The World-Herald's Sam McKewon compiled his Big Ten football power rankings, published in The World-Herald on Sept. 11.
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1. Ohio State
Last week: Beat Cincinnati 42-0
This week: at Indiana, 11 a.m., FOX
Indiana will be the best offense the Buckeyes’ defense has faced in three games. OSU’s offense is humming along just fine at 43.5 points and 488 yards per game.
Last week: Beat Rutgers 30-0
This week: at Iowa State, 3 p.m. FS1
Arguably the biggest game in this rivalry series since 2002, when the Hawkeyes’ loss to the Cyclones kept them from an undefeated season. Iowa’s defense has been stellar so far.
Last week: Beat Army 24-21
This week: Bye
The Wolverines’ offense has to curb the fumbles, which nearly allowed Army to pull a massive upset. Army’s good. But it’s not that good.
Last week: Beat Central Michigan 61-0
This week: Bye
The Badgers haven’t given up a point this season. That’s more of commentary on their opponents than themselves, but, still, two shutouts look pretty sweet.
5. Penn State
Last week: Beat Buffalo 45-13
This week: Pittsburgh, 11 a.m., ABC
Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford has thrown six touchdowns against zero interceptions this season. His 12.4 yards per attempt is gaudy, too.
6. Michigan State
Last week: Beat Western Michigan 51-17
This week: vs. Arizona State, 3 p.m., FOX
Great showdown here between two of the nation’s best defenses. First team to 21 probably wins it.
Last week: Beat Syracuse 63-20
This week: at Temple, 11 a.m., CBS Sports Network
The Terrapins have started the Mike Locksley era by averaging 7.22 yards per carry and 335 yards per game. That’s not scheme. That’s athletes — and bad opposing defenses. Temple will be tougher.
Last week: Beat Fresno State 38-35
This week: vs. Georgia Southern, 2:30 p.m., BTN
Minnesota survived double overtime at Fresno, but the defense showed some cracks. GSU’s loss to LSU was ugly, but Minnesota is not LSU.
Last week: Lost 34-31 at Colorado
This week: vs. Northern Illinois, 7 p.m., FS1
Fans think the sky is falling. It’s not — NU-CU was destined to be a thriller, no matter how well Nebraska played in the first half — but the Huskers’ offense doesn’t look right.
This week: vs. UNLV, 2:30 p.m., BTN
The Wildcats’ season-opening loss to Stanford looks worse after USC’s freshman quarterback carved up the Cardinal for 45 points.
Last week: Beat Eastern Illinois 52-0
This week: vs. Ohio State, 11 a.m., FOX
You’re about to find out just how bad IU’s first two opponents, Ball State and Eastern Illinois, really were on defense. Quarterback Michael Penix better be ready.
Last week: Beat Connecticut 31-23
This week: vs. Eastern Michigan, 11 a.m., BTN
The Illini overcame an early deficit to nab a non-conference road win. It had been awhile since Illinois had one of those. Like 12 years.
Last week: Beat Vanderbilt 42-24
This week: vs. TCU, 6:30 p.m., BTN
The Boilermakers will go as far as quarterback Elijah Sindelar takes them, since 2.7 yards per carry on the ground won’t beat many teams by itself. Sindelar has 932 passing yards already. He’s on track for 5,000.
Last week: Lost to Iowa 30-0
This week: Bye
It is what it is in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers is the Toby Flenderson of the Big Ten. It’s Rutgers.