Bob Asmussen's Big Ten Power Poll: Sept. 3, 2018

Bob Asmussen's Big Ten Power Poll: Sept. 3, 2018

On Mondays throughout the season, our 30-year college football writer weighs in on his favorite conference:

1. Wisconsin    

As long as the Badgers remain at the top of my AP ballot, they will also lead this equally important ranking. Dominant in the opener against Western Kentucky, but not mean about it.

2. Ohio State    

Don’t anger the Buckeyes, You won’t like them when they are angry. Putting up 77 point is impressive until you realize it was against hapless Oregon State, aka “The Wrong OSU.”

3. Maryland    

Just thinking out loud here: Texas might want to avoid the Terrapins in future seasons. That’s two upset wins in a row for Maryland. Nice to have good news in College Park.    

4. Northwestern  

If he had his druthers (and shouldn’t we all), Pat Fitzgerald would have preferred not to open the season on the road in the Big Ten. Until he won the game. Now, the Wildcats have a big leg up.    

5. Iowa    

No surprise, Northern Illinois stayed close for most of the game before the Hawkeyes pulled away. A bonus: Kirk Ferentz became Iowa’s all-time winningest coach. Congrats.

6. Michigan State    

No offense to Utah State, which has a fine program, but the Spartans should have won by more than seven. They might be challenged again at Arizona State.

7. Penn State    

Speaking of close calls. The Nittany Lions must have missed the lesson about taking Appalachian State lightly. They needed overtime to beat the Mountaneers. This week, Penn State visits Pitt. Danger.

8. Michigan    

The Wolverines have a new quarterback, Shea Patterson, and the same old problems on offense. Saturday was not the right time to play Notre Dame for the first time since 2014.

9. Purdue    

Jeff Brohm should spend the bulk of practice time this week reminding his players not to commit senseless personal fouls in crucial situations.

10. Indiana    

The Hoosiers picked up a close win in a tricky game at Florida International. Virginia visits in what would be a great basketball matchup.

11. Minnesota    

Put the Gophers on upset watch. Saturday’s visitor Fresno State scored 79 points in its opener.

12. Nebraska    

Just about the time Scott Frost led his alma mater on the field, the lightning came. And stayed long enough to cancel the game with Akron. He will try again against Colorado. Hope it doesn’t snow.

13. Illinois    

The good news for Lovie Smith’s team: It picked up a win and ended a 10-game skid. The bad news: It had to fight back from a 14-poin halftime deficit.

14. Rutgers    

So, lots of fun in the opener, a home win against Texas State. Next up: A Big Ten game at Ohio State. What did Chris Ash do to offend the conference schedule maker?