Big Ten Football Rankings: Teams Ranked in AP Top 25

The 2022 college football season is underway after a handful of games last Saturday kicked things off. While Northwestern officially sits atop the Big Ten with a conference record of 1-0, the Wildcats are not one of the four B1G teams appearing in the Top 25. This article will highlight the conference teams that do show up in the Associated Press poll each week.

2. Ohio State – 0-0

The Buckeyes are one of the two betting favorites to win the 2022 National Championship and are currently receiving six first-place votes (well behind Alabama’s 54). CJ Stroud returns at quarterback along with a bevy of skill position players that should make Ohio State one of the country’s best offenses. The biggest question for Ohio State is whether or not their defense can return to an elite level after a bit of a down year in 2021. Ryan Day brought in a new defensive coordinator (Jim Knowles, Oklahoma State), and there is a lot of optimism this unit can avoid being the anchor dragging the team that it was a season ago. They open the 2022 season this Saturday with a gigantic clash against the number five Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

8. Michigan – 0-0

After shocking Ohio State in Ann Arbor and making it to the College Football Playoff semifinals in 2021, Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines are back for an encore. They open the season at number eight in the country and are the second Big Ten squad in the poll. There is intrigue at quarterback as both Cade McNamara and JJ McCarthy will start one game for Harbaugh to evaluate the position. Michigan has to replace stars along the defensive line and at running back, but they bring back a great group of pass catchers and could have the best offense they have had under Jim Harbaugh. The non-conference slate is easy with home games against Colorado State, Hawai’i, and UConn before they host Maryland on September 24.

15. Michigan State – 0-0

We stay in the Big Ten East and go to East Lansing for the next team listed. The Michigan State Spartans check in at number 15. Mel Tucker’s squad shot up the college football landscape a year ago with a surprising season that saw them reach the top five before losing to Purdue. While it will be challenging to scale to those heights again, MSU has recruited at a high level under Tucker, and the overall talent level of this roster is on the rise. They start play on Friday night with a clash against in-state foe Western Michigan before hosting Akron. We’ll find out what kind of team MSU has on September 17 when they travel to Seattle to play the Washington Huskies.

18. Wisconsin – 0-0

The lone Big Ten West team to be ranked hails from Madison and is ranked number 18. The Wisconsin Badgers enter the season with a budding star at running back, an excellent defense, and questions surrounding the passing game. Sound familiar? The team’s ceiling is capped unless quarterback Graham Mertz can develop, but this is a solid squad with a chance to win the West. The schedule is demanding later, but the Badgers get Illinois State at home this Saturday evening to open things up.

Others Receiving Votes

Iowa, Penn State, Minnesota, and Purdue all received votes but have yet to crack the Top 25 poll.