Sports Big Ten power rankings: Ohio State stays on top while Penn State falls

12:46  25 october  2020
12:46  25 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

College football winners and losers from Week 8 include Rutgers, Alabama and Indiana

  College football winners and losers from Week 8 include Rutgers, Alabama and Indiana The biggest winners and losers from Week 8 of the 2020 season, including Ohio State, Indiana and Tennessee.Already one of three teams receiving first-place votes in this week's Amway Coaches Poll, the Buckeyes showed little signs of the sluggishness that has hobbled even the nation's best teams after a unique offseason.

Covers Penn State and Big Ten . 9. Penn State (1-1): On one hand, the Nittany Lions’ run defense was absolutely shredded as Pitt ran out to an early 28-7 lead. On the other, Penn State seems to have found a solid quarterback in Trace McSorley, who essentially came up 31 yards short of a comeback.

Ohio State , Penn State , and Wisconsin, all of whom were ranked in the top 12 entering the week, won handily in Week 6 and cemented their status as Big Ten

Penn State's loss to Indiana shakes up the preseason power rankings in the Big Ten.

Top 10 performances from Week 8 of college football

  Top 10 performances from Week 8 of college football Four electric quarterbacks and a freshman defensive back who picked off three passes highlight the best performances in Week 8 of college football.Six signal callers made this week's list and combined for a ridiculous 26 touchdowns. Although these quarterbacks tormented defenses across the country, two defensive backs made this week's list after snagging multiple interceptions in their respective games.

As a result, Ohio State , Penn State and Michigan were among the big movers in this week's Power Rankings . Remember, the Power Rankings are about how you look and The Badgers fell at home to the Cougars, who were 23-point underdogs and had defeated an AP top - 10 opponent on the road

Penn State superfans: Get exclusive, in-depth Nittany Lions news, analysis and recruiting updates The rest of the game was a credit to Jeff Brohm’s Boilers even holding the focus to stay in the game More Penn State and Big Ten football coverage: • Penn State -Maryland: The good, the bad, and the

While Ohio State is solidly in first, the Nittany Lions cede second place to one of a handful of contenders: Indiana, which beat PSU in overtime; Wisconsin, which sailed past Indiana; or Michigan, which opened with a solid win in prime time against Minnesota.

The honor goes to the Wolverines. Behind new quarterback Joe Milton, this offense could be the best of Jim Harbaugh's tenure.

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Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Nebraska showed a spark offensively behind a stronger offensive front but couldn't stop Justin Fields and the Buckeyes' passing game. Purdue rode the hot hand at wide receiver to knock off Iowa. Northwestern rolled over Maryland.

The one clear takeaway from the Big Ten's start: Ohio State will be tough to beat. Here's how the Big Ten ranks after stepping into the 2020 season.

Ohio State up to No. 3 in Amway Coaches Poll behind Clemson, Alabama

  Ohio State up to No. 3 in Amway Coaches Poll behind Clemson, Alabama Ohio State took the field for the first time in the 2020 season and a defeat of Nebraska moved the Buckeyes to No. 3 in the Amway Coaches Poll.The main beneficiary is Ohio State. The Buckeyes ran away from Nebraska in their season debut and vault to No. 3 in the poll, retaining a pair of first-place votes. Ohio State leapfrogs No. 4 Notre Dame, despite the Fighting Irish’s dominant road win at Pittsburgh, and No. 5 Georgia.

Our 2019 Big Ten football power rankings before spring practice. Will this be the year that someone knocks Ohio State out of the top spot? -

2018 Big Ten Power Rankings : Is it Ohio State or Wisconsin at the top ? That side of the ball made a big improvement last fall , and now there’s only four returning starters to build upon in 2018. One of them is Markus Bailey, an outside linebacker coming off a very productive year: 89 tackles, 11 tackles

1. Ohio State: The Buckeyes were tested by Nebraska, especially defensively, but shrugged off the Cornhuskers with a late score to close the first half and a ferocious start to the third quarter. Justin Fields hit the ground running in completing 20-of-21 attempts for 276 yards and a team-best 54 rushing yards with three total touchdowns. The 52-17 victory marked the 12th time in the program's past 13 conference games that OSU has scored at least 30 points.

WINNERS AND LOSERS: Rutgers, Alabama and Indiana among Week 8's notable teams

2. Michigan: Impressive. A little ignored in the preseason chatter around the Big Ten — which focused more on Penn State as the Buckeyes' biggest threat — Michigan might've been overlooked based on the play of quarterback Joe Milton in the 49-24 victory at Minnesota. The winner of an offseason competition, Milton threw for 225 yards and ran for another 52 in his first career start. He'll get even better as he adds experience.

Opinion: Big Ten's remade plan for the regular season has already fallen apart

  Opinion: Big Ten's remade plan for the regular season has already fallen apart The Big Ten’s inability to go even two weeks without having a game canceled highlights the stupidity of trying to force nine games into nine weeks.After an outbreak of cases forced Wisconsin to call off Saturday's game against Nebraska, it's clear the abbreviated and condensed schedule may end up doing the opposite: preventing the best teams in the Big Ten from playing enough games and putting together the resume needed to earn a place in the national semifinals.

