Rivals: Big Ten Power Rankings

Submitted by robbyt003 on October 10th, 2012 at 9:36 AM


1. Ohio State

2. Michigan (3-2, 1-0), Last Week - 4: Head coach Brady Hoke has always maintained that U-M's goal every year is to win the Big Ten championship, and the Wolverines looked like a different team in the first game of the conference slate.

U-M shut down Purdue's offense, which was averaging 51.0 point per game at Ross-Ade Stadium, and senior quarterback Denard Robinson (105 passing yards, 235 rushing yards) was efficient and effective - proving that he remains one of the most dangerous players in the nation.

Much is yet to be learned about the competitive Legends Division at this point, but after two weeks of conference play, the Maize and Blue look to be the favorite.

3. Penn State

4. Nebraska

5. Michigan State

6. Northwestern

7. Wisconsin

8. Iowa

9. Purdue

10. Indiana

11. Minnesota

12. Illinois (2-4, 0-2): Tim Beckman's squad is easily the worst team in the conference. 

Over the Illini's past four games against FBS foes, they have not scored much (14.8 points per game), and cannot stop anybody (40.8 points allowed per game).

The Orange and Blue have dropped its last eight conference contests dating back to 2011, and I don't see that trend changing any time soon.


I'm not sure if I buy into all of this Penn State hype yet.  The rest of the rankings don't look too far off.



October 10th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

For all that the program has been through, PSU is playing admirably well. It was a nice comeback from behind win against a gritty NW team as well. True they don't have a real sexy win on the schedule, but its hard not to like the job TOB is doing over there.


October 10th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

Did anyone really think PSU would be terrible this year?  They still have good players, recruited by Paterno, and many of the players have been together for several years.  Seems like the real damage will be 3-4 years down the road after a few terrible recruiting classes.  O'Brien is a good coach with good players.  Let's see what happens when he's coaching an FCS team. 


October 10th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

There's this, of course - they may not be getting Redd-type numbers from any of these guys, but they've spread the running game out across a few players and really haven't lost too much.

Penn State is also going to the air markedly more, it seems, and obviously it shows in McGloin's stats, but they've been able to do this with a receiving corps that also experienced some attrition. Last year, the team totalled 2,301 receiving yards, and they are already at 1,511 for the team collectively this year, on pace to best last year by a considerable margin. Allen Robinson in particular has stepped up for them with 41 receptions for 524 yards, compared to being virtually non-existent at 3 receptions and 29 yards last year. Definitely for the time being, where others have left, Penn State has been fortunate that many who warmed the bench last year have turned out to be effective in their roles.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:49 AM ^

Losing a top running back, while it doesn't help, typically won't significantly change a team's prospects.   They still have the core group of uperclassmen from the last 3-4 recruiting classes.  A few years from now you'll start to see the full effect of the sanctions and it won't be pretty.


October 10th, 2012 at 12:41 PM ^

I bet it happens more quickly than that.  I think you'll see a big drop-off from this year to next year with PSU.  Their freshman class this year is awful since they were all allowed to transfer without penalty, and their current recruiting class (next year's freshmen) is also awful, minus about 4 guys, a couple of which won't be ready to play anyway. 

So they'll be only upperclassmen, at least the ones who didn't bail, and they lose a good contingent of their current squad.  They lose 5 starters on D, plus a few major contrinutors.  That doesn't sound crazy, but the ones they lose are their stars (Mauti, Hodges, etc.).  They lose 2 starters and 2 primary back-ups from their DL (and don't really replace them). 

Their offense will get hit harder from a numbers perspective, but that group is already pretty bad, and they're losing McGloin who is that whole offense right now.  They'll also lose arguably their two best OL.

But yeah, the next year will be even worse, since this fall they start 7 juniors, and likely more next fall when the seniors need to be replaced.  2013 looks pretty bad, 2014 looks pretty terrible.


October 10th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

Penn State isn't very good, but then again nobody in the conference looks to be a great team this year. Who would you rank above PSU besides the teams already there? Nebraska got absolutely shellacked by OSU and lost to a UCLA team that's not nearly as good as they were thought to be. MSU needed a similar comeback against IU as PSU did against Northwestern and struggled against EMU. PSU's loss to Virginia looks bad (though PSU did vastly outplay UVA except in the kicking game), but the loss to Ohio isn't going to look bad now that Ohio has the looks of a possible BCS buster.

At this point, I think OSU is the clear #1, we're a pretty good bet for #2, 3-5 are probably interchangeable at this point, as are 6-9. Indiana and Minnesota are the same, and Illinois has the look of being a really, really bad team this year.


October 10th, 2012 at 10:13 AM ^

Compare NW and PSU opponents and results prior to B1G play to Michan's and it's easily noticeable that a win over BC or Syracuse or loss at VA, doesn't hold much ground to a loss at ND when you have six TOs or a neutral field loss to Bama. they are ok teams that are over hyped. Michigan has definately been a product of that before.


October 10th, 2012 at 10:23 AM ^

I didn't say Michigan was very good. Being #2 in the conference doesn't make one good considering how bad the Big Ten is this year. Right now, OSU is probably the only team I'd consider 'good' in the conference. Michigan still has to prove it can win a game against a team that can neutralize Denard's legs.

