Big Ten Power Rankings: Penn State rests while Ohio State cruises

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) looks to pass against the Michigan State Spartans during second half action at Spartan Stadium Saturday, October 8, 2022.Msuosu 100822 Kd 0014431
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) looks to pass against the Michigan State Spartans during second half action at Spartan Stadium Saturday, October 8, 2022.Msuosu 100822 Kd 0014431 /
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Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema celebrates with player Kody Case (87) after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema celebrates with player Kody Case (87) after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

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4. Illinois (5-1, 2-1) Last week: 6

Welcome to the last slide Illinois! The Illini beat Iowa 9-6 on Saturday in a game that resulted in them being ranked in this week’s AP Poll. The defense was lights out again, giving up just two field goals and 222 yards of total offense. Illinois is now allowing just eight points per game. Chase Brown carried the offense again, rushing for 146 yards on 31 carries. The problem is that he’s getting zero help from the passing game, and that’s what is hurting this offense. Regardless, this team is playing hard and is fun to watch.  We will truly see how good this team is this upcoming week as they host Minnesota.

3. Penn State (5-0, 2-0) Last week: 3

Penn State was on bye this week before facing a three week stretch that will include games against Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State. Hopefully the Nittany Lions got enough rest, because there will be no time to breathe over the next month or so.

2. Michigan (6-0, 3-0) Last week: 2

After being tied with Indiana at 10-10 at halftime, the Wolverines woke up to outscore the Hoosiers 21-0 in the second half. There was a scary moment in this game as running backs coach Mike Hart collapsed on the sidelines in the first half. This, along with looking ahead to playing Penn State, may be why Michigan struggled early. Hart was alert and taken to the hospital and is reportedly in stable condition. J.J. McCarthy looked like a 5-star quarterback in this game, going 28-36 for 304 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The defense was stifling, sacking Indiana seven times and allowing just 19 net rushing yards. Their ability to keep Indiana at bay until the offense woke up won this game. Michigan will now prepare to host Penn State in that massive battle.

1. Ohio State (6-0, 3-0) Last week: 1

Yeah, the Buckeyes are really good. Ohio State stomped Michigan State 49-20 on Saturday thanks to C.J. Stroud going 21-26 for 361 yards, six touchdowns and an interception. If it wasn’t for the interception, which resulted in a pick-six and really wasn’t Stroud’s fault, this would have been the definition of perfect quarterback play. Stroud did all this without projected first round pick wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.  That says: A. Stroud is really good. B. The Buckeyes are stacked at receiver. C. Michigan State is really bad. D. All of the above. The correct answer is D. The new look Ohio State defense is also dominating, as the starting unit only gave up seven points in this game. Iowa is up next for the Buckeyes.