyes (-)

Ohio State just kind of looks disinterested at times but finally seemed to turn it on late when they needed to. MHJ seems to be rounding into form while TreVeyon Henderson looks like another star for the Buckeye backfield. They have a massive matchup with the Terps to determine where both of those teams end up in two weeks.

4: Maryland Terrapins (+1)

Well Maryland, here is your shot. For what seems like a half decade now you’ve toyed with fans about how serious to take you. Want to make a statement? Take down the Hoosiers this week and move to 5-0 before a big matchup with the Buckeyes to see if Maryland has any bite this year or they’ll end up stuck on their back like in years past.

5: Wisconsin Badgers (+1)

Finally, the first B1G West team and I debated putting Rutgers in this position....seriously. Wisconsin has just sort of looked out of sorts at times but seemed to figure some things out against Purdue. They get Rutgers this week and that is going to tell us a lot about the Badgers’ growth under new head coach Luke Fickell.

6: Rutgers Scarlett Knights (+2)

Yes, the Knights lost to Michigan and it wasn’t particularly close but is that an indictment on Rutgers or more credit to how good Michigan is? We’ll see this weekend as Rutgers heads to Wisconsin in what could be a game that determines the winner of the B1G West early on.

7: Iowa Hawkeyes (-3)

You know, averaging 25 points per game should be this hard, right? Iowa is trending further and further backwards and their transfer quarterback appeared to take a shot at his Offensive Coordinator as well this week during interviews.

8: Nebraska Cornhuskers (+4)

Only in the B1G can you beat Louisiana Tech 28-14 and looking like you were sleep walking through most of the game and jump four spots in the power rankings. That’s more of an indication of how bad the bottom of the B1G is this year than it is anything else.

9: Illinois Fighting Illini (-)

Well, let’s see what Bielema and Company can do when they take on Purdue after they looked listless against FAU. If they win, they might just jump a few spots but lose and they likely lose all hope for a bowl game.

10: Northwestern Wildcats (+4)

Well, I didn’t see that type of performance coming from what I thought would mostly be a Mildcats team this year. They took the fight to Minnesota and beat them in overtime. Quite the surprise with the season they have had to endure so far. Unfortunately, Penn State is next on the schedule.

11: Minnesota Golden Gophers (-4)

You can’t lose to Northwestern in the manner that you did and be ranked above them. Sorry Golden Goobers, you deserved to be shoveled down here with the likes of....

12: Purdue Boilermakers (-1)

Man, this is starting to smell a little sour down here. Purdue just can’t seem to figure out their 3rd down issues. Whether it’s converting 3rd downs to extend drives on offense or stopping 3rd down conversions on defense, they Boilers are terrible on the money downs in football. This week is a must win if bowl eligibility is to be found.

13: Michigan State Spartans (-3)

The Spartans finally fired Mel Tucker, although it seemed he had been fired three times before this week. The Spartan players will have thirty days to jump into the portal and my guess is there will be quite the number who do so after this weekend. Dissention is a dangerous thing and it could get ugly in East Lansing.

14: Indiana Hoosiers (-)

I have Indiana here simply for the awful post game singing that was recorded and put out by the football program’s PR team. Snapping to a school fight song like you are attending a poetry slam? Needing overtime to beat one of the absolute worst D1 programs in a game you really should have lost two times in regulation isn’t something to clap about...let along snap along to.

Fan’s Rankings:

1: Michigan (-)
Avg rank: 1.46
2: Penn State (-)
Avg rank: 2.13
3: Ohio State (-)
Avg rank: 2.42
4: Wisconsin (+1)
Avg rank: 4.58
5: Maryland (+1)
Avg rank: 5.00
6: Iowa (-2)
Avg rank: 6.04
7: Rutgers (+1)
Avg rank: 7.71
8: Illinois (+1)
Avg rank: 9.42
9: Minnesota (-2)
Avg rank: 9.58
10: Nebraska (+3)
Avg rank: 9.92
11: Purdue (-1)
Avg rank: 10.71
12: Michigan State (-1)
Avg rank: 11.17
13: Northwestern (+1)
Avg rank: 11.83
14: Indiana (-1)
Avg rank: 13.04

B1G Teams as Taylor Swift Songs:
Time for us to enter into our B1G Era as we celebrate all the new Swifties joining the football world after all we could talk about what Taylor Swift watching Travis Kelce from his suite. Are we jumping onto the bandwagon? Your darn right we are

