Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 4: Michigan’s offense sputters again

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Wilton Speight
ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Wilton Speight /
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With plenty of Big Ten teams getting prepared for their conference slate in Week 4, they took care of business against their weaker foes.

While every week of college football offers something unique, we’re at the point of the season where most fans want conference play to get underway. And even though Week 3 was unique for having a lot of upsets, the Big Ten by and large took care of business with Illinois and Nebraska being the only teams that lost.

That said, not every team won comfortably, and this week’s results separated the contenders from the pretenders in the Big Ten. While there’s still lots of football to be played, and plenty of time for certain teams to turn things around, the favorites in the East and West divisions have been established and it’ll take a lot for them to fall.


Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1)

Last week: L to South Florida, 47-23
Last rank: 13th

Illinois comes in at last place for turning in arguably the worst effort of Week 3. While they were expected to lose to South Florida, Charlie Strong’s team didn’t look impressive in the first two weeks. While an upset was in the cards, Illinois kept shooting themselves in the foot by committing a ton of penalties. Both sides were guilty of this — there were 26 flags by the end of the first half — but you combine that with all the turnovers and blocked kicks, and it looked like Illinois simply forgot how to execute.

Don’t be surprised if they lose every game from here on out.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-2)

Last week: W vs. Morgan State, 65-0
Last rank: 14th

Last week’s 14th-placed team finally moved out of the bottom by getting the spark they needed against Morgan State. If there’s one thing Rutgers has been good at this season, it’s their defense, and they made a big statement by getting a shutout. On offense, they may have found their quarterback of the future in freshman Johnathan Lewis.

On his first career pass attempt, Lewis threw a touchdown. He then rushed for four touchdowns, becoming the eighth player in program history to do so in a game. While there was still a healthy dose of Kyle Bolin in this game, Lewis should be viewed as the starting quarterback going forward.