BadgerBlitz - Big Ten Power Poll: Week 4
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Big Ten Power Poll: Week 4

It's time to update the BadgerBlitz.com Big Ten Power Poll, where Jon McNamara, Zack Miller and I will rank the Big Ten teams from 1 to 14 every week.
I complied the list in a traditional power poll style. A first place vote was good for 14 points, a second place one for 11, and so on.
BadgerBlitz.com Big Ten Power Poll: Week 4
1. Michigan State (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) - 42 points (3 1st place votes)
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: BYE
Highest vote: 1
Lowest vote: 1
The Spartans look like they are at the top of the class in a down year for the Big Ten. We'll soon see if they are a big fish in a little pond, or if they are good enough to run the table and make some noise later in the season against another top non-conference foe.
2. Wisconsin (1-1, 0-0) - 38 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: BYE
Highest vote: 2
Lowest vote: 3
So far the Badgers have defied conventional wisdom, in that their defense has been great and their offense has struggled, even on the ground. Bowling Green presents a big test this week: they need to show they can still run the ball successfully, and will need to stop a high-powered passing attack.
3. Ohio State (2-1, 0-0) - 37 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: Beat Kent State, 66-0
Highest vote: 2
Lowest vote: 3
Ohio State rebounded with an impressive offensive outburst, and their defense did more than enough to shut down the Golden Flashes. I need to see them show some offensive and defensive life against a better team though, so this week's game against Cincinnati should be a better test.
4. Penn State (3-0, 1-0) - 32 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: Beat Rutgers, 13-10
Highest vote: 4
Lowest vote: 5
Penn State rallied to beat Rutgers on the road, with Christian Hackenberg leading the way. I'm not sure if they have enough pieces on defense to win their division, but with Hackenberg at the helm they always have a chance to make some noise in the East.
5. Nebraska (3-0, 0-0) - 31 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: Beat Fresno State, 55-19
Highest vote: 4
Lowest vote: 5
Give Nebraska credit: they went out on the road and took home a big win over a decent opponent. They have a strong rushing attack, and we'll see if it holds up against the Miami Hurricanes this weekend in Lincoln.
6. Michigan (2-1, 0-0) - 26 points
Weekly change: +1
Last week: Beat Miami (OH), 34-10
Highest vote: 6
Lowest vote: 7
The Wolverines bounced back into the win column, but it's fair to have expected more from them against Miami. There's still a lot of talent in Ann Arbor, but to me this is just a middle of the pack Big Ten team.
7. Iowa (2-1, 0-0) - 22 points
Weekly change: -1
Last week: Lost to Iowa State, 20-17
Highest vote: 7
Lowest vote: 8
The other shoe finally dropped for Iowa, who lost to the Cyclones on a last-second field goal. Their defense might still be ok, but the offense hasn't taken the strides they needed to really compete for a Big Ten title this year.
8. Maryland (2-1, 0-0) - 22 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: Lost to West Virginia, 40-37
Highest vote: 6
Lowest vote: 9
The Terps had their chances against the Mountaineers, but ultimately West Virginia's passing attack was too much for them to handle. That's a tough team to play and they went toe-to-toe, but it's hard not to be a little disappointed in the result after they battled back from an early deficit.
9. Rutgers (2-1, 0-1) - 19 points
Weekly change: +1
Last week: Lost to Penn State, 13-10
Highest vote: 8
Lowest vote: 9
We moved Rutgers up despite the loss, because it's clear they're better than we all anticipated. But there's some danger here: Gary Nova really hurt his team in the end, and Big Ten defenses are going to continue to take advantage of his mistakes.
10. Minnesota (2-1, 0-0) - 15 points
Weekly change: -1
Last week: Lost to TCU, 30-7
Highest vote: 10
Lowest vote: 10
The Gophers played a tough team, but they weren't ever really in that game. TCU defense was too much for Minnesota's offense, which seems just too one dimensional right now, even for a Big Ten team.
11. Indiana (1-1, 0-0) - 10 points
Weekly change: N//A
Last week: Lost to Bowling Green, 45-42
Highest vote: 11
Lowest vote: 13
The Hoosiers just aren't close to turning the corner, at least on defense. They let Bowling Green take the lead thanks to two huge defensive penalties, and their offense just hasn't performed well enough to bail out what's still a sub-par unit.
12. Illinois (2-1, 0-0) - 9 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: Lost to Washington, 44-19
Highest vote: 12
Lowest vote: 12
Just like Minnesota, it was clear the Illini weren't on the same level as Washington. Their offense stumbled and couldn't keep pace with the Huskies, so it will be interesting to see if they can hang with the rest of their divisional opponents when conference play rolls around.
13. Northwestern (0-2, 0-0) - 8 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: BYE
Highest vote: 11
Lowest vote: 13
The Wildcats needed that bye week to get their heads on straight and figure things out for the rest of the season. They have a game against Western Illinois to get back on track, but have to open the Big Ten season at Penn State.
14. Purdue (1-2, 0-0) - 3 points
Weekly change: N/A
Last week: Lost to Notre Dame, 30-17
Highest vote: 14
Lowest vote: 14
Notre Dame didn't blow out the Boilermakers, but they always seem to get up for that game. Let's see if they can show a little more fight over the rest of their regular season.
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