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Big Ten power rankings: Michigan on the move with new QB

Rob Oller
Buckeye Xtra
First-time starting quarterback Joe Milton (5) made all the right moves in Michigan's 49-24 victory over Minnesota, helping the Wolverines jump three spots to No. 3  in the Big Ten power rankings.

1. Ohio State (1-0): First-world-football problems: Criticism comes the Buckeyes’ way when they win but don’t look perfect while doing so. (Last week: 1)

2. Wisconsin (1-0): While Justin Fields made more headlines for Ohio State, Badgers redshirt freshman Graham Mertz put up a bronze trophy performance of his own last week with 20-of-21 passing and five TDs. But COVID-19 may bring him down. (LW: 3) 

3. Michigan (1-0): It is still early, but Jim Harbaugh may have finally found his man (Joe Milton) at the long-lost quarterback position. (LW: 6)

4. Indiana (1-0): It’s a stretch to think the Hoosiers are capable of making a ton of noise in the East. Then again, they strettttched for a big win against Penn State. (LW: 7)

5. Penn State (0-1): Will the Nittany Lions come out angry like they have something to prove against the Buckeyes? Or crawl into a feline fetal position? (LW: 2)

6. Purdue (1-0): Wide receiver David Bell rang up Iowa for 13 receptions, including three touchdown grabs. The catch-fest should continue against Illinois (LW: 9)

7. Nebraska (0-1): How is it possible that the Cornhuskers lose and still move up one spot in the rankings? They played Ohio State tough for one half, that’s how. (LW: 8)

8. Minnesota (0-1): The Gophers go as far as Tanner Morgan takes them. The junior quarterback is good, but with that defense he's going to need to be great to win the West. (LW: 4)

9. Northwestern (1-0): Good news: Wildcats were excellent in an opening win against Maryland. Bad news: It was Maryland. (LW: 12)

10. Iowa (0-1): Hawkeyes need to clean up the penalties (10 against Purdue) or fall to 0-2 for the first time since 2000. (LW: 5)

11. Rutgers (1-0): Take a photo of this week’s rankings, Scarlet Knights, because the pretty picture will fade in time. (LW: 14)

12. Illinois (0-1): If the passing game sputters in October, what happens when the Illini try to toss it around during nasty November weather? (LW: 10)

13. Michigan State (0-1): Lose to Rutgers, as the Spartans did in their opener, and drop in the rankings like a piano from a 20-story window. (LW: 11)

14. Maryland (0-1): Get used to cold, damp living quarters, Terrapins fans, because the basement could be a permanent residence. (LW: 13)

roller@dispatch.com

@rollerCD