1. OHIO STATE (6-0, 3-0)
Previous: 1. Last week: W 34-10 vs. Michigan State.
The No. 3 Buckeyes put together another dominant performance, jumping out to a 27-10 halftime lead against the ranked Spartans and then cruising in the second half. Justin Fields turned the ball over for the first time in his OSU career — oh, the horror — but JK Dobbins rushed for 172 yards (Ryan Day’s team finished with 323 on the ground overall) and the Buckeyes rolled to 529 overall. They’re a runaway train through the first half of the season. Now a bye week before a trip to Northwestern on Oct. 18.
2. WISCONSIN (5-0, 2-0)
Previous: 2. Last week: W 48-0 vs. Kent State.
The No. 8 Badgers rounded out nonconference play by dominating an overmatched Kent State team. Jonathan Taylor’s Heisman Trophy campaign continued as the junior rushed for 186 yards (9.8 per carry) and four touchdowns and caught a score, too. Paul Chryst’s team outscored its three nonconference opponents 158-0. The Badgers’ homestand continues on Saturday with a key game against Michigan State.
3. PENN STATE (5-0, 2-0)
Previous: 3. Last week: W 35-7 vs. Purdue.
The No. 10 Nittany Lions have hit their stride and perhaps represent Ohio State’s biggest threat in the East. The most recent victim? Purdue. Sean Clifford was 20-of-29 for 264 yards and three TDs, and PSU ran for 196. More impressively, James Franklin’s defense held the Boilermakers to minus-19 yards rushing and 104 yards overall. This defense looks like the best in years in Happy Valley. A tough test in prime time is up next as PSU travels to Iowa.
4. MICHIGAN (4-1, 2-1)
Previous: 6. Last week: W 10-3 vs. Iowa.
The No. 14 Wolverines put forth an impressive defensive outing against Iowa, forcing four turnovers and completely shutting down the Hawkeyes’ run game. The offense is still struggling — Shea Patterson was 14-of-26 for 147 and an interception on Saturday — but at least freshman back Zach Charbonnet is getting back toward healthy. Michigan travels to Illinois this weekend before visiting Penn State and traveling to Notre Dame back-to-back weekends.
5. IOWA (4-1, 1-1)
Previous: 4. Last week: L 10-3 at Michigan.
The No. 16 Hawkeyes’ offense just couldn’t get much going against Michigan’s defense. For the first time this fall, turnovers cropped up. Iowa entered with just one on the season but committed four against the Wolverines. Kirk Ferentz’s team rushed 30 times for 1 yard. Yikes. Another big…