Week 2 Big Ten power rankings

The 2012 college football season is off and running, and we’ve already had plenty of exciting action.

Every Monday during the season I will release league power rankings, which you can find under the College tab at the top of this page. The six BCS conferences will all have their own power rankings, while I will also rank the best of the non-BCS squads.

Since the first week of the season didn’t conclude until last night, the power rankings are being released today.

With that in mind, let's take a look at how the Big Ten shapes up:

1. Michigan State: Andrew Maxwell will need to play better if the Spartans want to go to the Rose Bowl, but Le'Veon Bell will give this team a chance every game because of his beastly ways.

2. Wisconsin: The Badgers escaped with a win over Northern Iowa but will need to play much better in order to snag a road win over Oregon State this week.

Taylor MartinezUS PRESSWIREQB Taylor Martinez had a huge day through the air for the Huskers.

3. Nebraska: The Cornhuskers received a huge game through the air from Taylor Martinez, as "T-Magic" threw for a career-high 354 yards and matched his high with five touchdown passes in a 49-20 victory over Southern Mississippi. Keep an eye on the health of Rex Burkhead, though.

4. Michigan: The Wolverines were pounded and outmatched by defending BCS national champ Alabama. But the Wolverines are still one of the Big Ten's best.

5. Ohio State: Braxton Miller set a rushing record for an Ohio State quarterback as the Buckeyes routed Miami (Ohio). Urban Meyer's squad has a big test this week when the team hosts dangerous Central Florida.

6. Iowa: It wasn't pretty, but the Hawkeyes survived a major scare against Northern Illinois at Chicago's Soldier Field. The big question is whether OC Greg Davis has enough material in Iowa City.

7. Illinois: The Tim Beckman era started off with a win as the Fighting Illini beat Western Michigan, but the health of quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is a concern as the offense stalled when Scheelhaase left the game with an ankle injury.

8. Purdue: Caleb TerBush was suspended for Purdue's opener against Eastern Kentucky, so Robert Marve stepped in and passed for a career-high 295 yards in the win. TerBush will start this week at Notre Dame.

9. Northwestern: Is there a possible quarterback controversy in Evanston? Not likely, but expect to see more of Trevor Siemian after his game-winning touchdown pass against Syracuse.

10. Penn State: Bill O’Brien's squad lost its opener to a very good Ohio team, but at least the offense showed signs of life.

11. Minnesota: MarQueis Gray and the Gophers survived a three-overtime contest against UNLV last Thursday night.

12. Indiana: The Hoosiers survived a scare from Indiana State. The question is whether they can net a Big Ten victory this fall.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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