Big Ten Power Rankings: Week Four
1. Ohio State (4-0)
Last week: (W) Florida A&M 76-0
This week: Wisconsin (3-1)
The only blemish for Ohio State on Saturday was the one interception from senior quarterback Kenny Guiton. Other than that, the Buckeyes’ near-scrimmage against Florida A&M went about as well as it could.
Ohio State will welcome Wisconsin into Columbus this Saturday night, which will more than likely decide who will have the upper hand in the Leaders Division the rest of the year. The Buckeyes currently hold the ninth best run defense in the country and will have their toughest test of the year, against a Badgers backfield featuring three running backs who all ran for over 80 yards last week against Purdue. –Ryan Stevens
2. Michigan (4-0)
Last week: (W) @ UCONN 24-21
This week: BYE
Michigan is staying at #2 solely because every other team in the Big Ten didn’t impress enough this week to jump the Wolverines. Head coach Brady Hoke mustered out ten points in the fourth quarter to avoid the upset.
Without Michigan’s defense this team would have lost. Desmond Morgan had a huge one-handed interception in the fourth quarter to start the comeback. The Wolverines have a bye week coming up, before they face off against undefeated Minnesota in two weeks. –Tyler Feldman
3. Northwestern (4-0)
Last week: (W) Maine 35-21
This week: BYE
With a victory over Maine, Northwestern has set itself up with an undefeated record for their bout against Ohio State in two weeks. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their offense struggled to consistently score against a less talented Maine squad. Two defensive scores propelled Pat Fitzgerald’s team to the win. He now has an extra week to prepare for the Buckeyes as they have a bye this upcoming Saturday. –Tyler Feldman
4. Wisconsin (3-1)
Last week: (W) Purdue 41-10
This week: @ Ohio State (4-0)
The nation’s third best running attack was in full flight on Saturday in Madison. Sophomore Melvin Gordon and senior James White rushed for 147 and 145 yards respectively with freshman Corey Clement adding 80 yards as well for Wisconsin. If Wisconsin wants to contend for another trip to Pasadena, they must start by winning this weekend in Columbus. Wisconsin hasn’t won at Ohio State since 2004. –Ryan Stevens
5. Michigan State (3-1)
Last week: (L) @ Notre Dame 17-13
This week: BYE
The Spartans lost to the Fighting Irish as a result of penalties. Michigan State committed too many mistakes, leading to all of Notre Dame’s 17 points. Do not think lesser of this team though.
The Spartans still have a balanced offensive and defensive attack to do damage in the Big Ten Conference this season. Ryan Cook completed just 50% of his passes, but head coach Mark Dantonio will have an extra week to prepare as his team has a bye next Saturday. – Tyler Feldman
6. Nebraska (3-1)
Last week: (W) South Dakota State 59-20
This week: BYE
Nebraska was able to overcome an embarrassing loss to UCLA and head coach Bo Pelini’s comments, to come back strong with a victory over South Dakota State. Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Ron Kellogg III combined for 305 passing yards playing in place of the injured Taylor Martinez.
Ameer Abdullah added 139 rushing yards and a touchdown as the Cornhuskers offense played very well. The Big Ten Conference is all about defense, though. Look for Pelini to work out the kinks during practice to prepare for the Big Ten season. Nebraska heads into a bye week before they face off against Illinois Oct. 5. –Tyler Feldman
7. Penn State (3-1)
Last week: (W) Kent State 34-0
This week: BYE
It wasn’t a pretty win by any means this week for Penn State against Kent State. Christian Hackenberg displayed some troubles throwing the ball in tough conditions at Beaver Stadium finishing with a 21.4 QBR.
Sophomore running back Akeel Lynch had a break out performance compiling 123 yards on 14 carries. The Nittany Lions get a much needed bye week and will face Indiana in Bloomington on October 5th. –Ryan Stevens
8. Minnesota (4-0)
Last week: (W) San Jose State 43-24
This week: Iowa (3-1)
Watch out for the Golden Gophers this season. Quarterback Mitch Leidner rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns in a victory over San Jose St. this past Saturday.
