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Four Big Ten teams lost non-conference games this week while others barely squeaked by inferior opponents. All of this results in a great deal of shake-up in this week's rankings.

Here’s how all 14 Big Ten teams stack up after week three. 

1. Ohio State (3-0) Previous Rank: 1

The Buckeyes top the rankings for the third week in a row and will continue to do so until they lose. Their latest victims were the Toledo Rockets, who suffered a crushing 77-21 defeat at the hands of senior quarterback C.J. Stroud and company.

Stroud didn’t see the field after the five-minute mark of the third quarter, but nonetheless racked up a staggering 367 passing yards and five touchdowns on just 27 attempts. Sophomore quarterback and fellow five-star recruit Kyle McCord relieved Stroud, tossing 115 yards and a touchdown as well. 

In the run game, freshman Dallan Hayden burst onto the scene with a statement performance. After rushing for a combined 13 yards in the Buckeyes' two previous games, Hayden racked up 108 yards on 17 carries. If he can repeat this effort going forward, Hayden will add to the embarrassment of riches the Buckeyes already possess. 

2. Michigan (3-0) Previous Rank: 2

The Wolverines notched their most dominant victory of the season in sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s second start under center. Michigan pummeled UConn 59-0 and allowed just 110 yards of total offense.

McCarthy threw the ball just 18 times in his first game since being named Michigan’s starting quarterback, as the Wolverines leaned on the run game. Junior running back Blake Corum rushed for a career-high five touchdowns in the victory and has clearly stepped into his role as RB1. 

Michigan has jumped out to a dominant start, but that is to be expected given the competition level they have faced. It’s yet to be determined how their dynamic offense will fare in the Big Ten, but they have not shown any sign of weakness yet. Compared with other Big Ten teams who have struggled to convincingly beat non-Power Five opponents, coach Jim Harbaugh must be pleased with the Wolverines’ first three performances.

3. Minnesota (3-0) Previous Rank: 3 

The Golden Gophers are another team who have had zero issue blowing out inferior opponents. This week, however, it was a Power Five foe who ran into the freight train that is Minnesota. Colorado stood no chance on Saturday, falling 49-7 in Minneapolis. 

The Buffaloes struggled to move the ball on a Minnesota defense that currently ranks first in the Big Ten in yards allowed, giving up an average of just 170 per game. Colorado mustered just 90 yards through the air but fared better on the ground with 136 rushing yards. 

Regardless of how they could move the ball, the Buffs scored just once — a garbage-time touchdown while down 49-0. Minnesota, however, raced up and down the field with ease. The Golden Gophers had yet another massive night in the running game, racking up 334 yards. 

Mohamed Ibrahim led the way with 202 of those and has established himself as one of the nation's premier backs. He currently ranks second in the country in yards per game with 154 yards. He also notched three touchdowns in the victory. If Ibrahim can stay healthy, Big Ten defenses will struggle to stop a Minnesota offense that averages 312 rush yards per game.

However, the celebration of another big victory may have been outshined by the loss of senior wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell. The veteran pass catcher sustained a lower leg injury during the second quarter and will miss the remainder of the season. This is a huge loss for Minnesota as Autman-Bell has been their number one wide receiver over the past two seasons. Senior quarterback Tanner Morgan will need to quickly adjust to life without him as Big Ten play ramps up next weekend. 

4. Penn State (3-0) Previous Rank: 5

The Nittany Lions continue to climb the rankings as they steadily put together impressive wins. Most recently, Penn State dominated SEC foe Auburn from the onset, defeating the Tigers 41-12. 

While Auburn may not be the SEC’s finest this season — they struggled with San Jose State in week two — it’s still a solid victory, especially given the fashion it was delivered in. After taking just an eight-point lead into the half, the Nittany Lions dominated the remaining two quarters, outscoring the Tigers 27-6 in the second half. 

While each team’s total yardage was nearly even, it was the Nittany Lion defense that came up huge, forcing four turnovers. Two of them came off interceptions in Penn State territory while the Tigers were driving. 

Freshman running back Nicholas Singleton led the way for the Nittany Lion offense. After rushing for 179 yards against Ohio the previous week, he proved it was no fluke, adding another 124 against Auburn. He has clearly established himself as Penn State’s go-to back, earning just one more carry than the Nittany Lions' second-leading rusher, freshman running back Kaytron Allen, but averaging 12.4 yards per carry as opposed to Allen’s 5.8. 

