Big Ten football rankings: Playful Gophers, planted Buckeyes

Meanwhile, Wisconsin does the right thing

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These are Big Ten rankings, but not power rankings. These are made on whims, my whims. Your whim-age may vary.

 

1.

Wisconsin

2-0

The Badgers beat Florida Atlantic, 31-14, a mostly forgettable game. But Wisconsin offered to pay hotel, food costs and the use of campus facilities while the Owls await being able to go home to hurricane-plagued Boca Raton on Florida’s east coast. FAU Coach Lane Kiffin said “You got kids coming into the office saying, ‘Coach, I know it’s a football game, but I’m really the only one to take care of my grandma. We don’t know what’s coming.’ But there was a decision to come and play. With all those distractions, with all that stuff, I thought our guys stayed together in a difficult situation.”
 
2.

Penn State

2-0

Nittany Lions Coach James Franklin was born in Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin, who did some of his best work in Philadelphia, was born in Boston. Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, and grew up in Detroit.
 
3.

Minnesota

2-0

The Gophers flew two time zones west, then stayed grounded. They rushed 58 times, passed eight times, and mowed down Oregon State, 48-16. Minnesota Coach P.J. Fleck didn’t like his team’s sideline demeanor in Week 1, so he devoted 10 minutes of practice last week to instruct players how to enjoy big plays with their teammates. That’s not a page from the coaching handbooks of Bill Belichick, Nick Saban or Urban Meyer.
 
4.

Iowa

2-0

The Hawkeyes did what Ohio State and Arkansas couldn’t Saturday. They beat a Big 12 team.
 
5.

Maryland

2-0

Over two games, the Terrapins have 16 touchdowns. They scored one TD over a 3-game stretch late last year. one of those three opponents.
 
6.

Illinois

2-0

Western Kentucky was the nation’s leader in scoring last season. The Fighting Illini held WKU to seven points Saturday. Yes, the Illinois Fighting Illini.
 
7.

Michigan

2-0

Last week, Cincinnati running back Mike Boone said “I’ve got no doubt in my mind that we can go out and shock the world.” His team then lost to the Wolverines, 36-14. Even had the Bearcats won, however, pockets of Portuguese insist they wouldn’t have been surprised. Or remotely interested.
 
8.

Michigan State

2-0

With wins over Bowling Green and Western Michigan, the Spartans are off to a great start in the Mid-American Conference championship race.
 
9.

Purdue

1-1

The Boilermakers scored on a double reverse flea-flicker Friday night in their win over Ohio. They’ve had more fun in their first two games than in the previous two seasons.
 
10.

Indiana

1-1

Redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey completed his first 11 passes for the Hoosiers in their 34-17 win at Virginia. Key to being a winning football team in Indiana: Get a quarterback named “Peyton.”
 
11.

Nebraska

1-1

The Huskers rank 116th in the nation in total defense, but shut out Oregon in the second half. The trouble was, the Ducks hung a 42 on Nebraska in the first half.
 
12.

Ohio State

1-1

The Buckeyes rank 128th in the nation in passing defense. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield planted OSU, then planted a school flag in the middle of the ‘O’ logo on the middle of the Ohio Stadium field after the game. Good ol’ school spirit.
 
13.

Northwestern

1-1

he Wildcats lost at Duke, 41-17. They rushed 21 times for a total of 22 yards. At Duke. They were projected by many to be good. They’re not.
 
14.

Missouri

1-1

Two games in, and head coach Barry Odom fired his defensive coordinator. University teaching assistants seldom are fired two weeks into a semester. But they also seldom get courtesy cars.
 
15.

Rutgers

0-2

astern Michigan had been 0-58 all-time against the teams from Power Five conferences. It figured out how to break that streak. It played at Rutgers Saturday.
 

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