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Big Ten Football Power Rankings Week 5

Publish Date:09/25/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Power rankings

14) Indiana Hoosiers

Tayven Jackson took a significant step back after Week 3, which caused serious trouble for Tom Allen and the Hoosiers. Going into triple overtime against lowly Akron (which ranks poorly in the MAC), Allen is facing tremendous difficulties on offense and defense. Akron was a made extra point away from beting the Hoosiers.

13) Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue outgained Wisconsin on Friday night, but two turnovers from quarterback Hudson Card proved decisive, along with Braelon Allen having an outstanding game for Wisconsin. The Boilermakers are looking at spiralling out of control.

12) Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern walked away victorious from Minnesota despite trailing throughout. Ben Bryant found AJ Henning for an overtime touchdown pass that helped them secure victory against their perceived superiors at Ryan Field.

11) Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State looked poised to fall apart early against Maryland, falling 21-0 behind and seemingly giving in. They tried fighting back before eventually making things interesting before three interceptions by Noah Kim and Katin Houser prevented any comeback attempt by Michigan State.

10) Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Nebraska Huskers got back into winning mode against Louisiana Tech, albeit against an NCAA Group of Five team. Nebraska’s run game flourished under quarterback Heinrich Haarberg, who had an inconsistent day throwing. Anthony Grant added 135 yards on the ground as well for Nebraska.

9) Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois struggled against Florida Atlantic despite posting impressive offensive stats. Luke Altmyer passed for over 300 yards, it still wasn’t enough as fumbles hurt them and kept the games close.

8) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota started its season well by defeating Nebraska in their opener; unfortunately, they suffered a setback at Northwestern.

Though Minnesota would likely beat Northwestern 9 out of 10, it appears they have taken a substantial step back this season.

7) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Scarlet Knights have emerged as a legitimate Big Ten team. Gavin Wimsatt played well despite throwing an interception, which wasn’t his responsibility. Yet, their run game fizzled out against J.J. McCarthy, who looked back to old form — not an encouraging sign for Rutgers.

6) Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes were horrendous on the offensive side of the ball against Penn State, as they were shut out while producing just 76 yards of total offense and made several costly mistakes while their defense let up 31 points against the Nittany Lions.

5) Wisconsin Badgers

After their Week 2 loss at Washington State, Wisconsin continued their offensive rise thanks to Braelon Allen and three turnovers by Purdue’s offense. Still not sure how good Wisconsin is, but they are good enough to compete for and win a Big Ten West title.

4) Maryland Terrapins

Maryland looked poised to replicate Washington’s success against Michigan State before ultimately failing to blow out the Spartans. Maryland kept pace by forcing turnovers but certainly has plenty of positive attributes at their disposal. This is the most dangerous team out of the big three.

3) Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes won a bloodbath on the road at Notre Dame. The offense still has significant questions, but the Buckeyes’ defense is championship calibre. I know Ryan Day was fired up because of the win, but the fact remains that the Buckeyes are still struggling on offense against good teams.

2) Michigan Wolverines

Michigan continued its momentum from Week 2, forgetting any difficulties of Week 3. While Michigan’s offensive numbers weren’t overwhelming, J.J. McCarthy made up for them by throwing for 214 yards and scoring one touchdown while completing 74% of his passes. Blake Corum showed glimpses of himself while Michigan’s defense shut out the Scarlet Knights aside from one initial drive.

1) Penn State Nittany Lions

The Nittany Lions outshone all opponents by defeating Iowa 31-0 and showing their arsenal of offensive weapons combined with excellent defense performance to create an outstanding win. Penn State is the most complete team in the Big Ten as of right now.

Video: Postgame Podcast: Penn State takes it personal, pounds Iowa

Postgame Podcast: Penn State takes it personal, pounds Iowa

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