Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Power Rankings Week 4

1. Ohio State Buckeyes- The Buckeyes defeated Cal in Berkeley in a blowout. They face Florida A&M this week before they begin conference play. The real stretch begins  when they open up conference play against Northwestern and Wisconsin.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. Florida A&M Noon ET (BTN)

2. Northwestern Wildcats- The Wildcats advance up to number two for the first time this season. The Wildcats dominated Western Michigan over the weekend. This week the Wildcats host Maine, a mediocre FCS opponent. Like Ohio State, they too will face real competition once they begin conference play.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. Maine Noon ET (BTN)

3. Michigan Wolverines- The Wolverines slip one spot this week after a close game against over-matched Akron team. This week they face the Connecticut Huskies in East Hartford. Aside from playing Notre Dame they haven’t faced much competition and wont until November.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 @ Connecticut 8:00 PM ET (ABC)

4. Michigan State Spartans- The Spartans rise this week coming in at number four. The Spartans offense showed signs of life by scoring 55 points on FCS Youngstown State. This week their competition steps up as they face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend. After this week we will know much more about these Spartans.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 @ Notre Dame 3:30 PM ET (NBC)

5. Wisconsin Badgers- The Badgers came up short against Arizona State last week, losing by two points. This week the Badgers begin conference play against Purdue at home. Now we will see how strong they are coming off a loss.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. Purdue 3:30 PM ET (ABC)

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers- The Gophers advanced to 3-0 after defeating FCS Western Illinois. They trailed early in the game but once again proved that they are strong in the second half. This week they get a test from San Jose State, a 10 win team from a year ago.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. San Jose State Noon ET (ESPN2)

7. Penn State Nittany Lions- The Nittany Lions fell victim to an upset, falling to Central Florida. This week they look to get back on track as they face Kent State. Penn State will face more challenges come conference play.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. Kent State 3:30 PM ET (BTN)

8. Nebraska Cornhuskers- The Cornhuskers embarrassed by the UCLA Bruins this weekend. There are questions moving forward  with the defense. This week they host South Dakota State hoping for redemption. With a winnable stretch of games coming up before the ever so important month of November, we shall see if they can improve.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. South Dakota State 3:30 PM ET (BTN)

9. Illinois Fighting Illini- The Illini came up on the losing end this past week against the Washington Huskies. This week the Illini are idle before they face Miami-Ohio in two weeks’ time before they begin conference play.

Next Game: Saturday September 28 vs. Miami-Ohio Noon ET (BTN)

10. Indiana Hoosiers- The Hoosiers dominated Bowling Green. This week the Hoosiers could bring credibility to the Big Ten with a victory over the SEC’s  Missouri Tigers. If they survive Missouri it is very possible that they can make a bowl game.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. Missouri 8:00 PM ET (BTN)

11. Iowa Hawkeyes- The Hawkeyes impressed last week with a win over in-state rival Iowa State. The Hawkeyes still need to prove themselves and we shall find out about them as the season goes along.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 vs. Western Michigan Noon ET (BTN)

12. Purdue Boilermakers- The Boilermakers are coming off a loss to Notre Dame. This week they open up conference play against Wisconsin. Purdue has struggled but have showed some promise, leading Notre Dame for most of the game before falling in an Irish comeback.

Next Game: Saturday September 21 @ Wisconsin 3:30 PM ET (ABC)

Tags: Big Ten Nebraska Cornhuskers Football Power Rankings

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