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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Robert Bondy

Big Ten Power Rankings: Spartans move up as Big Ten West Division teams struggle in Week 2

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Michigan State cruised to a week two victory but that wasn’t the case for many across the Big Ten — which has led to some shakeup in our latest batch of power rankings.

We are back for another week with our latest update of Big Ten power rankings after all of the week two action. See where I rank Michigan State and the rest of the Big Ten teams in this week’s Big Ten power rankings:


Record: 1-2 (0-1 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Lost vs. Georgia Southern

Next game: vs. Oklahoma (Sept. 17)

Nebraska hit rock bottom on Saturday evening when Georgia Southern came to Lincoln, Neb., and left with an upset victory over the Cornhuskers. That loss resulted in Nebraska firing head coach Scott Frost the next day as the Cornhuskers are looking at yet another brutal season.


Sep 10, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) passes in the third quarter against Western Illinois Leathernecks at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 1-1 (1-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Lost vs. Duke

Next game: vs. Southern Illinois (Sept. 17)

So maybe the win over Nebraska in Week 0 was more about the Cornhuskers being bad than Northwestern being any good. The Wildcats lost at home against Duke as a near double-digit favorite this past weekend, and because of that have dropped in our updated rankings.


Record: 1-1 (0-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Lost vs. Iowa State

Next game: vs. Nevada (Sept. 17)

If you can’t score, then it’s very hard to win games regardless of how good your defense is playing. That is the case for Iowa who only has recorded one touchdown in two games this season and fell this week against rival Iowa State.


Record: 2-0 (1-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Idaho

Next game: vs. Western Kentucky (Sept. 17)

Indiana had a very slow start against Idaho this week, trailing the Vandals 10-0 at halftime. However, a big third quarter springboarded the Hoosiers to their second win of the year.


Record: 2-0 (0-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Wagner

Next game: at Temple (Sept. 17)

Rutgers made easy work of FCS foe Wagner this past weekend, with a 59-point victory. Next up for the Scarlet Knights is a road trip to Temple — which should be another win for Rutgers and put them halfway to bowl eligibility.


Record: 2-1 (0-1 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Virginia

Next game: vs. Chattanooga (Sept. 22)

Illinois picked up a massive win this past weekend against ACC foe Virginia. The Cavaliers aren’t as good as last year but this is still a big victory for Illinois and their path to reaching a bowl game this season.


Record: 1-1 (0-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Lost vs. Washington State

Next game: vs. New Mexico State (Sept. 17)

The boxscore suggests Wisconsin should have beaten Washington State so dropping the Badgers this far may be a little much. But Wisconsin simply can’t lose this game when favored by three possessions and at home — so for now the Badgers will drop to the back half of the league in our power rankings.


Record: 1-1 (0-1 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Indiana State

Next game: at Syracuse (Sept. 17)

Purdue rebounded from a tough season-opening narrow loss to Penn State with a blowout victory of FCS foe Indiana State. The Boilermakers have another early season test coming up this week in a road trip to Syracuse — who is off to a 2-0 start this season.


Record: 2-0 (0-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won at Charlotte

Next game: vs. SMU (Sept. 17)

Am I going to fall for another Maryland trap again this year? For now, I’m buying into the Terps who appear to always start the year hot before crashing and burning once league play hits. Next week’s matchup against SMU will be a great test for Maryland and tell us more about how good (or bad) the Terps will be this year.


Record: 2-0 (0-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Western Illinois

Next game: vs. Colorado (Sept. 17)

The Golden Gophers have yet to play a team with a true pulse but they’ve looked good in both of those games and at the moment appear to be the best team from the Big Ten West Division. This week’s matchup against Colorado won’t be much of a test either but the following week the Golden Gophers come to Spartan Stadium for a big-time matchup against Michigan State.

Michigan State

Record: 2-0 (0-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Akron

Next game: at Washington (Sept. 17)

It’s hard to complain about a 55-0 victory but there’s definitely still room for improvement for Michigan State — especially from quarterback Payton Thorne. He threw a pair of interceptions this week and will need to be much better in the Spartans’ upcoming road trip out west to face Washington.

Penn State

Record: 2-0 (1-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Ohio

Next game: at Auburn (Sept. 17)

Penn State built off their massive season-opening win over Purdue with a blowout victory over Ohio on Saturday. The Nittany Lions got the run game going and if they can consistently keep that going then they’ll remain near the top of the Big Ten this season.


Record: 2-0 (1-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Won vs. Hawaii

Next game: vs. UConn (Sept. 17)

Michigan has found their quarterback in J.J. McCarthy — who made his first career start in Saturday’s blowout win over Hawaii. McCarthy looked great in this tune-up game and has been named the starter for next week’s matchup against UConn. Michigan becomes a much more dangerous team in the Big Ten behind the more athletic McCarthy.

Ohio State

Record: 2-0 (0-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Win vs. Arkansas State

Next game: vs. Toledo (Sept. 17)

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to an easy win over Arkansas State on Saturday. The Buckeyes remain in our top spot for now, but Michigan is creeping closer to taking that from them now that their quarterback dilema appears resolved.

Contact/Follow us @The SpartansWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Michigan state news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow Robert Bondy on Twitter @RobertBondy5.

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