Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 1, 2013

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: Thank you.
Last week: No. 10
Up next: vs. Indiana State

[ MORE: Rob Henry apologizes for performance on Twitter ]

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, 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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