Big Ten Football Power Rankings After Week Two


College football had quite the follow-up to a stellar opening weekend. The members of the Big Ten were not immune to the insanity. While a majority emerged as winners in a predominantly non-conference slate, there was enough chaos to cause disruption in our power rankings….

(All times ET, all rankings AP)

1. #6 Ohio State (2-0)

Last Week: W 42-0 vs. Cincinnati
Top Performer: QB Justin Fields (20-of-25, 242 yards, 9 carries, 42 yards, 4 total TD)
This Week: Saturday @ Indiana (12:00 p.m. ET, Fox)

With little resistance in the so-called Urban Meyer Bowl, the Buckeyes are on cruise control in the early going. Notching nine total touchdowns in the first couple, Fields has kept a Columbus tradition going. JT Barrett and Dwayne Haskins both accomplished the feat in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

2. #14 Wisconsin (2-0)

Last Week: W 61-0 vs. Central Michigan
Top Performer: QB Jack Coan (26-of-33, 363 yards, 3 TD)
This Week: Bye (Next: 9/21 vs. Michigan)

Two games in, the Badgers have yet to allow a single point. The team, however, did suffer a bit of a blow as redshirt sophomore starting safety Scott Nelson (leg) announced he would miss the rest of the season.

3. #19 Iowa (2-0)

Last Week: W 30-0 vs. Rutgers
Top Performer: WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette (4 receptions, 113 yards, 2 TD)
This Week: Saturday @ Iowa State (4:00 p.m., FS1)

The Hawkeyes were the latest team to bully Rutgers and will fight for the Cy-Hawk Trophy in Ames this week. They’ve won four consecutive meetings in the series, but now face a rested Iowa State squad that had a week to stew over their near-disaster against Northern Iowa.

4. #21 Maryland (2-0)

Last Week: W 63-20 vs. #21 Syracuse
Top Performer: LB Keandre Jones (7 tackles, 2 sacks)
This Week: Saturday @ Temple (12:00 p.m., CBSSN)

The Terps were our biggest winners this week, demolishing the ranked Orange in a battle of ACC alumni. Now comes the hard part: avoiding a letdown. Maryland topped a ranked squad (#23 Texas) to open 2018 as well, but it was, eerily enough, a loss to Temple that sent their season spiraling.

5. #18 Michigan State (2-0)

Last Week: W 51-17 vs. Western Michigan
Top Performer: WR Darrell Stewart Jr. (10 receptions, 185 yards, 1 TD)
This Week: Saturday vs. Arizona State (4:00 p.m., Fox)

Relief was the common theme in East Lansing last weekend. After an inconsistent showing against Tulsa, the Spartans recovered to a dominant offensive effort over the hapless Broncos. Now, if only they could do something about the jerseys…

6. #13 Penn State (2-0)

Last Week: W 45-13 vs. Buffalo
Top Performer: QB Sean Clifford (16-of-22, 279 yards, 4 TD)
This Week: Saturday vs. Pittsburgh (12:00 p.m., ABC)

The Nittany Lions trailed the Bulls 10-7 at halftime. Frankly, they’re lucky it was that close in the first place, as UB dominated time of possession and let several opportunities go by the wayside. PSU took their anger out on the opponent in the second half to the tune of a 38-3 run to end the game after getting booed off the field.

7. #10 Michigan (2-0)

Last Week: W 24-21 vs. Army (2OT)
Top Performer: RB Zach Charbonnett (33 carries, 100 yards, 3 TD)
This Week: Bye (Next: 9/21 @ Wisconsin)

Sorry, Wolverines. You don’t get to go to two extra quarters with Army and celebrate in the stands. Michigan now has two weeks to get their new-look offense out of a rut (2.4 yards per carry) and prepare for the Badgers, who have shutout a pair of mid-majors this season.

8. Purdue (1-1)

Last Week: W 42-24 vs. Vanderbilt
Top Performer: QB Elijah Sindelar (34-of-52, 509 yards, 5 TD)
This Week: Saturday vs. TCU (7:30 p.m., BTN)

The collapse in Reno still stings, but the Boilermakers may have found themselves one of the most electrifying connections with the country between Sindelar and sophomore receiver Rondale Moore. His 344 receiving yards (including 224 in the win over the Commodores) currently lead the nation.

9. Nebraska (1-1)

Last Week: L 34-31 @ Colorado (OT)
Top Performer: QB Adrian Martinez (16-of-26, 290 yards, 19 carries, 66 yards, 4 total TD
This Week: Saturday vs. Northern Illinois (8:00 p.m., FS1)

An inconsistent effort was forgivable against South Alabama, but not so much against Colorado. The offense got back on track with three touchdowns (after just two against USA), but the defense allowed 464 to allow a 17-0 lead to erode.

10. Northwestern (0-1)

Last Week: Bye
Top Performer: N/A
This Week: Saturday vs. UNLV (3:30 p.m., BTN)

The Wildcats have had a week to prepare for redemption from a listless showing against Stanford (which became all the more unforgivable after the Cardinal’s thrashing at the hands of USC). They’ll have to seek it without starting quarterback TJ Green (foot), who underwent season-ending surgery.

11. Illinois (2-0)

Last Week: W 31-23 @ Connecticut
Top Performer: DL Oluwole Betiku Jr. (3.5 sacks)
This Week: Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan (12:00 p.m., BTN)

It took maybe a little too much effort than desired to defeat the lowly Huskies, but the Illini’s win in Storrs was their first non-conference road victory since winning in Syracuse back in September 2007.

12. Indiana (2-0)

Last Week: W 52-0 vs. Eastern Illinois
Top Performer: WR Donovan Hale (5 receptions, 110 yards, 1 TD)
This Week: Saturday vs. #6 Ohio State (12:00 p.m., Fox)

With reality about to set in via a visit from the Buckeyes, the Hoosiers were at least able to handle business against the Cougars. They allowed a mere five first downs and 116 total yards to the alma mater of Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo. Indiana hasn’t beaten Ohio State since 1988.

13. Minnesota (2-0)

Last Week: W 38-35 @ Fresno State (2OT)
Top Performer: DB Antoine Winfield Jr, (4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT)
This Week: Saturday vs. Georgia Southern (3:30 p.m., BTN)

Is there any more tenuous perfect mark in the nation right now? The Gophers are undefeated, but a combined 10-point victory margin over South Dakota State and Fresno State is not reassuring. One more tune-up and a bye week precede the commencement of conference play against Purdue.

14. Rutgers (1-1)

Last Week: L 30-0 @ #19 Iowa
Top Performer: P Adam Korsak (47.6 average, longest 69)
This Week: Bye (Next: 9/21 vs. Boston College)

Saturday’s latest humiliation marked the eighth time Rutgers has been shut out in conference play since their 2014 B1G arrival. They earned just five first downs and 126 total yards.