The Big Ten had another decent week, going 12-2 overall. While Purdue lost by a touchdown to Bowling Green, a team that beat Maryland by three touchdowns in College Park, 35-28, the Terps lost to West Virginia in spectacular fashion, falling 45-6.
The Big Ten still has the top two teams in the country and now has five teams in the AP Top-25 Poll. That's more like it!
Big Ten East
Six out of seven teams won last week and we will get a match-up of undefeated teams in Indiana and Ohio State this week.
1) #1 Ohio State (4-0, 0-0)
The top-ranked Buckeyes seemed to have settled in with Cardale Jones at quarterback. He hasn't looked like the super-star that shocked the world in the College Football Playoff last year but he has been good enough to get wins.
Ohio State opens Big Ten play on the road at Indiana, a team that can score points and is comfortable coming from behind in the fourth quarter. This nationally televised game might be close early on but it probably won't be at the end.
Up Next: at Indiana (4-0, 0-0)
2) #2 Michigan State (4-0, 0-0)
Michigan State rolled to a 20 point win last week against Central Michigan. The Spartans are solid and Connor Cook is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He shouldn't have much trouble with Purdue's porous defense this week and he'll be playing at home. This should be another comfortable win for the Spartans.
Up Next: Purdue (1-3, 0-0) at home
3) #22 Michigan (3-1, 0-0)
After Utah absolutely obliterated Oregon last week on the road, Michigan's loss to the Utes doesn't look so bad. Michigan has gotten better each and every week, culminating in last week's 31-0 shutout of ranked BYU. This is vintage Wolverine football.
Michigan opens Big Ten play on the road against Maryland, a team that struggles against good defenses and good run offenses. That seems to be the perfect formula for a Michigan win that would probably get them back into the top-20.
Up Next: at Maryland (2-2, 0-0)
4) Indiana (4-0, 0-0)
The Hoosiers escaped Winston-Salem with a 31-24 win and will now face their toughest opponent of the season to date in Ohio State. Indiana welcomes the Buckeyes to Bloomington in a nationally televised game that will be broadcast on either ABC (regionally) or ESPN2 (nationally). Nate Sudfeld and the Hoosiers will put up a fight but I expect Indiana's perfect season to come to an end on Saturday.
Up Next: #1 Ohio State (4-0, 0-0) at home
5) Penn State (3-1, 1-0)
Penn State had a nice win against San Diego State last week and will be one of the two teams not partaking in Big Ten play. Penn State will be hosting Army this week. Should be a W for the Nittany Lions.
Up Next: Army (1-3) at home
6) Maryland (2-2, 0-0)
Maryland got blasted 45-6 by rival West Virginia last week. Now the Terps get a Michigan team that just shut down a ranked BYU team 31-0.
I think that this Michigan squad remembers losing in the Big House to Maryland last year and is out for payback. The Wolverines are going to try and serve that dish up cold. The Terps might be in for a long night.
Up Next: #22 Michigan (3-1, 0-0) at home
7) Rutgers (2-2, 0-1)
Rutgers faces the ever-dangerous bye week this week. If Rutgers doesn't have anyone get injured, suspended, or arrested, I would advocate giving them half a win.
Up Next: Bye
Big Ten West
The Big Ten West is going to be wild this year. I anticipate a possible three or four team race late into the year.
1) #19 Wisconsin (3-1, 0-0)
The Badgers take on undefeated Iowa in Camp Randall in a match-up of two smash-mouth football teams with underrated defenses. Joel Stave and C.J. Beathard will be the keys in this game. I think Wisconsin is the more talented team and they are playing at home. Few teams leave Camp Randall with W's. I don't think Iowa will be able to best the Badgers.
Up Next: Iowa (4-0, 0-0) at home
2) Minnesota (3-1, 0-0)
The Golden Gophers head to Evanston to play a dangerous Northwestern squad. Minnesota has a talented team and has pulled out a few close wins this season. They may have to again this week against one of the Big Ten's best defenses.
Up Next: at #16 Northwestern (4-0, 0-0)
3) Iowa (4-0, 0-0)
Time to find out if the Hawkeyes are for real. Can C.J. Beathard lead Iowa to victory in one of the toughest and most hostile environments not just in college football, but in all of college sports? A fun sub-plot within the game is that with an Iowa win, Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz would move past Wisconsin coaching legend (and current Wisconsin Athletic Director) Barry Alvarez on the all-time list for wins at a Big Ten school.
Up Next: at #19 Wisconsin (3-1, 0-0)
4) #16 Northwestern (4-0, 0-0)
Same as Iowa. Time to find out if the Wildcats are for real. Northwestern has the Big Ten's best pass defense and are the best in the Big Ten at getting their defense off the field on third down. They will be playing at home on Saturday but can the offense score enough points to beat a veteran Minnesota team?
Up Next: Minnesota (3-1, 0-0) at home.
5) Nebraska (2-2, 0-0)
After an uninspiring win against Southern Miss, the Huskers head to Champagne. A third loss this early in the season would be devastating for first-year Nebraska coach Mike Riley. If they do lose, Husker fans might be able to hear Bo Pelini laughing maniacally.
Up Next: at Illinois (3-1, 0-0)
6) Illinois (3-1, 0-0)
Illinois had an even more uninspiring win against Middle Tennessee, winning 27-25. The last time Illinois faced a good defense, they got demolished, embarrassed, and laughed out of Chapel Hill. How will the Fighting Illini fare this week against Nebraska? My guess? Not well.
Up Next: Nebraska (2-2, 0-0) at home
7) Purdue (1-3, 0-0)
The Boilermakers now stand alone as the team with the worst record in the Big Ten. Purdue lost to Bowling Green by a touchdown last week. They will probably lose by a lot more than that this week when they go to East Lansing to face second-ranked Michigan State.
Up Next: at #2 Michigan State (4-0, 0-0)