A messy weekend for the middle-to-lower tier

The teams that are expected to win on a weekly basis in the Big Ten did their jobs, even though Michigan football wasn’t quite as sharp as usual and Ohio State really looked abysmal in a lot of ways at Rutgers. Penn State handled business against Maryland in the most lopsided result for the Terps yet.

But below the top three teams? Chaos. Pandemonium. Just when you thought you had a good handle on the conference’s middle-to-lower tier, the 11 other teams proved that you really have no idea.

Perhaps it’s parity or just an off weekend. It’s difficult to discern. Either way, here are our latest Big Ten power rankings.

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Michigan football started the game against Purdue looking sharp before being mired in mediocrity for two quarters. It was the first game all season where the starters played the entire game, and the Boilermakers clearly gave the Wolverines fits.

Still, if a bad game still ends 41-13, that tells you a lot about the caliber team Michigan currently has.

A road game at Penn State is up next.

Penn State Nittany Lions (8-1)

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Penn State hasn’t looked quite the same since losing to Ohio State two weeks ago, but on Saturday, it took charge against a struggling Maryland team (that had been on fire early in the year), winning 51-15.

The Nittany Lions really piled on in the fourth quarter with 27 points and Drew Allar rounded back into form. But another big challenge awaits with Michigan football coming to town next Saturday.

Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0)

Adam Cairns-Columbus Dispatch

At this point, Ohio State just is what it is — a team that wins with a suffocating defense and an anemic offense. Against Rutgers, the Buckeyes won despite the offense, which couldn’t seem to get into a rhythm for most of the game. A timely pick-six wrested the lead away from the Scarlet Knights, one…


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