Sam McKewon's Big Ten football power rankings, Sept. 10

Justin Fields and the Buckeyes are averaging 43.5 points and 488 yards per game.

The World-Herald's Sam McKewon compiled his Big Ten football power rankings, published in The World-Herald on Sept. 11.

* * *

1. Ohio State

Last week: Beat Cincinnati 42-0

This week: at Indiana, 11 a.m., FOX

Indiana will be the best offense the Buckeyes have faced in three games. OSU’s offense is humming along just fine at 43.5 points and 488 yards per game.

2. Iowa

Last week: Beat Rutgers 30-0

This week: at Iowa State, 3 p.m. FS1

Arguably the biggest game in this rivalry series since 2002, when the Hawkeyes’ loss to the Cyclones kept them from an undefeated season. Iowa’s defense has been stellar so far.

3. Michigan

Last week: Beat Army 24-21

This week: Bye

The Wolverines’ offense has to curb the fumbles, which nearly allowed Army to pull a massive upset. Army’s good. But it’s not that good.

4. Wisconsin

Last week: Beat Central Michigan 61-0

This week: Bye

The Badgers haven’t given up a point this season. That’s more of a commentary on their opponents than themselves, but, still, two shutouts look pretty sweet.

5. Penn State

Last week: Beat Buffalo 45-13

This week: Pittsburgh, 11 a.m., ABC

Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford has thrown six touchdowns against zero interceptions this season. His 12.4 yards per attempt are gaudy, too.

6. Michigan State

Last week: Beat Western Michigan 51-17

This week: vs. Arizona State, 3 p.m., FOX

Great showdown here between two of the nation’s best defenses. First team to 21 probably wins it.

7. Maryland

Last week: Beat Syracuse 63-20

This week: at Temple, 11 a.m., CBS Sports Network

The Terrapins have started the Mike Locksley era by averaging 7.22 yards per carry and 335 rushing yards per game. That’s not scheme. That’s athletes — and bad opposing defenses. Temple will be tougher.

8. Minnesota

Last week: Beat Fresno State 38-35

This week: vs. Georgia Southern, 2:30 p.m., BTN

Minnesota survived double-overtime at Fresno, but the defense showed some cracks. Georgia Southern’s loss to LSU was ugly, but Minnesota is not LSU.

9. Nebraska

Last week: Lost 34-31 at Colorado

This week: vs. Northern Illinois, 7 p.m., FS1

Fans think the sky is falling. It’s not — NU-CU was destined to be a thriller, no matter how well Nebraska played in the first half — but the Huskers’ offense doesn’t look right.

10. Northwestern

Last week:Bye

This week: vs. UNLV, 2:30 p.m., BTN

The Wildcats’ season-opening loss to Stanford looks worse after USC’s freshman quarterback carved up the Cardinal for 45 points.

11. Indiana

Last week: Beat Eastern Illinois 52-0

This week: vs. Ohio State, 11 a.m., FOX

You’re about to find out just how bad IU’s first two opponents, Ball State and Eastern Illinois, really were on defense. Quarterback Michael Penix better be ready.

12. Illinois

Last week: Beat Connecticut 31-23

This week: vs. Eastern Michigan, 11 a.m., BTN

The Illini overcame an early deficit to nab a nonconference road win. It had been awhile since Illinois had one of those. Like 12 years.

13. Purdue

Last week: Beat Vanderbilt 42-24

This week: vs. TCU, 6:30 p.m., BTN

The Boilermakers will go as far as quarterback Elijah Sindelar takes them, since 2.7 yards per carry on the ground won’t beat many teams by itself. Sindelar has 932 passing yards already. He’s on track for 5,000.

14. Rutgers

Last week: Lost to Iowa 30-0

This week: Bye

It is what it is in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers is the Toby Flenderson of the Big Ten. It’s Rutgers.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.