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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 3

After a busy week in the Big Ten, where do things shake out in the Big Ten?

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0)

Ranking: 1

LW: 2

Move: UP 1

Penn State took the field in an in-state rivalry with Pittsburgh and came away with a decisive win. Saquon Barkley added two more touchdowns to his early season total, and the Nittany Lions will attempt to ride him all the way to Indianapolis.

Michigan Wolverines (2-0)

Ranking: 2

LW: 3

Move: UP 1

Michigan played Cincinatti out of the American Conference, and after a slow start to the first half, went on to win by ending the game with 19 unanswered points to close out a 36-14 victory. Next up for Jim Harbaugh and crew is a tune up matchup with Air Force before Big Ten play begins.

Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 3

LW: 1

Move: DOWN 2

Oklahoma got the revenge win that Baker Mayfield so desperately wanted, as the Buckeyes lost at home by 15. A top-five matchup is nothing that should concern Buckeye faithful, however, as Ohio State will still be in control of their destiny in regards to their Big Ten Championship aspirations.

Wisconsin Badgers (2-0)

Ranking: 4

LW: 4

Move: —

The Badgers looked good against Florida Atlantic en route to a 31-14 victory. Jonathan Taylor’s legs won the game for Wisconsin, rushing for over 200 yards and three touchdowns. The Badgers have a tough test at BYU coming up this weekend.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0)

Ranking: 5

LW: 6

Move: UP 1

Minnesota absolutely throttled Oregon State over the weekend, and a 34-point victory means only good things for the Golden Gophers’ future. Two games into his tenure at Minnesota, new coach PJ Fleck is looking like the real deal.

Maryland Terrapins (2-0)

Ranking: 6

LW: 8

Move: UP 2

Maryland continues to impress in the Big Ten after dismantling Towson 63-17 on Saturday. The Terrapins are looking like a team that is finally turning the corner in Big Ten play and will look to continue next weekend as UCF comes to town.

Northwestern Wildcats (1-1)

Ranking: 7

LW: 5

Move: DOWN 2

Last week I stated that the Week 1 performance required I wait to see what Northwestern did against a Power Five team before deciding if they were legitimate or not. After their beating at the hands of Duke, Northwestern may be a decent team, but they look to be a far cry from challenging for the divisional crown.

Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0)

Ranking: 8

LW: 9

Move: UP 1

In what many were calling the game of the week, Iowa completed a great comeback against Iowa State with an overtime victory to secure the Cy-Hawk. How much of that victory was responsible by Iowa and how much was responsible by an Iowa State implosion, however, remains up for debate.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-1)

Ranking: 9

LW: 7

Move: DOWN 2

After getting into a huge hole early, Nebraska almost completed one of the best comebacks in school history. The Huskers scored 21 unanswered in the second half to cut the losing margin to seven points.

Indiana Hoosiers (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 10

LW: 10

Move: —

Indiana played well against a Virginia team that struggled at times against William and Mary in Week 1. The Hoosiers rebounded well after a loss to conference favorite Ohio State in the opening weekend to secure a win and get to 1-1 on the young season.

Michigan State Spartans (2-0)

Ranking: 11

LW: 11

Move: —

MSU took the field against a Western Michigan team that looked impressive against USC last weekend and took care of business against Tim Lester and Co. The Spartans continue to look solid in 2017, but their first test will come in two weeks as they face Notre Dame.

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0)

Ranking: 12

LW: 12

Move: —

Illinois surprised many, myself included, this weekend against Western Kentucky. The defense looked stout, the offense has some great plays, and the Illini were able to improve to 2-0 on the season. Can they continue their winning streak against USF this coming weekend?

Purdue Boilermakers (1-1)

Ranking: 13

LW: 13

Move: —

Purdue quarterback David Blough played superb Friday night, passing for three touchdowns against Ohio. The Boilers look like a team that is on the rise with the right coach in place, and they could be a strong Big Ten team within this generation of players.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (0-2)

Ranking: 14

LW: 14

Move: —

You don’t expect a Big Ten team to lose to Eastern Michigan, and according to TCR’s Big Ten picks, most of us didn’t either. As it goes, though, Rutgers now sits at 0-2 on the season, and the road only gets harder in two weeks when Big Ten play opens.