But having watched some of the Penn State games, they aren't a very good team. Northwestern is also not a good team. A shiny record only means so much when your best win is Vanderbilt (which might be a not-terrible win depending on how Vanderbilt finishes the season). They struggled against Syracuse (who is not good). They beat BC (who is terrible), South Dakota (FCS), and Indiana (one of the worst teams in the Big Ten). PSU is currently living on being absurdly good on 4th down conversions (65%, and they've gone for it a lot, 20 times, most in the nation) - we'll see how good their team is in the second half of the season, but I'm not convinced they'd be doing much of anything if it weren't for the conference as a whole being considerably weaker than it's been in years.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

Champeen - be honest. Do you feel that Penn State or Northwestern are very good? No one said they sucked, just that they aren't very good. Neither team has beaten anyone of name, since the three BCS teams NW beat seem to be bottom dwellers, and Penn State lost to Ohio at home and Virginia. Does that scream very good to you?

Both teams will likely finish middle of the Big Ten pack, in the 7-5 area or so.


October 10th, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

Penn State isn't that good but then again, NW was over hyped. So when PSU beats them by the spread, PSU must now be an effective team to justify Micheal Wilbon and Greenberg's propaganda.


October 10th, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

I don't think this is really worth linking to. It's from a Michigan focused website written by an intern (I think but could be wrong on that). Any random commenter on the MGoboard posting "Big Ten Power rankings" would be about the same.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:03 AM ^

Where did I say that I don't accept the data? Further the link isn't really a data analysis, more just a subjective ranking.

I agree I shouldn't deter relevant content being posted on the the board, as the board has been pretty lame for quite a while these days. Just that the post seemed to reference this as a Rivals Big Ten rating, but in reality it was just some guy at the Michigan rivals site.

Darker Blue

October 10th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^


2. OSU

3. Indiana

4. PSU

5. Nebraska

6. Wisconson

7. Purdue


9. Iowa

10. Gophersota

11. That team that wishes they hadn't ever fired Gary Moeller 



October 10th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^



S&P+ Rk Team Record S&P+ Last Wk Change Off S&P+ Rk Def S&P+ Rk
1 Alabama 5-0 346.5 1 0 121.2 15 225.2 1
2 Oregon 6-0 284.0 2 0 134.7 3 149.3 3
3 Florida 5-0 269.7 9 +6 122.7 13 147.0 4
4 South Carolina 6-0 258.0 16 +12 112.7 27 145.3 5
5 Michigan 3-2 256.1 7 +2 133.8 4 122.3 16
6 Notre Dame 5-0 252.7 8 +2 113.8 26 138.9 7
7 BYU 4-2 250.1 6 -1 95.2 78 154.9 2
8 Oklahoma 3-1 247.0 22 +14 109.6 29 137.3 8
9 Florida State 5-1 245.9 4 -5 119.6 18 126.3 13
10 Texas 4-1 245.4 12 +2 118.7 19 126.7 12
11 LSU 5-1 243.5 3 -8 104.6 45 139.0 6
12 Georgia 5-1 242.3 10 -2 142.0 2 100.3 52
13 West Virginia 5-0 242.2 14 +1 143.1 1 99.0 56
14 Texas A&M 4-1 238.7 15 +1 124.7 11 114.0 28
15 Ohio State 6-0 237.7 25 +10 123.6 12 114.1 27
16 Stanford 4-1 237.3 13 -3 107.4 35 129.8 11
17 Texas Tech 4-1 236.3 5 -12 119.8 16 116.5 22
18 USC 4-1 235.8 19 +1 119.6 17 116.2 23
19 Oklahoma State 2-2 235.4 11 -8 132.3 6 103.2 41
20 Fresno State 4-2 234.9 20 0 109.8 28 125.1 15
S&P+ Rk Team Record S&P+ Last Wk Change Off S&P+ Rk Def S&P+ Rk
21 Arizona 3-3 232.0 18 -3 124.8 10 107.2 37
22 Arizona State 4-1 230.7 17 -5 114.9 25 115.7 24
23 Ole Miss 3-3 230.2 28 +5 133.6 5 96.6 62
24 Utah State 4-2 226.8 29 +5 105.9 39 120.9 17
25 Michigan State 4-2 226.5 23 -2 91.3 87 135.2 9



October 10th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

It doesn't ignore them, because it counts them as an unsuccessful play; which is what S&P+ measures.  How successful your plays are offensively and how effective you are at stopping plays defensively.  Our 3-2 record is where the intereceptions are being recorded in that chart.


October 10th, 2012 at 12:48 PM ^

BYU's defense has looked really good against bad teams, but they haven't been tested yet at all.  They've played 2 BCS teams, neither of which are any good.  One was Washington State, in their very first game with a brand new offense.  Even since then, WSU's offense hasn't been that great.  The other is Utah, another so-so offense, and they scored 24 points on BYU. 

Although I don't think BYU's defense is bad by any means, I think it looks a lot better at this point than it really is.  They have Oregon State and ND next, we'll see how well they do against them (even though both of those teams are still more D than O, but still).

Perkis-Size Me

October 10th, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

call me crazy, but i'm not 100% sold on ohio ranked #1 just yet. braxton miller is great, but the defense is still a little suspect. i wouldn't have them any lower than #2, but they've had a very favorable schedule this year. i think if michigan and ohio traded schedules, we'd probably be sitting in the #1 spot right now. ranked #8 or not, they would have been crushed by alabama, and notre dame would be a tossup. but i won't be able to say for any certainty if we deserve the #1 spot until after the nebraska and msu games.


October 10th, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

Not this really changes your point, but they also played Eastern Michigan and Eastern Kentucky at home this year.  Although those are all cupcakey teams, averaging 51 points against them is still impressive. 

I also think Purdue has scored more points against ND than anyone else has, so there's that.


October 11th, 2012 at 8:54 AM ^

I'm constantly amazed that people continue to say things like Denard Robinson "continues to prove he's one of the most dangerous threats in the nation". He's one of the most dangerous threats of all time. I feel like at this point he's probably through having to prove that he's a threat to today's defenses.