Dienhart: Michigan moves up in Week 2 power poll

We have one week in the books. How great is it to have football back in our lives? Really great. The Big Ten went 10-2 in the opening week, with the losses coming vs. Northern Illinois and at Cincinnati. How do I rank the Big Ten teams after one week? See my latest power poll, presented by ArcelorMittal, in this post.


1. Ohio State. The Buckeyes ran out to a big lead—and then coasted home vs. overmatched Buffalo. No shame in that. Just don’t make a habit of it, Brutus.
Last week: No. 1
Up next: vs. San Diego State

2. Michigan. The Wolverines looked impressive in dispatching directional patsy Central Michigan. Still looking for better passing from Devin Gardner.
Last week: No. 3
Up next: vs. Notre Dame

3. Northwestern. Very impressive road win, sparked by two defensive touchdowns by LB Collin Ellis and great play off the bench by QB Trevor Siemian. Look out, America!
Last week: No. 4
Up next: vs. Syracuse

4. Nebraska. The Huskers won. But there wasn’t much to celebrate, as the defense gave up 602 yards to renew worries about this unit. Oh, boy.
Last week: No. 2
Up next: vs. Southern Miss

5. Wisconsin. After a slow start, the Gary Andersen debut turned into a big party. Three Badgers each had over 100 yards rushing. See, some things never change. Cheese curds for everyone!
Last week: No. 5
Up next: vs. Tennessee Tech

[ MORE: Dienhart: Gary Andersen ‘perfect fit’ at Wisconsin ]

6. Penn State. A star may have been born, as Christian Hackenberg looks as good as advertised. I’m excited. Are you?
Last week: No. 7
Up next: vs. Eastern Michigan

7. Michigan State. The offense still looks stuck in neutral. The defense? Oh, it’s championship caliber, again. And if the first week is any indication, the stout unit will score some points.
Last week: No. 6
Up next: vs. South Florida

[ MORE: Who were our Week 1 top performers? See right here! ]

8. Indiana. Seventy-three points! It’s difficult to ignore that total, no matter who you are playing. Now, can the defense step up?
Last week: No. 8
Up next: vs. Navy

9. Minnesota. The Gophers need to get the offense on track, especially the passing game. But I like the direction of this program.
Last week: No. 9
Up next: at New Mexico State (This game will air live on BTN2Go)

[ MORE: Dienhart: My Week 1 honors, grades, top 10 & more ]

10. Iowa. The Hawkeyes lost, but they showed lots of heart and improvement against a pretty good Northern Illinois. This team may be better than I thought.
Last week: No. 11
Up next: vs. Missouri State

11. Illinois. A win, is a win, is a win. Especially if you’re the Illini, who had lost nine games in a row. Oh, and how about Nathan Scheelhaase’s debut in Bill Cubit’s offense? Impressive!
Last week: No. 12
Up next: vs. Cincinnati

12. Purdue. If you find something positive from the debut of Darrell Hazell, please send me an email: tom.dienhart@btn.com. Thank you.
Last week: No. 10
Up next: vs. Indiana State

[ MORE: Rob Henry apologizes for performance on Twitter ]

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (5 Comments)
stratman on 9/2/2013 @ 1:32pm EDT Said:

Nebraska at #4! Are you high?

Big Brother on 9/2/2013 @ 2:45pm EDT Said:

since their trip to Indy for their beatdown, Nebraska has yet to hold an offense to less than 589 yards. right now, they’re no better than MSU when it comes to playing both sides of the ball, just on the opposite side for them

Dave on 9/2/2013 @ 4:10pm EDT Said:

These are little more than preseason rankings….Shouldn’t power rankings be based at least a bit on what we just saw? These aren’t, or NU and UW would be higher, and OSU and UNL would be lower.

Drew on 9/2/2013 @ 8:34pm EDT Said:

Nebraska doesn’t belong anywhere near the top 6 while Wisconsin should be in the top 3.
Nebraska should put their blackshirts away as they have been sievelike.

Concerned on 9/2/2013 @ 8:35pm EDT Said:

After week one, here is my take on the Big Ten.

1. Michigan – Good job. I still feel they are massively over-rated but they had the only flawless performance this week. Gardner looks good, the D looks good. Week two will provide the first good look. Can’t see them coming close to running the table but winning the Legends is a solid bet as Michigan State can’t play offense and Nebraska can’t play defense.
2. Penn State – As expected, the Nittany Lion D was the most impressive unit in the Big Ten sans one blown coverage. With Hull and SOA, Penn State has the top two outside linebackers in the Big Ten with depth from Wartmen and Kline and the top inside player in Carson, the top end, tackle and safety. As long as the injury bug doesn’t continue, the Lions can go a long way.
3. Ohio State – Ohio State is going to have trouble with a lot of teams this year. The defense is a mess. Not Nebraska messy but a mess none the less. The offense has the same ceiling every Meyer team has had. The question is will their luck continue? Stay tuned.