USA TODAY Sports is ranking every Power Five league from its best team through its worst. Next up is the Big Ten with Michigan and Ohio State at top . The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State lost one of its central players in Urban Meyer but figures to remain as meaningful a regular-season

Penn State , ranked eighth in the country entering their first game of the season on Saturday, fell late to an upstart Indiana program hosting a big game Along with Rutgers' first win in the conference since 2017, the Big Ten is enjoying quite a surprising day of football, its first weekend of games in this weird

3. Wisconsin: In his first start as the replacement for an injured Jack Coan, who is out indefinitely after foot surgery, redshirt freshman Graham Mertz completed 20-of-21 throws for 248 yards and five scores in Wisconsin's 45-7 victory against Illinois.

4. Indiana: It'd been 33 years and 43 games since Indiana last won against a top-10 opponent. Cross another item off coach Tom Allen's to-do list. After winning eight games in 2019, the Hoosiers made a major statement with a 36-35 overtime victory against Penn State sealed by a successful two-point try in the bottom of the first extra frame.

5. Penn State: The overtime loss to Indiana was avoidable, obviously, but not too surprising. Penn State's last three victories against the Hoosiers had come by a combined 13 points. There are obvious issues to address on offense under new coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca and not much time to get them fixed, with Ohio State up next and an 0-2 start looming.

a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: Justin Fields, No. 1, teammate celebrate Ohio State's victory over Nebraska to open the season. © Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sports Justin Fields, No. 1, teammate celebrate Ohio State's victory over Nebraska to open the season.

6. Northwestern: Like Michigan, Northwestern looks rejuvenated on offense after a disappointing 2019. The only problem with the 43-3 romp against Maryland is that it came against Maryland, making it hard to project how the Wildcats' offense might fare against Wisconsin, Iowa and the rest of the division. But with 212 yards passing and 325 yards on the ground, Northwestern found the sort of balance that was missing last season.

Is this the year for the Group of Five to crack the College Football Playoff code?

  Is this the year for the Group of Five to crack the College Football Playoff code? This could be the year for the best team from the Group of Five to crack the code for the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati certainly has a shot.Meanwhile, the Big Ten is already reeling after just one week of play. An outbreak of positive test results for COVID-19 forced No. 11 Wisconsin to cancel Saturday's game against Nebraska, highlighting how difficult it will be for the conference to cram a nine-game schedule into an unforgiving window.

Ohio State and Penn State made a statement for the Big Ten 's playoff hopes, but not the kind they were anticipating. With Ohio State and Penn State now firmly out of the playoff picture, Baker Mayfield and the Sooners eye a top -four spot.

The Nittany Lions sit atop the final Big Ten Power Rankings after a narrow loss in the Rose Bowl and Ohio State 's thumping at the hands of Clemson. After three consecutive seasons with at least 11 wins, the Spartans barely escaped the Big Ten East basement. Michigan State lost nine of its last 10

7. Purdue: Shorthanded offensively with star receiver Rondale Moore sidelined, Purdue leaned on sophomore David Bell (13 receptions for 121 yards and three touchdowns) to upset Iowa 24-20. Moore will return next week to give the Boilermakers' the best one-two receiver pairing in the Big Ten.

8. Rutgers: Greg Schiano had a sparkling debut in his second turn as Rutgers' coach. The Scarlet Knights took advantage of seven Michigan State turnovers to beat the Spartans 38-27 and snap a 21-game conference losing streak. Here's a good one: Rutgers is 1-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since joining the league in 2014.

9. Nebraska: It's hard to tape over a one-sided loss to Ohio State, expect to say that more teams than not in the Big Ten will lose to Ohio State by a similar margin. But the Cornhuskers look stronger on both lines in Scott Frost's third season and might have enough offensive firepower to make noise against teams outside the league's top third and be a contender in the West.

10. Iowa: If you'd been told pre-game that Iowa would gain 460 yards against Purdue, you'd think the Hawkeyes would've won, right? Iowa hadn't gained that much yardage and lost since racking up 458 yards and losing 30-27 to Northern Illinois to open the 2013 season.

11. Minnesota: As expected, this defense is going to take a step back without several major contributors off last year's unit. It'll be on the offense to offset this decline and keep the Golden Gophers in the mix for a division title. For now, it's safe to say that Minnesota won't match last year's breakthrough under P.J. Fleck.

Five games in Week 9 with College Football Playoff impact

  Five games in Week 9 with College Football Playoff impact A major Big Ten showdown and key clashes in the ACC and Big 12 are among the games with the biggest College Football Playoff impact in Week 9.Having said that, of course, there is always the possibility of this wild and wacky sport delivering a few tricks.

12. Illinois: The worst part of the lopsided loss to Wisconsin was the ineffective play of the Illinois' secondary and pass defense, which was a physical, intimidating and largely successful group in 2019 but looked helpless against Mertz and the Badgers. If part of a larger issue and not just one off performance, Illinois' defense is in for a long season.

13. Maryland: Way too many turnovers and way too little defense paved the way for the Northwestern blowout. Wins will be hard to come by all season.

14. Michigan State: Lose to Rutgers, slot in last. Those are the rules.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Big Ten power rankings: Ohio State stays on top while Penn State falls

Where the College Football Playoff stands after Week 9 .
There's been unpredictability in his unique college football seasons. A look at the playoff picture if the postseason started today.The Buckeyes have put together easy wins against Nebraska (52-17) and Penn State (38-25) as quarterback Justin Fields has surged into prime Heisman Trophy contention.

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