Michigan: Look What You Made Me Do
It seems Jim Harbaugh finally figured out how to get Michigan back by getting smarter just in the nick of time before he was really on the hot seat. Harbaugh brought the program back from the dead and put his focus squarely on Ohio State and the Wolverines appear to have fully embraced the role of the leading man of B1G. And let’s face it, nobody trusts Harbaugh and Harbaugh doesn’t trust anyone else.
Penn State: Shake It Off
Penn State has really shaken off the controversy that program went through and is trying to return itself back to a place that it was in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Although James Franklin might be missing his hair, Penn State definitely attracted one of the great coaches in college football to come on over and shake, shake, shake to get them back on track. Now, if Penn State can just shake off the bad luck they’ve run into the last few seasons, they might be able to get their first B1G title since 2016.
Ohio State: Vigilante S***
What better song for Ohio State than a song that screams revenge after the last two seasons having ended in defeat at the hands of their biggest rival? Ohio State is going to want to make a statement this season in the Big Game and OSU will be dressed for revenge to end the season.
Wisconsin: Mean
Is there another program that is any meaner to Purdue than Wisconsin? Nope. When the Badgers have beaten our Boilers for 20 straight years, you are just being mean for no reason and have knocked us as fans down again. It has seemed like Wisconsin has just continually picked on the weaker man.
Maryland: Blank Space
Mike Locksley is a D.C. guy who returned back to his roots to take the position at Maryland. Either Locksley stays there forever or it’ll go down in flames.
Iowa: Anti-Hero
I mean, is there really a better match than what we have seen from Iowa the last few seasons and a song whose lyrics say ‘One day I’ll watch as you’re leaving, cause you got tired of my scheming, for the last time. It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me?’ Could we find a better way to serenade the Iowa fans about their frustration with the Ferentz’s lack of offense and Kirk’s inability to fire his son?
Rutgers: You Need to Calm Down
I mean, this is absolutely perfect for this fanbase. Rutgers fans, at times, need to calm, because they are being too loud. The jump to the B1G hasn’t been kind very kind to the Knights and the opening lines express a lot of how many of us feel about the Huskers: ‘“You are somebody that I don’t know, But you’re taking shots at me like it’s Patrón, And I’m just like “Damn, it’s 7:00 a.m.”
Illinois: Bad Blood
This is more of an angle for Illinois and Purdue fans considering the Illini’s former DC is now the head coach for the Boilers. We saw some bad blood boil over this summer over the recruiting trail and I’m not sure the problems are ones that’ll be solved considering Illini fans tend to be the ones who forgive but not forget and then repeatedly bring it back up.
Minnesota: White Horse
A lot of the B1G has tried to tell the Gophers that Fleck just isn’t it for them and although they have enjoyed a 10 win season. Fleck seems more Hollywood than small town which Minneapolis has that kind of feel to it. The Gophers aren’t the fairytale many want them to be and they got lost in Fleck’s eyes in the hopes that he would be their fairytale. You can’t blame the Gopher fans for believing in Fleck’s used car salesman approach but it seems they are coming around that his white horse is nothing more than a lie.
Nebraska: Red
‘Losing him was blue, like I’d never known, Missing him was dark gray, all alone, Forgetting him was like trying to know, Somebody you never met, But loving him was red.’ If Nebraska fans are reading those lyrics or have heard the song, the images of Tom Osborne running onto the field in Lincoln in his Starter jacket immediately flood their emotions and make them miss the days of being the big red machine. They aren’t ever getting Osborne back and need to stop chasing that ideal.
Purdue: Tim McGraw
‘When you think Jeffrey Brohm, I hope you remember 3rd and long, Could be converted all night long, with a screen pass or a draw.’ Those aren’t quite the lyrics but this September has Purdue fans in a month of tears and probably some bittersweet feelings of the success from last season. One day we’ll look back fondly of Brohm with the success found under Ryan Walters and maybe Jeffrey will think of us the same way.
Michigan State: Karma
This one really fits well given what we know about Mel Tucker even though most all other B1G fans saw this train wreck happening from miles away. Although the continuance of what has made MSU so easy to hate over the last decade, the karma that continues to bite that program in the backside is kind of nice to see.
Northwestern: Delicate
Firing your most successful coach in program history probably ‘isn’t for the best’ but their ‘reputation had never been worse.’ Not to mention, if you are a fan of Northwestern you really just love Northwestern for being Northwestern. The program is extra fragile right now so we’ll have to see what comes of them over the next few months.
Indiana: Wildest Dreams
Just like most of Indiana’s home football games, they’ll leave you trying to escape the city and the crowds before the end of the game and luckily those games don’t last forever. Being the first FBS team to get to 700 losses means they are bad but you know they do it so well. Don’t forget though, they’ll always have that one season in 2020 to remember themselves just like in their wildest dreams.