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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Latest College Football News & Rumors / Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 3: Michigan or Penn State at Number One?

Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 3: Michigan or Penn State at Number One?

Publish Date: 09/10/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Week 3 Power Rankings

For the most part Big Ten team’s schedules are easy early in the season, and this season has been no different. With that being said, Michigan and Penn State look to be the two best teams as of right now!

14) Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska’s defense failed in all areas except run defense; their offense could only manage 14 points of offense during this loss to Colorado. It will take a couple of years to turn this program around under new head coach Matt Rhule.

13) Illinois Fighting Illini

After narrowly defeating Toledo in Week 1, Illinois was defeated at Kansas on the road on Friday night and thoroughly humiliated, as neither the offense nor defense performed as they should have. Illinois appear to be just shells of what we saw last season – it would not be surprising to see only a few additional wins coming their way this season. The Illini season looks likely to spin out of control.

12) Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern defeated UTEP 38-7 and looked their best since two years ago, though more wins must come before they can move past being towards the bottom in the Big Ten basement.

11) Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana looked much improved against FCS school Indiana State on Friday night, playing as expected as a Big Ten team should do against lesser competition. Overall Indiana had control of this contest with ease and shouldered no shortcomings of their own to be held back by any lesser school. The Hoosiers look strong on defense, but I think offense will be an issue the rest of this season for the Hoosiers.

10) Purdue Boilermakers

Ryan Walters earned his inaugural victory as Purdue Boilermakers head coach on the road against Virginia Tech despite the Hokies ongoing issues, and credit must go to them for managing both an effective passing and running game – signs that they were making strides toward rebounding after their Week 1 defeat against Fresno State.

9) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minneapolis still feels incomplete. Minnesota had an outstanding defensive and run game performance against Eastern Michigan — a decent MAC opponent — at halftime. Athan Kaliakmanis still appeared pedestrian, and it remains to be seen what the Gophers will do when facing worthy opponents.

8) Michigan State Spartans

Noah Kim appears to be MSU’s answer at quarterback after throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns against the Richmond Spiders; with that being said, MSU must remember Richmond is an inferior FCS squad, so their results should not be taken as evidence of success by MSU in future matches.

Next week, when they host Washington, we should have more answers regarding the Spartans.

7) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers may just be fun! At least, that seems to be the case.

Scarlet Knights have consistently shown themselves highly competent, against lesser competition. Gavin Wimsatt excelled at quarterback, but it was Kyle Monangai who led all rushers with 254 yards and one touchdown rushing. This may not be an easy team to defeat.

6) Maryland Terrapins

Maryland ultimately prevailed after rallying from a 14-0 deficit against Biff Poggi’s Charlotte team. Maryland relied on its passing game as Taulia Tagovailoa threw nearly 300 yards but also committed two costly interceptions.

This team may seem similar to previous iterations; however, they managed to find a way to win no matter the opponent.

5) Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin deserves credit for taking on Washington State, a solid Power Five team, on the road and losing 31-22. Tanner Mordecai amassed 278 yards. Turnovers doomed Wisconsin in the loss.

4) Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa didn’t score many points against Iowa State on Saturday, yet still managed to come away victorious thanks to their defense’s outstanding effort. Cade McNamara managed only 123 yards through the air while the run game gained 112 yards, yet their defensive effort propelled Iowa over Iowa State for another win.

3) Ohio State Buckeyes

Deceptively, the game was 14-7 after one quarter, and run play was still lacking, But there were long touchdown passes through the air again, with Marvin Harrison Jr. looking like his old self again after such an unimpressive Week 1.

Many unanswered questions remain surrounding this team, with the quarterback remaining among them.

2) Michigan Wolverines

Michigan quickly took control of this contest thanks to an incredible performance by quarterback J.J. McCarthy. Their ground game wasn’t great, while their defense excelled. Blake Corum scored three touchdowns while Roman Wilson added two, while UNLV didn’t score until late when their reserves came in play.

Video: 2023 Michigan Football Highlights v. UNLV

2023 Michigan Football Highlights v. UNLV

1) Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State’s second win of 2023 came from their run game, as overmatched FCS opponent Delaware managed an early 66-yard touchdown that cut their deficit to 14-7 before Penn State crushed them. Drew Allar had an efficient performance but with pedestrian numbers. Kaytron Allen stood out with his 19 carries for 103 yards accumulated. I know the competition has not been much as of yet, but the Nittany Lions are the most talented team in the Big Ten.

Video: Every touchdown from Penn State's Week 2 win vs. Delaware | NBC Sports

Every touchdown from Penn State’s Week 2 win vs. Delaware | NBC Sports

 

 

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