Big Ten: Week 4 Power Rankings, News & Rumors

The Big Ten had a very up-and-down weekend, as several top teams were upset (or nearly upset) to lesser opponents - while others pulled off huge victory. Here's a look at all the latest happenings around the the league below, but we lead off with our Big Ten Power Rankings heading into Week 4:

14) Purdue Boilermakers (1-1)
Purdue beat Eastern Kentucky, in their opener, then were blasted by Cincinnati, showing this team still has a long way to go. They had a bye week on Saturday.

13) Illinois Fighting Illini (1-2)
The season-opening win over Murray State didn't tell us a whole lot about this team, and getting blown out by Western Michigan doesn't bode well for the Illini this season.

12) Northwestern Wildcats (1-2)
Northwestern shook off their terrible start by beating Duke on Saturday, finally putting them in the win column. However, we aren't sure exactly how good a win over a 1-2 Duke team is.

11) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-1)
The Scarlet Knights got off to a slow start again, trailing New Mexico State 21-0, but rebounded for the win. If they can shake off those slow starts, they'll be golden.

10) Indiana Hoosiers (2-0)
Indiana's defense has carried them this season, forcing three turnovers in each of their first two games. Of course, that's against subpar competition, but it's still impressive. They had a bye week on Saturday.

9) Maryland Terrapins (3-0)
The Terps got their biggest win of the season by knocking off UCF in double overtime on Saturday, and they're already halfway to a bowl game. New head coach D.J. Durkin has the Terps playing surprisingly well, but they're still unproven.

8) Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1)
Penn State rebounded from a loss to Pitt with a narrow home victory over a good Temple team. Next weekend's showdown with Michigan will tell us how good this team really is.

7) Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0)
Minnesota has wins over Oregon State and Indiana, and enjoyed a bye last Saturday to help them get ready for their important three-game stretch against Colorado State, Penn State and Iowa.

6) Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1)
Speaking of the Hawkeyes...ouch. Losing to a FCS team (at home, no less) has ruined their College Football Playoff chances, but North Dakota State has done this to several teams before. Still, you can't overstate how devastating this loss was for the Hawkeyes.

5) Wisconsin Badgers (3-0)
Beating LSU was HUGE for Wisconsin, and they nearly blew it by losing at home to Georgia State. Still, a win's a win, and the Badgers can prove themselves again this weekend against Michigan State.

4) Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0)
The Huskers proved they're for real by upsetting Oregon, and now look like they'll be a major player in the Big Ten race.

3) Michigan State Spartans (2-0)
Michigan State looked awful against Furman, then looked like one of the best teams in the country in their win over Notre Dame in South Bend. They'll be a major factor in the Big Ten again.

2) Michigan Wolverines (3-0)
Colorado was Michigan's first test against a halfway decent team, and after a slow start, the Wolverines passed with flying colors. Now comes another tougher - but winnable - test against Penn State.

1) Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0)
Ohio State looked good against Bowling Green and Tulsa. They looked REALLY good against Oklahoma on the road. Is it possible that this year's Buckeyes team is better than last year's

Ranked teams

Five Big Ten teams found themselves ranked in Sunday's AP Poll, and all four were in the top 11. Nebraska entered the rankings for the first time at No. 20, while Wisconsin dropped slightly to No. 11. Michigan State entered the top 10 at No. 8, while Michigan stayed at No. 4 and Ohio State rose to No. 2.

Wisconsin QB battle
Wisconsin's Alex Hornibrook replaced Bart Houston halfway through their 23-17 win over Georgia State and provided a spark to the offense. Head coach Paul Chryst said that Houston is the team's starter for now, but Hornibrook played well enough to make this a battle to keep an eye on.

Conference Player of the Week
Michigan's Jabrill Peppers became the first player in Big Ten history to win both Defensive Player of the Week and Special Teams Player of the Week honors by recording 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one punt return for a touchdown. Ohio State wideout Noah Brown won the Offensive player of the week award, thanks to his five-catch, 72-yard, four-touchdown performance.

Games of the Week
Several teams have their Big Ten openers this coming weekend, while a few other teams have byes, there are a few notable games on Saturday. Here are the marquee games to watch:

Iowa at Rutgers - 12:00 pm ET, ESPN2
#11 Wisconsin at #8 Michigan State - 12:00 pm ET, BTN
Penn State at #4 Michigan - 3:30 pm ET, ABC
#20 Nebraska at Northwestern - 7:30 pm ET, BTN

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