So as sports enthusiast we are enamored by rankings. Whether it be the Ap poll, coach’s poll, playoff rankings, or my favourite, power rankings. Here we are going to look at the Big Ten Power Rankings. My love for them is it doesn’t matter what any of the other rankings say, this one stands by itself. It is a ranking of a teams strength and momentum for the last few weeks and near future. It can change all by itself it doesn’t effect other rankings and they don’t effect it. I also understand the East is a collection of powerhouses. Making it easier for west teams compared to the east. With all that out of the way this is my view of which teams are carrying more momentum and strength and it definitely can change week to week so this list will need to be updated every week throughout the season.
Northwestern has had a rollercoaster last few seasons. They had a surprise season in 2020 where they won the Big Ten West and came within points of beating Ohio State for the B1G championship. Then the year before and after that they went 3-9. Sadly they may finish 3-9 or worse again this year after they lost All of Ten safety Brandon Joseph to Notre Dame. The defense definitely will be more vulnerable without Joseph and their offense finished 125th in scoring out of 130 teams. Pat Fitzgerald isn’t on the hot seat and their 2023 recruiting class is looking good but this season may be hard to watch for Northwestern fans.
Illinois finished 5-7 in Brett Bielema’s first season as head coach. They were loaded with seniors though that have now moved on. The fighting Illini are in good hands with Bielema but this years squad is full of freshman so a step back isn’t unreasonable.
Last season was hard for Indiana fans after a couple of promising years under coach Tom Allen. They started the season ranked 17th in the Ap top 25 but fell hard through the year. Starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr getting injured for the season didn’t help either. This off-season Penix has now transferred out on Indiana and the job is up for grabs between Jack Tuttle and Connor Bazelak. I believe they will do a little better than last year’s one conference victory, but there’s still some growing pains to happen.
The Rutgers have spent a lot of time at the lower end of these rankings. This is a team on the rise though. They have gotten better over the last two seasons under Greg Schiano and have more wins in the last two years than they had in four seasons before that. I really believe that this team could move up higher in these rankings as the season goes.
Head coach Frost is the only coach in the Big Ten on the hot seat. He has had a series of bad seasons that just isn’t what’s expected from Nebraska football. The corn huskers went 1-8 in conference play last year. The bright spot is that there losses were usually very close decided by a few points. This off-season brought in a good recruiting class and they did well in the transfer portal. I really feel this is a make or break year for Frost and I expect them to start off hot. We will see if that continues through the season or if a new coaching hire is in Nebraska’s future.
The Terrapins have had it rough since joining the Big Ten in 2014. They have not finished over .500 in conference play yet. Mike Locksley has them on the right track though. He is a great recruiter and has arguably the second best quarterback in the Big Ten in Taulia Tagovailoa. Maryland finished 7-6 overall last season and look to do better this year.
The Boilermakers are a team that could go either way. They had a good season last year but being in the west helps them be higher than Maryland here. Even though I believe Maryland is a better team this season Purdue could win more from scheduling. I’m not taking anything away from Purdue, they are definitely moving in the right direction.Jeff Brohm has to replace some talent lost in the draft, but we will see once the season starts if he was successful with that.
7) Penn State
We have now reached the teams that are all in contention to win their division in the Big Ten. Any of the top 7 in these rankings could have a great season, but I am ranking them by where I see them starting off. Penn State has plenty of talent and should be higher on this list. For some reason they haven’t been able to get results on the field from the talent. James Franklin is a great coach but he’s lost more over the last two seasons. It’ll be interesting to see if they can put it all together
The Hawkeyes won the west last season but it couldn’t have been much closer. Going into the last week there was a three way tie that Iowa edged out. Them being sixth isn’t a knock on Iowa as they should be in the mix again. I believe the other teams have gotten better.
Minnesota has steadily improved and could very well beat out Iowa and Wisconsin to take the west. The Golden Gophers almost achieved it last season going into the last week in a three way tie. They will need to get better on offense as they averaged under six yards per play last year. The return of Muhammad Ibrahim from injury will give them one of the top running back in the Big Ten.
4) Michigan state
Michigan state had a good season last year that saw their head coach get a 10 year contract extension after the seasons end. They have recruited well and look to be a contender to Michigan and Ohio State but I don’t see them beating the Buckeye’s.
Wisconsin is a team that looks at eight or nine wins as a bad year. They are always a good team but with running back Allen emerging as a superstar last year they look to be dangerous this season. The defense will be stout, and the only question mark is if quarterback Graham Mertz can become the field general they need him to be. The defenses in the Big Ten are great and it’ll take more than a great running game to win out this year. New offensive coordinator Bobby Engrahm has the task of jumpstarting the passing game to this one sided running team.
I really had a hard time putting the Wolverines above the Badgers and I honestly expect Wisconsin to overtake them at the second spot once the season starts. I feel Michigan lost too many star players in the draft, but I’m giving them the spot because their quarterback play with McNamara will be a difference maker. We will see if the defense and surrounding cast will be good enough to keep them here.
1) Ohio State
It’s no secret who was gonna be number one the whole time. The Buckeyes have the best quarterback in the nation in C J Stroud. They also have some new faces at wide receivers after losing stars from last year to the draft. Recruiting has never been a problem here and the offense will be fantastic to match a great defense. Ohio State is not just looking to win the Big Ten this year but is a favored contender for the National Championship.
Here was the Big Ten power rankings for the 2022 season. They will be updated every week as the season goes. I hope you enjoyed whether you agree or not leave comments to let me know. While waiting for the next rankings here are some articles for you to enjoy.