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NCAAF · 6 days ago

Big Ten Power Rankings After Three Weeks: Nebraska Wins!

Danny Mogollon

Danny Mogollon

Big Ten Power Rankings After Three Weeks: Nebraska Wins!

With one conference game in Week 3, there were 12 out-of-conference matchups, and it wasn’t a stellar week for the Big Ten, with a 7-5 record.

Here’s how the B1G teams rank after three weeks of college football:

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1. Michigan Wolverines 3-0 (0-0) – Same

Last Week: Won vs. Bowling Green 31-6 | SP+: 3 | PFF: 2

It was a sleepy effort against Bowling Green. We should note the Wolverines have allowed the fewest points (16) of any team in the country. Is that enough to break through?

Up Next: vs. Rutgers (-24.5)

2. Penn State Nittany Lions 3-0 (1-0) – Same

Last Week: Won @ Illinois 30-13 | SP+: 9 | PFF: 7

It wasn’t a stellar offensive performance (5.0 YPP) in Drew Allar’s first road start, as they had issues with the Illini front, but five defensive turnovers allowed PSU to cruise to victory.

Up Next: vs. Iowa (-14.5)

3. Ohio State Buckeyes 3-0 (1-0) – Same

Last Week: Won vs. Western Kentucky 63-10 | SP+: 1 | PFF: 3

The Buckeyes put together the best all-around performance of the young season, especially Kyle McCord, who was 19 of 23 for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

Up Next: @ Notre Dame (-3.5)

4. Iowa Hawkeyes 3-0 (0-0) – Same

Last Week: Won vs. Western Michigan 41-10 | SP+: 28 | PFF: 23

The Hawkeyes finally broke through the 25-point barrier in a game, but Cade McNamara (9 of 19 for 103 yards, two TDs, two INTs) still doesn’t look close to 100 percent despite reports of a whole week of practice.

Up Next: @ Penn State (+14.5)

5. Maryland Terrapins 3-0 (0-0) – Up One

Last Week: Won vs. Virginia 42-14 | SP+: 31 | PFF: 33

The Terps fell behind 14-0 for the second straight week before going on a roll. Last week, they scored 38 consecutive points. This week, they scored the final 42 points.

Up Next: @ Michigan State (-7.5)

6. Wisconsin Badgers 2-1 (0-0) – Down One

Last Week: Won vs. Georgia Southern 35-14 | SP+: 25 | PFF: 34

The Badgers trailed 14-7 early in the third quarter before reeling off 28 straight points. All five TDs came via the ground, two each by Braelon Allen and Tanner Mordecai.

Up Next: @ Purdue (-5.5)

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers 2-1 (1-0) – Same

Last Week: Lost @ North Carolina 31-13 | SP+: 42 | PFF: 32

The passing game and defense were not up to snuff in Chapel Hill. Athan Kaliakmanis was 11-29 for 133 yards and an INT, and the Golden Gophers allowed 414 yards through the air.

Up Next: @ Northwestern (-11.5)

8. Michigan State Spartans 2-1 (0-0) – Same

Last Week: Lost vs. Washington 41-7 | SP+: 54 | PFF: 59

How much of last Saturday’s blowout was about the suspension of HC Mel Tucker, and how much was about running into the buzz saw that is the Washington Huskies?

Up Next: vs. Maryland (+7.5)

9. Illinois Fighting Illini 1-2 (0-1) – Same

Last Week: Lost vs. Penn State 30-13 | SP+: 52 | PFF: 55

The defense played their best game of the year and did an excellent job limiting PSU’s explosive young stars. However, Luke Altmyer must better protect the football (four INTs, one fumble).

Up Next: vs. Florida Atlantic (-14.5)

10. Rutgers Scarlet Knights 3-0 (1-0) – Up One

Last Week: Won vs. Virginia Tech 35-16 | SP+: 64 | PFF: 52

The Scarlet Knights aren’t just 3-0; they’ve won every game by at least 17 points. But if they want to break through in 2023, Gavin Wimsatt must do better than 46 passing yards on 16 attempts.

Up Next: @ Michigan (+24.5)

11. Purdue Boilermakers 1-2 (0-0) – Down One

Last Week: Lost vs. Syracuse 35-20 | SP+: 67 | PFF: 49

The Boilermakers couldn’t run the football (2.5 YPC) or slow down Syracuse’s dual-threat QB (195 yards & four TDs rushing). Four turnovers didn’t help their cause.

Up Next: vs. Wisconsin (+5.5)

12. Nebraska Cornhuskers 1-2 (0-1) – Same

Last Week: Won vs. Northern Illinois 35-11 | SP+: 65 | PFF: 77

Matt Rhule picked up his first win in Lincoln and may have found his quarterback. Heinrich Haarberg rushed for 98 yards (TD), threw two TD passes, and had no interceptions (he did fumble).

Up Next: vs. Louisiana Tech (-19.5)

13. Indiana Hoosiers 1-2 (0-1) – Same

Last Week: Won vs. Louisville 21-14 | SP+: 81 | PFF: 97

Despite falling behind 21-0 in the first half, IU fought back and made it a game with a chance to tie in the fourth quarter. Tayven Jackson threw for 299 yards, the most passing yards by a Hoosier in nearly a year (Sept. 17, 2022).

Up Next: vs. Akron (-16.5)

14. Northwestern Wildcats 1-2 (0-1) – Same

Last Week: Lost @ Duke 38-14 | SP+: 81 | PFF: 91

Duke nearly doubled the Wildcats in yards per carry (6.7 to 3.5) and nearly tripled them in yards per pass (11.0 to 4.1) in what was a domination by the Dukies.

Up Next: vs. Minnesota (+11.5)

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