It looked like the Big Ten had a pretty easy roster in Week 2, and it mostly came to fruition. However, last weekend was a wild one for college football, and the conference did not come out unscathed.
The West Division went 4-3 in Week 2, which created some movement in our updated power rankings.
These rankings are based on results and short-term momentum. These rankings do not reflect where I expect each Big Ten program to end up in league standings. Instead, power rankings are mostly based on what each program has looked like recently.
Without further ado, let’s get started:
Last week: 14
Result week 2: Loss, 45-42, against Georgia Southern
Comments: It’s just a horrible football team. There isn’t much more to say. Before the start of the season, I wasn’t sure if Scott Frost would survive the season, but I didn’t think he would be fired after just three games. However, the Cornhuskers are 1-2 and the Nebraska brass have seen enough. It’s going to be a long season at Lincoln.
Next opponent: No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0)
Last week: 13
Result week 2: Loss, 31-23, against Duke
Comments: The Wildcats have been a hot or cold program for much of the past five years, but it looks like Pat Fitzgerald has his work cut out with this 2022 team. Northwestern lost to one of the worst teams in the ACC in Week 2, which was a blow to the Wildcats’ bowl eligibility hopes.
Next opponent: Southern Illinois (0-2)
Last week: 8
Result week 2: Lost, 10-7, to Iowa State
Comments: Offensive incompetence at Iowa City has reached new heights (or lows). The Hawkeyes mustered an anemic 150 total offensive yards in Week 2 and lost to their state rivals. This comes after Iowa scored just three points in Week 1 against FCS foe South Dakota State. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is in a tricky position with his son, Brian, as the Hawkeye’s offensive coordinator, but it’s clear things have to change on that side of the ball at Iowa City.
Next opponent: Nevada (2-1)
Last week: 11
Result week 2: Victory, 24-3, against Virginia
Comments: The Fighting Illini bounced back from last week’s loss to Indiana with a win over Virginia. The Cavaliers are expected to finish near the bottom of the ACC standings by the end of the season, but it was a significant win for an Illinois team looking to be bowl-eligible in the second round. season of Bret Bielema.
Next opponent: Chattanooga (2-0)
Last week: 11
Result week 2: Win, 35-22, against Idaho
Comments: Two weeks into the 2022 season, the Hoosiers matched their win tally from a year ago. The schedule starts to get tougher for Indiana from this point on, but the Hoosiers seem to have improved from a season ago. Tom Allen has done a good job with this program since taking over in 2017, and he’s looking to get the Hoosiers back to a bowl game this year.
Next opponent: Western Kentucky (2-0)
Last week: ten
Result week 2: Victory, 66-7, against Wagner
Comments: The Scarlet Knights took care of business against an FCS opponent. Next week’s game won’t be a gimmick, but Rutgers will be favored to win against Temple. Greg Schiano would like to start 3-0 with what the Scarlet Knights have to come later in their schedule.
Next opponent: Temple (1-1)
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Last week: 9
Result week 2: Victory, 56-21, in Charlotte
Comments: The Terrapins sort of do it every year — beat below-average non-conference competition before battling mightily with the big boys in the Big Ten East Division. Maryland will have to play well to beat a good SMU program in Week 3 and then its review for the Terps when they travel to Ann Arbor in Week 4.
Next opponent: EMS (2-0)
Last week: 5
Result week 2: Loss, 17-14, against Washington State
Comments: I didn’t see this one coming. The Badgers were favored by at least 17 points at home against Washington State, but were upset at home by a team expected to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12 conference. Wisconsin had more first downs, more total yards, and controlled time of possession, but didn’t get the win. The Badgers are set to bounce back in Week 3 when they face one of the worst FBS teams in the country.
Next opponent: New Mexico State (0-3)
Last week: seven
Result week 2: Victory, 56-0, against Indiana State
Comments: You can’t get much out of matches against FCS opponents unless things go wrong. That didn’t happen to the Boilermakers in Week 2, however, as they handled Indiana State with ease. Purdue is already one game behind in the Big Ten standings due to its Week 1 loss to Penn State, but the West Division appears to be wide open with Iowa and Wisconsin looking so far. . The Boilermakers are certainly still in contention for a division title.
Next opponent: Syracuse (2-0)
5.) Penn State
Last week: 6
Result week 2: Victory, 46-10, against Ohio
Comments: The Nittany Lions took care of their Mid-American Conference opponent in Week 2 and went 2-0 with that great road win over Purdue already in their pocket. I don’t know how good Penn State will be this season, but the Nittany Lions gained some confidence from the start of a big game this weekend.
Next opponent: Auburn (2-0)
Last week: 4
Result week 2: Win, 62-10, against Western Illinois
Comments: The Golden Gophers’ first two opponents weren’t good football teams. That being said, Minnesota did exactly what it was supposed to do to New Mexico State and western Illinois. The Gophers have another game they should win this week against Colorado, and then things get real for them in Week 4 when they travel to East Lansing. Minnesota was my preseason pick to win the Big Ten West, and so far, I like that selection.
Next opponent: Colorado (0-2)
3.) State of Michigan
Last week: 3
Result week 2: Victory, 52-0, against Akron
Comments: The Spartans have areas that need improvement, but they also did what they needed to do against two MAC opponents on their schedule. Michigan State now heads to the West Coast to battle what looks like an upgraded team from Washington. I’m intrigued to see how the Spartans look in a hostile environment against a Power 5 opponent this weekend.
Next opponent: Washington (2-0)
Last week: 2
Result week 2: Victory, 56-10, against Hawaii
Comments: The Wolverines have their starting quarterback – second JJ McCarthy. Michigan’s non-conference schedule is one of the weakest of any Power 5 schedule, but the Wolverines took care of business for two weeks. Michigan’s offensive line hasn’t looked as deep or as strong as it did a season ago, and that’s an area to watch when the Wolverines finally start playing some decent competition. It won’t be in week 3, though.
Next opponent: UConn (1-2)
1.) Ohio State
Last week: 1
Result week 2: Win, 45-12, vs. Arkansas State
Comments: The Buckeyes’ offense looked more like itself this week in a blowout win over Arkansas State. Our power ranking gap between Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten narrowed something the week after Notre Dame — Buckeye’s Week 1 opponent — lost to Marshall last week. After the Fighting Irish struggled to score against the Thundering Herd, I wonder how much the Ohio State defense has really improved. This question will have to wait a bit longer to get answered.
Next opponent: Toledo (2-0)