COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Buckeyes are on top of the first Land of 10 Power Poll.
Urban Meyer’s club opened the season in impressive fashion, defeating Indiana 49-21 in Bloomington, Ind., on Thursday. The Buckeyes got off to a slow start scored the game’s final 29 points to put away the Hoosiers. Ohio State received 10 first-place votes and has a commanding lead in the poll.
Reigning conference champion Penn State received the second-most points and three first-place votes. Led by star running back Saquon Barkley, the Nittany Lions beat up on hapless Akron, 52-0, on Saturday. Michigan was third after beating Florida, and Wisconsin was fourth. Maryland rounded out the top 5 after a surprising win at Texas to open the season.
Ohio State will have its top spot tested this week when Oklahoma comes to town. The Sooners are a top-10 team and opened with a 56-7 win against UTEP on Saturday. If the Buckeyes win, though, it should position them to take some or all of Penn State’s first-place votes to build a consensus at the top of the power poll.
Land of 10 Power Poll
1. Ohio State (10 No. 1 votes)…166 points
2. Penn State (3)…152
9. Michigan State…62
How I voted
I had Ohio State in the top spot despite some rough moments in the season opener. The Buckeyes have the most talented roster in the Big Ten, and the second half showed how good they can be. Plus, a 28-point conference win on the road shouldn’t be dismissed.
Michigan earned my No. 2 vote thanks to an impressive neutral-site win against Florida. The Gators are probably the best team any Big Ten squad beat in the first week, but 10 suspensions reduced the impressiveness of what the Wolverines accomplished. Penn State and Wisconsin were third and fourth, respectively. Both appear to be great teams but it’s really hard to gauge the impact of blowout home wins against Akron and Utah State.
I’m not sure how Illinois isn’t ranked last in the power poll. That was the worst team I saw play all weekend, and holding off Ball State in the final minutes is far more embarrassing than Rutgers’ 30-14 loss to 2016 playoff participant Washington.
Here’s my full ballot for the Week 1 poll:
1. Ohio State
3. Penn State
12. Michigan State
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