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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 2 recap

Maryland is on the rise, Michigan survives an upset bid and Nebraska disappoints once again.

Find Week 1’s rankings here.

1. (Last Week: 1) Ohio State (2-0), W - 42-0 vs. Cincinnati, Next Week: at Indiana

Behind another dominating performance by quarterback Justin Fields, the Buckeyes destroyed Cincinnati 42-0 in Columbus. Fields threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns, and added two more scores on the ground. There was a clear talent gap in this one and to no ones surprise, Ohio State has looked like one of the best teams in the country through two weeks.

2. (3) Wisconsin (2-0), W - 61-0 vs. Central Michigan, Next Week: BYE

The Badgers shutout Central Michigan 61-0 in their home opener, and a big game from quarterback Jack Coan is a good sign for their chances at a Big Ten title. Coan finished with 363 passing yards, three touchdowns and most importantly, committed no turnovers. The junior signal caller was aided by wide receiver Quintez Cephus, who exploded for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Through two games Wisconsin has outscored their opponents 110-0. The Badgers get a week off before hosting Michigan in their Big Ten opener.

3. (2) Penn State (2-0), W - 45-13 vs. Buffalo, Next Week: vs. Pitt

After trailing at halftime, Penn State recovered in the second half and cruised to a 45-13 victory over Buffalo. The Nittany Lions were completely outplayed in the first half and out-gained 270 to 82 in total yards. But early in the third quarter a 36-yard pick six by cornerback John Reid completely shifted momentum and Penn State never looked back.

Quarterback Sean Clifford played well, throwing for four touchdowns and no interceptions. After two tune up games to start the year, the Nittany Lions host rival Pitt in Week 3.

4. (5) Michigan State (2-0), W - 51-17 vs. Western Michigan, Next Week: vs. Arizona St.

All of the questions about Michigan State’s offense were answered in their 51-17 win over Western Michigan. We’ll see if the Spartans can keep this offensive momentum heading into Big Ten play, but quarterback Brian Lewerke and company made it look easy on Saturday. Lewerke finished with 314 passing yards and three touchdowns, while redshirt freshman Elijah Collins ran for 192 yards as the Spartans lead running back. Sparty will look for payback against Arizona State when they visit East Lansing this weekend (the Sun Devils beat the Spartans in Tempe last season).

5. (7) Maryland (2-0), W - 63-20 vs. No. 21 Syracuse, Next Week: at Temple

Maryland has been the surprise Big Ten team of the first two weeks. The Terrapins put up 63 points on a ranked Syracuse team and improved to 2-0 on the year. Quarterback Josh Jackson was sharp for the second straight week and finished with 296 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson and new head coach Mike Locksley have made a dangerous offensive duo through two games, as the Terrapins have put up an impressive 142 points.

6. (4) Michigan (2-0), W - 24-21 2OT vs. Army, Next Week: BYE

Michigan escaped an upset bid from Army in a 24-21 double overtime win at The Big House. The Wolverines once again were sloppy with the ball, fumbling three times and the offense was stifled by the Black Knights undersized defensive line. In Shea Patterson’s second year under center, Michigan was expected to have a championship caliber offense; that expectation just hasn’t been the case through two games. The Wolverines’ defense kept them in this game and saved their season. Jim Harbaugh and his staff will have a week off to clean things up before their Big Ten opener at Wisconsin.

7. (6) Iowa (2-0), W - 30-0 vs. Rutgers, Next Week: at Iowa State

The Hawkeyes earned their first Big Ten win of the season in a 30-0 shutout of Rutgers. Quarterback Nate Stanley threw for three touchdowns and no picks, while the defense held the Scarlet Knights to just 125 total yards. Iowa looks solid on both sides of the ball through two games, and with a veteran quarterback in Stanley under center, the Hawkeyes are a dark horse in the Big Ten race.

8. (9) Illinois (2-0), W - 31-23 at UConn, Next Week: vs. Eastern Michigan

It didn’t look pretty, but the Illini improved to 2-0 after a 31-23 road win at UConn. After falling behind 13-0, quarterback Brandon Peters responded with three straight touchdown drives to give Illinois the lead for good. The Illini defense held a lackluster UConn rushing attack to just 10 yards on the ground. Eastern Michigan will visit Champaign on Saturday for Illinois’ final non-conference game.

9. (13) Minnesota (2-0), W - 38-35 2OT at Fresno St., Next Week: vs. Georgia Southern

After a sloppy week one win over South Dakota St., P.J. Fleck’s team went out west and earned a road victory over Fresno State on Saturday night. The Golden Gophers came from behind and forced overtime with a touchdown pass with 56 seconds left. A game-winning interception by cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr. in double overtime sealed the victory for Minnesota. The Gophers have a favorable home matchup with Georgia Southern this weekend.

10. (12) Purdue (1-1), W - 42-24 vs. Vanderbilt, Next Week: vs. TCU

The Boilermakers notched their first win of the season over SEC foe Vanderbilt. Quarterback Elijah Sindelar exploded for 509 passing yard and five touchdowns, as Purdue put on an offensive clinic. Electrifying wide receiver Rondale Moore had 13 catches, 220 receiving yards and a touchdown for the Boilermakers. Purdue gets a good test this weekend when TCU travels to West Lafayette.

11. (10) Northwestern (0-1), BYE, Next Week: vs. UNLV

Northwestern had the weekend off. Pat Fitzgerald and his coaching staff had plenty to work on during the bye week, as the Wildcats look to bounce back from their week one loss to Stanford. UNLV comes to Evanston this Saturday in a tune up game.

12. (11) Indiana (2-0), W - 52-0 Eastern Illinois, Next Week: vs. No. 6 Ohio State

The Hoosiers have played no one of significance yet, but credit to Tom Allen’s team for coming out and taking care of business. Indiana finished with 555 total yards and dominated Eastern Illinois in a 52-0 shutout win. The Hoosiers host Ohio State for their Big Ten opener this weekend. It would take a massive game from quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and some luck to keep up with the Buckeyes high flying offense.

13. (8) Nebraska (1-1), L - 34-31 OT at Colorado, Next Week: vs. Northern Illinois

It was a tale of two halves for the Cornhuskers in their 34-31 overtime loss at Colorado. Scott Frost’s team blew a 17 point half time lead and surrendered 24 fourth quarter points to their former Big 12 rival. Good on Nebraska for playing a true road game against a Power Five team, but Colorado is in rebuilding mode and was not expected to be a factor in the Pac-12 this year; this was a disappointing loss no matter how you slice it. After being ranked to start the season, the Cornhuskers looks like they are at least one more year away from being true contenders in the Big Ten.

14. (14) Rutgers (1-1) - L - 30-0 at Iowa, Next Week: BYE

Rutgers was thoroughly dominated by Iowa in a 30-0 loss at Kinnick Stadium. The Scarlet Knights could barely move the ball, as they finished with just 41 passing yards and five first downs. Head coach Chris Ash is firmly on the hot seat as they head into their bye week.