Running back David Cobb added 125 yards and two touchdowns to showcase head coach Jerry Kill’s impressive running attack against the Spartans. A strong start to the season, but it will be interesting to see how the Golden Gophers hold up when the Big Ten schedule commences this weekend. –Tyler Feldman
9. Illinois (2-1)
Last week: BYE
This week: Miami (OH) (0-3)
Illinois will look get back into the swing of things and roll into Big Ten play with a win on Saturday against a lowly Miami team. The RedHawks rank last in total offense in the entire country and are near the bottom in a lot more notable offensive categories.
Miami should not be a problem at all for Illinois, who hung around for the majority of their last game against Washington at Soldier Field. Miami is coming off a 14-0 loss to Cincinnati. –Ryan Stevens
10. Indiana (2-2)
Last week: (L) Missouri 45-28
This week: BYE
Another poor defensive performance doomed Indiana yet again. The 105th-ranked defense in the country surrendered 623 total yards and allowed Missouri to hold a clear advantage in time of possession. Sophomores Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson shared time at quarterback compiling a total of 377 passing yards. Indiana heads into a bye week and will host Penn State on October 5th. –Ryan Stevens
11. Iowa (3-1)
Last week: (W) Western Michigan 59-3
This week: @ Minnesota (4-0)
Special teams and defense came out to play Saturday for Iowa. Kevonte Martin-Manley returned back-to-back punts for touchdowns. B.J Lowery returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns. Even though the Hawkeyes played a very poor Western Michigan team, they still showed a lot of promise. Despite the 59-point outburst, the Hawkeyes are still not a strong enough team offensively to compete in the Legends division. –Tyler Feldman
12. Purdue (1-3)
Last week: (L) @ Wisconsin 41-10
This week: Northern Illinois (3-0)
Purdue opened up Big Ten play with a crushing defeat to Wisconsin in Madison. The Boilermakers were down 14-10 with 9:44 to go in the 2nd quarter, when the Badgers running attack woke up.
More inconsistent quarterback play from senior Rob Henry and only 45 total rushing yards dashed Purdue’s chances of an upset. Northern Illinois comes into West Lafayette this week after coming off a 43-39 scare of their own against Eastern Illinois. –Ryan Stevens
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Ryan is a senior from Bloomington, Illinois majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in english. He has been involved with numerous radio shows, play-by-plays, beat writes and producing various Penn State athletics events since his first days of being on campus in the fall of 2012 with ComRadio. Since the fall of 2013, Ryan has been involved with State College’s ESPN Radio 1450 as an assistant producer intern and high school football reporter.
During the summer of 2014, Ryan co-hosted Sports Central with Cory Giger streaming over Altoona, Pa. and State College Pa. markets. Ryan also assisted USA Basketball media coverage in New York for World Cup of Basketball exhibition games.
Ryan was the marketing & communications intern for USA Track & Field at the national office in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the media contact for the 2015 USATF Hershey Youth Outdoor Championships as well as the 2015 National Junior Olympics.
Senior / Broadcast Journalism and Marketing
Currently, Feldman is an executive producer, reporter and anchor for the Centre County Report, as well as ComRadio’s senior sports director. He also is the host of the Penn State Coaches Show featuring Guy Gadowsky, which airs live from Lettermans on ESPN Radio 1450 and GoPSUSports.com every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Additionally, he was the first to report the hiring of Joe Moorhead as Penn State football’s new offensive coordinator on December 12, 2015.
He’s a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism within the College of Communications and enrolled in the Smeal College of Business.
Feldman, a Pittsburgh native, has broadcasted sporting events from a number of international and professional venues, including Estadio Latinoamericano in Cuba, Madison Square Garden, CONSOL Energy Center, Wells Fargo Center, MetLife Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, and EverBank Field.
Last spring, he traveled with the Penn State men’s volleyball team as their play-by-play man, announcing his very first NCAA tournament matches at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion.
He has gained valuable broadcasting and reporting experience interning and working at WTAJ-TV, MLB Network, GoPSUSports.com, 105.9 The X, 970 AM ESPN, Big Ten Network Student U, and State College’s ESPN Radio 1450.
Feldman has a strong passion for sports and dreams to become a sports anchor/reporter in a national market and/or a hockey play-by-play announcer.