Pete Pistone and the rest of the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio team will unveil Power Rankings each week of the college football season. Check out their 2021 Power Rankings below, and start listening to SiriusXM Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372) on the SXM App now
Things are getting interesting as the Big Ten football season nears the halfway mark. There are now five teams in the AP Top 10 for the first time in conference history. Here’s how the Big Ten Radio team voted for this week’s edition of the Power Rankings:
Junior Nico Ragaini’s 44-yard touchdown reception with 6:26 remaining propelled the third-ranked University of Iowa football team to a 23-20 victory over No. 4 Penn State in front of a sold out, Black and Gold striped Kinnick Stadium. In the most anticipated game in Iowa City in 36 years, the opportunistic Hawkeyes made a statement to move to 6-0 with three victories over nationally ranked foes.
NEXT: Purdue (October 16)
2. OHIO STATE
C.J. Stroud threw five touchdowns passes, Ohio State scored on nine straight possessions and the No. 7 Buckeyes steamrolled Maryland 66-17 on Saturday. Stroud and the Buckeyes had their way with Terps. The freshman quarterback was 24 for 33 for 406 yards and threw two touchdown passes each to star wideouts Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson against a depleted Maryland secondary before taking a seat after three quarters.
The Wolverines defeated Nebraska 32-39 and are now 6-0 for the first time since 2016, when the team started 9-0. Signalcaller Cade McNamara posted his first career 200-yard passing game, finishing with a career-high 255 yards through the air. Running back Hassan Haskins gained 123 yards, including a highlight-reel 50-yard rush in the fourth quarter, to register his sixth career 100-yard game on the ground.
4. PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions lost to Iowa but also saw quarterback Sean Clifford go down with an injury. That will be a significant story to watch develop in the coming weeks for Penn State to remain alive in the division race.
Jalen Nailor caught touchdown passes of 63, 63 and 65 yards from Payton Thorne and No. 11 Michigan State used its big-play offense to remain unbeaten with a 31-13 victory over Rutgers on Saturday. Kenneth Walker, who came into the game leading all Football Bowl Subdivision players in rushing, ran for 233 yards, including a school-record 94-yard touchdown. It was the longest offensive play in Michigan State history.
NEXT: @Indiana (October 16)
The Huskers gave Michigan everything and more last Saturday night in their prime time match-up. But ultimately it came down to a late score for the Wolverines to prevail as Scott Frost’s team continues to look like a much improved squad this season.
NEXT: @Minnesota (October 16)
The Golden Gophers were idle last week.
NEXT: Nebraska (October 16)
Michigan State just proved to be too much for Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights lost in front of their home crowd in Piscataway.
NEXT: @Northwestern (October 16)
The Terrapins were never really in the game against Ohio State as the high-powered Buckeyes offense was just too much for Greg Locksley’s team to contain.
Wisconsin packed its run game for this road trip as the Badgers beat Illinois 24-0 on Saturday. Chez Mellusi ran for 145 yards and a touchdown, Braelon Allen rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and fullback John Chenal carried nine times for 38 yards and a touchdown for the Badgers. Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz was 10-of-19 passing for 100 yards. The Badgers (2-3, 1-2 Big Ten Conference) outgained Illinois 491-93 yards in total offense.
NEXT: Army (October 16)
The Hoosiers were idle but the news of quarterback Michael Penix Jr. being injured yet again was another blow to Tom Allen’s already disappointing season.
NEXT: Michigan State (October 16)
The Boilermakers had a bye last weekend.
NEXT: @Iowa (October 16)
The Fighting Illini’s offense was non-existent against Wisconsin and the Badgers left Champaign with a W.
The Wildcats were idle last weekend.
NEXT: Rutgers (October 16)
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