Big Ten Power Rankings: Buckeyes bring normalcy to topsy-turvy times

Rob Oller
Buckeye Xtra
Indiana coach Tom Allen prepares to unleash his team against Michigan on Saturday. Hours later, the Hoosiers would claim their first win over the Wolverines since 1987.

1. Ohio State (3-0): The Justin Fields Heisman Tour moves to Maryland, where the Terrapins attempt to make the quarterback look human. Good luck with that. (Last week: 1)

2. Indiana (3-0): Oh no! The Hoosiers have not defeated Ohio State, next week's opponent, since 1988. Oh yes! They had not defeated Michigan since 1987 and look what happened last week. (LW: 2)

3. Northwestern (3-0): It is November and the undefeated Wildcats are about to take on undefeated Purdue. Not a misprint. (LW: 6)

4. Purdue (2-0): After an unscheduled bye week — the Boilermakers became the second Wisconsin opponent to get canceled by the Badgers’ COVID-19 outbreak — the Fighting Furnace Makers are itching to go 3-0 for the first time since 2007. (LW: 3)

5. Maryland (2-1): Are the Terps truly a phoenix rising from the ashes or will they burn up on re-entry against the Buckeyes? (LW: 8)

6. Iowa (1-2): The big reveal: are the Hawkeyes the team that pummeled Michigan State or the one that lost close ones to Purdue and Northwestern? The game at Minnesota offers a peek. (LW: 12)

7. Wisconsin (1-0): No one knows how good the Badgers are, but even with only one game under its belt clearly it can be said the Dub is better than Michigan and Penn State. (LW: 10)

8. Rutgers (1-2): The Scarlet Knights pulled out all the trickeration stops against Ohio State, but they can play it straight against Illinois and still make the Illini disappear. (LW: 11)

9. Nebraska (0-2): Everyone is pointing to the collapse of Michigan and Penn State, but the Cornhuskers fell apart years ago and still have not built back up. (LW: 7) 

10. Michigan (1-2): Jim Harbaugh should know how to light a fire under the Wolverines, considering the UM coach already is sitting on the hot seat. (LW: 9)

11. Minnesota (1-2): Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 224 yards and four touchdowns last week against Illinois. Was the production due more to his talent or the Illini’s lack thereof? The Gophers need it to be the former. (LW: 14)

12. Penn State (0-3): Trouble in Not-So-Happy Valley? It’s never good when your best player (receiver Jahan Dotson) says the Nittany Lions are “not as one right now.” (LW: 4)

13. Michigan State (1-2): After making a statement by upsetting Michigan — though that's looking like less of an upset — the Spartans made another statement with a 42-point loss to Iowa: “We’re a work in progress.” (LW: 5)

14. Illinois: (0-3): Things appear grim for the orange, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the Illini find some bite near the Big Apple. (LW: 13)

— By Rob Oller

roller@dispatch.com