Week 3 didn’t provide many surprises in the Big Ten -- other than Nebraska falling 21-17 to MAC opponent Northern Illinois. The Huskers clearly have some issues to figure out on offense.
Penn State rolled to a win against Georgia State; Ohio State and Wisconsin took care of business against Army and BYU, respectively; and Rutgers shut out Morgan State in a 65-0 win.
Michigan still has some problems on offense, especially in the red zone, but the Wolverines are 3-0 after their home win against Air Force. A few teams either had a bye or a game canceled, but for the most part, the conference performed well this weekend.
Here's how the Big Ten power rankings stand after Week 3:
1. Penn State (previous ranking: 1): The Nittany Lions' offense is hitting its stride and has yet to encounter many speed bumps this season. Beating Georgia State 56-0 on Saturday was another sign that Penn State deserves to be No. 1 in the Big Ten power rankings so far this season. The reigning conference champs will have a test against Iowa next week but will be tough to stop.
2. Wisconsin (2): Wisconsin was on the road against BYU, but it didn’t impact the team much as quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in a 40-6 win. The Badgers' defense held BYU to just six points and made two interceptions on the day.
3. Ohio State (3): The Buckeyes' offense varied its playcalling in a 38-7 victory over Army, giving quarterback J.T. Barrett some different pass looks to help improve his stats. Barrett finished the day with 270 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air, as well as one TD on the ground. Running back J.K. Dobbins had 172 yards rushing and two scores of his own.
4. Michigan (4): Michigan’s offense still has questions as it heads to Purdue next weekend. The Wolverines beat Air Force 29-13 on Saturday, with the defense once again carrying its weight. Michigan only scored two touchdowns on the day, one of which came on a punt return from freshman Donovan Peoples-Jones. The other came from running back Karan Higdon on a 36-yard run. The defense will help against Purdue, but the offense will need to figure out its issues.
5. Maryland (5): Maryland had a bye this week, so it remains in the No. 5 spot after beating Towson 63-17 in Week 2. The Terps play UCF at home next week and should be able to come out on top in that game as well.
6. Iowa (6): The Hawkeyes didn’t have running back Akrum Wadley for a portion of the second half, but it didn’t stop the offense from scoring 21 points after halftime. Iowa won 31-14 against North Texas with quarterback Nate Stanley throwing for 197 yards and two touchdowns. North Texas led 14-10 at the half, but Iowa eventually pulled away and secured a 3-0 start to the season.
7. Michigan State (7): Similar to Maryland, the Spartans had a bye this week, so they won’t move from the No. 7 spot. Michigan State takes on Notre Dame at home next week in what should be a good test. The Irish have been emphasizing the run, and Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush had four rushing touchdowns in a 49-20 win against Boston College on Saturday. The Spartans' offense ranks No. 24 nationally in rushing yards per game, so it should be an interesting matchup in East Lansing.
8. Purdue (11): The Boilermakers are among the biggest movers from Week 2 to 3 after an outstanding 35-3 win against Missouri. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has this team improving week after week, and his team held Missouri to 203 total yards on offense after the Tigers gained 815 yards against Missouri State and 423 against South Carolina. Purdue is now 2-1, with its lone loss coming by seven points to Louisville in Week 1.
9. Indiana (8): We noted above that Maryland and Michigan State maintained their previous rankings following byes this week, but Indiana drops a spot after its game against FIU was canceled. The reason: Purdue is simply playing so well that the Boilermakers needed to move up. The Hoosiers are 1-1 on the season and have Georgia Southern coming to Bloomington next week.
10. Minnesota (10): Minnesota could see its stock rise after its 3-0 start, but the game against Maryland in two weeks could tell us where the Gophers really are in the power index. Minnesota beat Middle Tennessee 34-3 on Saturday, and while it seems as though coach P.J. Fleck has this team ahead of schedule, conference play could prove to be a big test for the Gophers.
11. Northwestern (12): Northwestern beat Bowling Green 49-7 with quarterback Clayton Thorson throwing for 370 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Justin Jackson had 121 yards on the ground with three touchdowns of his own. The Wildcats got blown out by Duke last week, so a convincing win against Bowling Green is a good sign for this team.
12. Rutgers (14): Rutgers moves out of the bottom spot after a 65-0 win over Morgan State. The Scarlet Knights lost to Eastern Michigan in Week 2, so an emphatic victory -- even if it was against Morgan State -- was necessary to show this team can improve. Freshman quarterback Johnathan Lewis ran for four touchdowns and threw for one in the win, with Kyle Bolin also throwing a touchdown of his own. This was a much-needed victory for the Rutgers program.
13. Nebraska (9): The Huskers had the biggest fall this week after a devastating 21-17 loss to Northern Illinois. Quarterback Tanner Lee threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Lee has thrown seven interceptions in Nebraska’s first three games. The offensive line wasn’t much help, either, and Nebraska now has some major questions going forward with this offense.
14. Illinois (13): The Illini find themselves in the bottom spot this week after a 47-23 loss to South Florida. Illinois is now 2-1 on the season and faces Nebraska in two weeks. The Illini have a bye to prepare for the Huskers as they try to rebound after this weekend's loss.