Penn State jumped all the way to No. 14 in the AP poll with the victory, boasting one of the Big Ten’s best resumes so far with victories over both a Big Ten team, Purdue, and an SEC team. 

5. Wisconsin (2-1) Previous Rank: 7

The Badgers return to the top 5, mostly thanks to teams losing ahead of them. After a loss to Washington State in week two, Wisconsin responded well with a 66-7 thumping of New Mexico State. 

Compare that with Minnesota’s 38-0 victory over the Aggies in week two, and the Badgers may have the more impressive victory, albeit against one of the weakest teams in the FBS. However, Wisconsin did allow New Mexico State to produce 242 yards of offense, whereas the Aggies managed just 91 against the Golden Gophers. 

Comparisons aside, this was a solid win for the Badgers as they attempt to gear up before a huge matchup with Ohio State next weekend. Wisconsin racked up 595 yards of offense, a new season-high.

For his standards, sophomore running back Braelon Allen had another pedestrian performance yardage-wise. He finished with 86 yards on 15 carries, but he did notch three touchdowns to bring his 2022 total to five. 

6. Maryland (3-0) Previous Rank: 8

Maryland reaches its highest ranking yet, in part because of teams struggling ahead of them, but also because they have managed to stay undefeated. The Terrapins' latest win came against SMU in a hard-fought 34-27 victory. 

The Mustangs, despite being a Group of Five opponent, provided an adequate challenge for Maryland. The Terrapins' eventual victory strengthens their resume and legitimizes their shot at staying competitive in the Big Ten this season. 

Junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa had another solid performance, throwing for 214 yards and two touchdowns, but it was Maryland’s rush attack that shined this week. Freshman running back Roman Hemby had his best performance yet, rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown. As a team, the Terrapins combined for 225 yards on the ground, an uncharacteristically high mark.

Maryland’s defense had issues containing SMU’s offense — a unit that ranks 12th in the nation in yards-per-game — but a boom-or-bust approach paid off as it nabbed three turnovers. The Mustangs put up 520 yards and 30 first downs, but turned the ball over on downs twice inside the Maryland 10-yard line and fumbled on the Maryland three. Untimely mistakes ultimately cost SMU the victory, but Maryland deserves credit for forcing those blunders. 

7. Michigan State (2-1) Previous Rank: 4

The Spartans fall three spots after being boat-raced by Washington, 39-28, in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated. The Huskies dominated Michigan State throughout, leading by as much as 25 points. 

It was the Michael Penix Jr. show in Seattle, as the former Big Ten quarterback threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns. It was not the first time Penix had embarrassed the Spartans. In 2020 while at the helm for Indiana, he threw for 320 yards in a shutout of Michigan State. This time was no different, as Penix flashed those same elite traits.

The most concerning takeaway for Michigan State was its failure in the run game. The Spartans combined for just 42 yards as a team, a far fall from their bruising 2021 ground attack. Granted, they trailed big for most of the game, and a reliance on the passing game was necessary for their comeback effort. 

The loss came as the Big Ten East’s first of the year, as the other six teams sit at a perfect 3-0. The Spartans will need to shore up their defensive unit before they welcome Minnesota next week. They can’t afford to give up over 500 yards again because the Golden Gophers’ elite defense will make it hard to keep up. 

8. Purdue (1-2) Previous Rank: 6

The Boilermakers suffered another heartbreaking loss, this time at the hands of Syracuse. Purdue, despite being 1-2, could easily be 3-0 if not for late-game heroics by their opponents. 

With seven seconds left in the game, Syracuse sophomore wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II hauled in a 25-yard touchdown catch in the corner of the endzone, giving the Orange a last-second lead, and ultimately the win. The Boilermakers lost once again as the product of a fourth-quarter touchdown drive. 

It was a back-and-forth game throughout, with Purdue out-gaining the Orange by nearly 180 yards. The difference in the game was the Boilermakers' lone turnover, an ill-advised fourth-quarter throwaway from senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell that landed perfectly in the hands of a defender just a few yards away. Syracuse ran back the horrific interception for a touchdown, giving them a two-possession lead. 

