Week Four Big Ten East Power Rankings

-by Daniel Mogollon

Big Ten East division power rankings following Week 4:

(1) Michigan State Spartans; Record (1): 4-0 (0-0)

Last Week: Won vs. Central Michigan 30-10

They were out-gained by 15 yards the score was 17-10 in the fourth quarter, so I was tempted to knock the Spartans down a peg. It’s a tossup between MSU and OSU at this point. DE Shilique Calhoun came through with 2.5 sacks and a blocked FG (one of two MSU had). More concerning is the (“not season ending”) injury to LT Jack Conklin.

Coming Up: 10/3: vs. Purdue; 10/10: @ Rutgers

(2) Ohio State Buckeyes (2); Record: 4-0 (0-0)

Last Week: Won vs. Western Michigan 38-12

So, QB Cardale Jones is the man (J.T. Barrett was 1 of 3 off the bench) and he used his cannon arm to wrack up 288 passing yards. Eight different Buckeyes had a catch of at least 15 yards, including RB Curtis Samuel, who had a 40-yard catch and a 40-yard run.

Coming Up: 10/3: @ Indiana; 10/10: vs. Maryland

(3) Michigan Wolverines (3); Record: 3-1 (0-0)

Last Week: Won vs. BYU 31-0

This was Michigan’s best effort of the season, top to bottom. There were no interceptions by Jake Rudock, they grounded-and-pounded the Cougars for 254 rushing yards and held No. 22 BYU to a shockingly low 105 total yards.

Coming Up: 10/3: @ Maryland; 10/10: vs. Northwestern

(4) Penn State Nittany Lions (4); Record: 3-1 (1-0)

Last Week: Won vs. San Diego State 37-21

QB Christian Hackenberg had by far his best game of the season completing 60 percent of his passes for three TDs and no INTs. The three forced turnovers—one returned for a TD—also played a big role. RB Saquon Barkley (left game in second quarter) made some special moves, both as a rusher and after the catch.

Coming Up: 10/3: vs. Army; 10/10: vs. Indiana

(5) Indiana Hoosiers (5); Record: 4-0 (0-0)

Last Week: Won @ Wake Forest 31-24

With 168 yards, RB Jordan Howard has run for at least 145 yards in every game this season. At 4-0 (7th time in IU history and first time since 1990) and with games remaining against Rutgers, Maryland and Purdue it’s bowl or bust. Wake Forest isn’t a powerhouse but they’ll take a Power 5 road win in Bloomington any day.

Coming Up: 10/3: vs. Ohio State; 10/10: @ Penn State

(6) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7); Record: 2-2 (0-1)

Last Week: Won vs. Kansas 27-14

Sophomore backs Josh Hicks (113 yards, 2 TDs) and Robert Martin (102 yards) both topped the century mark as Rutgers out-rushed the Jayhawks 312 yards to 64. But that was against a Kansas team that is 0-3 and will likely make a run at a winless season. Context means a lot in college football.  

Coming Up: 10/3: Idle; 10/10:  vs. Michigan State

(7) Maryland Terrapins (6); Record: 2-2 (0-0)

Last Week: Lost @ West Virginia 45-6

In the past three games Caleb Rowe has thrown two, three and now four interceptions giving him nine in just 64 attempts. On the season, three Maryland QBs are completing just 50.4 percent of their passes. Just as many suspected this is going to be a long season for the Terps.

Coming Up: 10/3: vs. Michigan; 10/10: @ Ohio State

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.