It looked like the Big Ten had a fairly easy slate of games in Week 2, and that mostly came to fruition. However, this past weekend was a wild one for college football, and the conference did not escape it unscathed.
The West division went 4-3 in Week 2, and that has created some movement in our updated power rankings.
These rankings are based on short-term results and momentum. These rankings do not reflect where I expect each Big Ten program to finish in the league standings. Instead, power rankings are mostly based what each program has looked like recently.
Without further ado, let’s get started:
Last Week: 14
Week 2 result: Loss, 45-42, vs. Georgia Southern
Comments: This is just an awful football team. There's not much more to say. Before the season began, I wasn't sure if Scott Frost would survive the season, but I didn't think he'd be fired after just three games. However, the Cornhuskers are 1-2 and the Nebraska brass had seen enough. It's going to be a long season in Lincoln.
Next Opponent: No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0)
Last Week: 13
Week 2 result: Loss, 31-23, vs. Duke
Comments: The Wildcats have been a hot or cold program for much of the last five years, but it appears Pat Fitzgerald has his work cut out for him with this 2022 team. Northwestern lost to one of the worst teams in the ACC in Week 2, which was a blow to the Wildcats' bowl eligibility hopes.
Next Opponent: Southern Illinois (0-2)
Last Week: 8
Week 2 result: Loss, 10-7, vs. Iowa State
Comments: The offensive ineptitude in Iowa City has reached whole new heights (or lows). The Hawkeyes mustered an anemic 150 yards of total offense in Week 2 and lost to their in-state rivals. This comes after Iowa scored just three points in Week 1 against FCS foe, South Dakota State. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is in an awkward position with his son, Brian, serving as the Hawkeye's offensive coordinator, but it's clear things need to change on that side of the ball in Iowa City.
Next Opponent: Nevada (2-1)
Last Week: 11
Week 2 result: Win, 24-3, vs. Virginia
Comments: The Fighting Illini bounced back from last week's loss to Indiana with a win over Virginia. The Cavaliers are expected to finish near the bottom of the ACC standings by season's end, but this was an important win for an Illinois team that is seeking bowl eligibility in Bret Bielema's second season.
Next Opponent: Chattanooga (2-0)
Last Week: 11
Week 2 result: Win, 35-22, vs. Idaho
Comments: Two weeks into the 2022 season, the Hoosiers have matched their win total from a year ago. The schedule begins to get tougher for Indiana from this point forward, but the Hoosiers look improved from a season ago. Tom Allen has done a good job with this program since taking over in 2017, and he looks to take the Hoosiers back to a bowl game this year.
Next Opponent: Western Kentucky (2-0)
Last Week: 10
Week 2 result: Win, 66-7, vs. Wagner
Comments: The Scarlet Knights took care of business against an FCS opponent. Next week's game won't be a gimme, but Rutgers will be favored to win against Temple. Greg Schiano would love to start 3-0 with what the Scarlet Knights have coming later on their schedule.
Next Opponent: Temple (1-1)
Last Week: 9
Week 2 result: Win, 56-21, at Charlotte
Comments: The Terrapins kind of do this every year — beat up on subpar non-conference competition before struggling mightily with the big boys of the Big Ten East division. Maryland will have to play well to beat a good SMU program in Week 3, and then then its exam time for the Terps when they travel to Ann Arbor in Week 4.
Next Opponent: SMU (2-0)
Last Week: 5
Week 2 result: Loss, 17-14, vs. Washington State
Comments: I did not see this one coming. The Badgers were favored by at least 17 points at home against Washington State, but were upset at home by a team expected to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12 Conference. Wisconsin had more first downs, more total yards and controlled time of possession, but didn't get the win. The Badgers should bounce back in Week 3 when they play one of the worst FBS teams in the country.
Next Opponent: New Mexico State (0-3)
Last Week: 7
Week 2 result: Win, 56-0, vs. Indiana State
Comments: You can't take much away from games against FCS opponents, unless things go poorly. That didn't happen to the Boilermakers in Week 2 however, as they handled Indiana State with ease. Purdue is already behind by one game in the Big Ten standings due to their Week 1 loss to Penn State, but the West division looks to be wide open with how Iowa and Wisconsin have looked so far. The Boilermakers are certainly still a contender for a division title.
Next Opponent: Syracuse (2-0)
5.) Penn State
Last Week: 6
Week 2 result: Win, 46-10, vs. Ohio
Comments: The Nittany Lions took care of their Mid-American Conference opponent in Week 2 and move to 2-0 with that nice road win over Purdue already in their pocket. I'm not sure how good Penn State will be this season, but the Nittany Lions have built some early confidence going into a big game this coming weekend.
Next Opponent: Auburn (2-0)
Last Week: 4
Week 2 result: Win, 62-10, vs. Western Illinois
Comments: The Golden Gophers first two opponents were not good football teams. With that being said, Minnesota did exactly what they were supposed to do to New Mexico State and Western Illinois. The Gophers have another game they should win this week against Colorado, and then things get real for them in Week 4 when they travel to East Lansing. Minnesota was my preseason pick to win the Big Ten West, and so far I'm liking that selection.
Next Opponent: Colorado (0-2)
3.) Michigan State
Last Week: 3
Week 2 result: Win, 52-0, vs. Akron
Comments: The Spartans have areas that need improvement, but they've also done what they needed to do against two MAC opponents on their schedule. Michigan State now heads to the West Coast to battle what looks like an improved Washington team. I'm intrigued to see what the Spartans look like in a hostile environment against a Power 5 opponent this weekend.
Next Opponent: Washington (2-0)
Last Week: 2
Week 2 result: Win, 56-10, vs. Hawaii
Comments: The Wolverines have their starting quarterback — sophomore J.J. McCarthy. Michigan's non-conference schedule is among the weakest of any Power 5 program, but the Wolverines have taken care of business through two weeks. Michigan's offensive line hasn't looked as deep or quite as strong as it was a season ago, and that's an area to watch when the Wolverines finally start playing decent competition. That won't be in Week 3, however.
Next Opponent: UConn (1-2)
1.) Ohio State
Last Week: 1
Week 2 result: Win, 45-12, vs. Arkansas State
Comments: The Buckeyes offense looked more like itself this week in a blowout win over Arkansas State. Our power rankings gap between Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten shrank some thing week after Notre Dame — the Buckeye's Week 1 opponent — lost to Marshall this past week. After the Fighting Irish struggled to score against the Thundering Herd, it has me questioning just how much Ohio State's defense has really improved. That question will have to wait a little longer to be answered.
Next Opponent: Toledo (2-0)