Detroit News Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 5

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Here are The Detroit News Big Ten Power Rankings after the first four weeks of the regular season.

1. Michigan State (2-1): The Spartans couldn't wait to get back on the field after a bye last week and were hitting on all cylinders, running for 336 yards and scoring the third-most points (73) in program history against Eastern Michigan. Last week: 1.

2. Ohio State (2-1): The Buckeyes had the week off after blitzing Kent State the previous week and instilling plenty of confidence in first-year quarterback J.T. Barrett. Last week: 2.

3. Wisconsin (2-1): The Badgers took care of business against Bowling Green and in the process reminded everyone of their strength, running the ball for 644 yards, led by Melvin Gordon's 253 yard and record-tying five touchdowns. Last week: 3.

4. Nebraska (4-0): The escape against McNeese State two weeks ago seems like ancient history and the Huskers recorded an impressive home victory over Miami behind another solid outing from Ameer Abdullah. Last week: 4.

5. Penn State (4-0, 1-0): No late-game heroics were needed this week as the Nittany Lions were up by 34 at the half against UMass. It's back to conference play next week as the Lions try to establish themselves as the frontrunner in the East. Last week: 5.

6. Iowa (3-1): After struggling through the first three weeks, the Hawkeyes picked up a huge road victory and may have found the spark with quarterback C.J. Beathard, who led the Iowa rally in the second half over Pittsburgh. Last week: 7.

7. Rutgers (3-1, 0-1): Even without running back Paul James, the Scarlett Knights ran for 284 yards and were able to contain the triple-option attack of Navy, holding the Midshipmen nearly 200 yards below their rushing average. Last week: 9.

8. Maryland (3-1): The Terrapins took advantage of some sloppy play from Syracuse to pick up a solid road victory and getting 280 yards and two touchdowns from quarterback C.J. Brown heading into conference play next week at Indiana. Last week: 10.

9. Minnesota (3-1): The Gophers bounced back from last week's loss by going to their bread and butter, running the ball for 380 yards. However, balance still eludes the Gophers as they completed just one pass for 7 yards. Last week: 8.

10. Michigan (2-2): The Wolverines' offense has managed to score just three points in its two losses this season and now finds itself likely making a change at quarterback as conference play begins with a visit from Minnesota. Last week: 6.

11. Indiana (2-1): In what was one of the more improbable outcomes in the entire country, the Hoosiers brushed off last week's loss to Bowling Green by going on the road and beating Missouri, the signature win for the Big Ten. Last week: 11.

12. Illinois (3-1): It was hardly pretty and showed the many issues the Illini have, but they did manage to rally and defeat Texas State behind a solid rushing performance form Josh Ferguson, who had 190 yards and two touchdowns. Last week: 12.

13. Purdue (2-2): Wins are all that matters at Purdue these days and it picked up another one by taking advantage of Southern Illinois' mistakes. The Boilermakers get a shot to get a conference when next week against Iowa. Last week: 13.

14. Northwestern (1-2): The Wildcats got their first win of the season and second in their last 11 games. They probably can't take much from the fact the opponent was Western Illinois, but it was a win, just the same. Last week: 14.