Teams are evaluated based on body of work so far this season, given caliber of competition faced and considering their preseason expectations.
Big Ten Power Ratings
1) Ohio State -- Dwayne Haskins already has more touchdown passes than 125 college football teams, and his backup Tate Martell just posted the first perfect completion percentage in Buckeye history.
2) Maryland -- Trailed Bowling Green, 14-10, at the half and then scored the next 35 points to win in a rout on the road. Time to start taking the Terps seriously.
3) Wisconsin -- The win over New Mexico was not as close as the final score, and the final score was a 31-point spread. So why put 33 carries on Jonathan Taylor with such a long season to go?
4) Penn State -- The Pitt win reminded me of Michigan-Michigan State games back in the day when the Wolverines dominated the series. Penn State just waited for the Panthers to self-destruct, and then poured it on.
5) Iowa -- I thought going into the season this might be Kirk Ferentz's best defensive front, and it has not disappointed. But the offense has to get a lot better before the Badgers come to town.
6) Michigan -- Wolverines got well and flexed their muscles, but no one is doubting their overall talent. Thus, it's tough to evaluate them until they win a meaningful game.
7) Michigan State -- Sparty has responded to all that preseason hype and respect for all that returning talent by dropping to 12-13 in Mark Dantonio's last 25 games.
8) Indiana -- Off to a 2-0 start, with both wins against non-conference foes who were in bowl games last season. Probably Hoosiers' best possible start after a training camp that didn't inspire confidence.
9) Northwestern -- Thick-ankled play-makers + ugly, confederate looking uniforms = another loss to Duke when the Wildcats just weren't competitive.
10) Minnesota -- Antoine Winfield, Jr. is the leader in the clubhouse for interception of the year, giving the Gophers probably their best win of the P.J. Fleck era so far against Fresno State (a top group of five program). Would be higher except losing Rodney Smith for the season is a big loss.
11) Nebraska -- I said when the Huskers came into the season with just one scholarship quarterback they were in trouble, because the quarterback must be a running threat in this offense and thus takes a pounding. And we saw that come to fruition in the season opening loss to Colorado, when the Buffaloes scored the final 13 points of the game after Adrian Martinez went out.
12) Purdue -- Second straight week Boilermakers lost because of a punk play by a defender that cost them the game, and their next two games are Missouri and Boston College. Uh-oh.
13) Illinois -- Started 2-0 last season, too, and then the Illini lost their final 10 games by an average of 20.9 points per game.
14) Rutgers -- Arthur Sitkowski is going to have to really improve if they're gonna win a conference game.
If I had a vote in the AP Poll
1) Alabama...when your backup quarterback is the former SEC offensive player of the year.
2) Georgia...sent a message to the rest of the SEC East with a total curb-stomp in Columbia.
3) Auburn...still has the best non-conference win of the season.
4) Clemson...there's some holes in that back seven on defense.
5) Ohio State...will finally face a foe with a pulse this week.
6) LSU...suffered the expected letdown, but still posted a shutout.
7) Washington...big road test at physical Utah this week.
8) Mississippi State...rookie coach Joe Moorhead just handed Bill Snyder worst home loss of his career.
9) Notre Dame...suffered the expected letdown, but Ball State also made it closer than anyone expected, too.
10) Oklahoma...big revenge game upcoming at Iowa State, but losing Rodney Anderson for the season a huge loss.
11) Stanford...is figuring out how to win when Bryce Love isn't Superman.
12) Maryland...why aren't they ranked in the major polls?
13) Wisconsin...I'll ask again: why are you putting 33 carries on Jonathan Taylor's body against New Mexico?
14) Virginia Tech...suddenly that win at Florida State doesn't look quite as impressive as it did a week ago.
15) Penn State...K.J. Hamler is the biggest play-maker in the early going of the season nobody's talking about.
16) Arizona State...beating Big Ten teams in non-conference games out in the desert is what they do.
17) West Virginia...upset alert at N.C. State this week (if they play the game)?
18) Texas A&M...if Kellen Mond keeps playing like that, Aggies will make that rugged SEC West downright treacherous.
19) TCU...technically hosting Ohio State, but there's gonna be a lot of Buckeyes at Jerry World.
20) Colorado...already has wins over its two historical rivals, and hasn't even played a home game yet.
21) Iowa...wins over the preseason MAC favorite and respectable instate rival deserve recognition.
22) Kentucky...snapped the longest streak of domination in the sport -- beating Florida for the first time since 1986 by winning in Gainesville for the first time since 1979.
23) Boise State...looks like the class of the group of five so far, as many preseason prognostications predicted.
24) Central Florida...if it's not Boise State pacing the group of five, it's these guys, who have the nation's longest winning streak.
25) Michigan...the talent is evident, but we're still waiting for them to win a meaningful game.
Honorable Mention (in order):
Miami (Fla.), Houston, Boston College, Utah, Hawaii