Outside of that throw, O’Connell once again produced a massive stat line, throwing for 424 yards and three touchdowns. He now leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game. Purdue’s rush attack, however, continues to be abysmal —the Boilermaker backs combined for 61 yards as a unit. Purdue’s one-dimensional offense may cost it some games, despite the explosive nature of the pass attack. 

9. Rutgers (3-0) Previous Rank: 9

The Scarlet Knights remained undefeated on Saturday, but did so unconvincingly, squeaking by Temple 16-14. The win did, however, make head coach Greg Schiano the winningest coach in Rutgers football history. 

Temple’s defense largely stifled the Scarlet Knights, holding them to 201 yards of offense as a team. Rutgers’ passing offense desperately needs a leader, as they mustered just 59 yards through the air. The Scarlet Knights relied on their run game once again, as it supplied nearly all of its offensive production for the third straight week. 

Rutgers will need to produce more than 16 points if it hopes to compete in the Big Ten, but in next week’s game against Iowa, a low-scoring slugfest may play to their advantage. 

10. Illinois (2-1) Previous Rank: 11

The Fighting Illini were inactive this week, but move up one spot due to losses in front of them. They will wrap up their non-conference slate in week four, with a nightcap against Chattanooga at 7:30 on Sept. 22. 

11. Iowa (2-1) Previous Rank: 13

The Hawkeyes finally scored more than one touchdown in a game in their 27-0 victory over Nevada. The average fan, however, didn’t get to witness it, as the game began at 6:40 p.m. and didn’t finish until 1:39 a.m. Three hours and 56 minutes of delay couldn’t prevent Iowa from cruising to its first double-digit victory though.

The Hawkeyes’ defense once again smothered its opponent. The Wolf Pack earned just 151 yards of offense and ten first downs. Iowa, on the other hand, had its best offensive performance of the year, although that isn’t saying much.

Any improvement is welcome, as the Hawkeyes rank dead last in the Big Ten in offensive scoring, total yards, passing offense and rushing offense. 

12. Indiana (3-0) Previous Rank: 12  

The Hoosiers stayed undefeated this week, but did so with an unimpressive overtime victory over Western Kentucky. Indiana trailed nearly the entire time, only prevailing due to a fourth-quarter comeback and a missed 44-yard potential game-winning field goal from the Hilltoppers. 

WKU shredded Indiana’s defense, racking up 545 yards while impressing in both the run and pass game. Indiana played well offensively too, but will struggle to repeat a 484-yard performance against most Big Ten defenses. 

Regardless of how they win, the Hoosiers continue to do so, a feat many Big Ten teams wish they could accomplish.

13. Northwestern (1-2) Previous Rank: 10

The season began so well for the Wildcats. With zero expectations headed into the season, a win over Nebraska as double-digit underdogs provided some hope for 2022. 

Since then, Northwestern has lost two straight, and the win over the Huskers looks mediocre at best. That week zero victory keeps the Wildcats from the bottom spot, but their latest defeat — a 31-24 embarrassment to in-state FCS foe Southern Illinois — drops them three spots. 

Northwestern turned the ball over four times and was lucky to only lose by 7. The Salukis matched the Wildcats in nearly every facet of the game, handing the Power Five team their first FCS loss of the season. 

Junior running back Evan Hull continues his impressive season, one of the lone bright spots for the Wildcats. Hull ranks first among Big Ten players in all-purpose yards, adding 157 in the loss. 

14. Nebraska (1-3) Previous Rank: 14

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. 

For Nebraska football, the 2022 season has gotten off to nearly the worst possible start imaginable. The Huskers were always expected to lose to Oklahoma, but in the grander narrative of this season, the loss stings for Nebraska so much more. 

The Huskers haven’t lost by more than 10 points since 2020, so the nature of this 49-14 loss was shocking. Despite Oklahoma having superior talent, some thought Nebraska could stay competitive in Mickey Joseph’s debut as interim head coach. Oklahoma killed this sentiment, scoring 49 straight on their way to a dominating smackdown of their old Big 12 rival. 

Nebraska’s defense has been abysmal all season, so it was no surprise that the Sooners put up nearly 600 yards. But it was the offense who looked uncharacteristically bad, struggling to move the ball at all after a solid first drive that ended in a touchdown. 

The Huskers head into the bye week, and the start of Big Ten play, with three losses already. They must use these next two weeks to prepare for a schedule that has some winnable games, but others that could embarrass the Nebraska program even further if it can’t compete. 

sports@dailynebraskan.com