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Week 3: Power Ranking Big Ten Conference Football Teams 5

Posted on September 16, 2010 by JA Allen

The Big Ten has seven unbeaten teams going into Week 3 of the football season––but let’s face it, many of the opponents during the first two weeks of the season have not exactly provided stiff competition.

This, however, is true of most conference schedules.

Yes, there are exceptions, with Penn State taking on No. 1 ranked Alabama and Ohio State taking on No. 13 ranked Miami Hurricanes.

Illinois played Missouri out of the Big 12 in their opener, just as the Iowa Hawkeyes took on Big 12 In-State rival Iowa State.

Additionally, Purdue played Notre Dame––just as Michigan played the Irish, as well Connecticut, out of the Big East.

It is a little premature to conjecture about the strength and weaknesses of the Big Ten Conference. But as we head into Week 3, this is how the Big Ten Teams line up in the latest Power Rankings…

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers [1-1]

The Gophers are already reeling after being upset by the South Dakota Coyotes 41-38 in Week 2.

Duane Bennett, who rushed 18 times for 104 yards, kept the Gophers competitive with two one-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter, the last with 3:21 left to cut the lead to three.

Every time the Gophers have played football teams from the Dakotas, they’ve found themselves in deep trouble.

North Dakota State came up one point short in 2006, but found a way to win at the Metrodome in 2007. Minnesota had to struggle mightily for a 16-13 victory over South Dakota State last November.

The Gophers did not help themselves by turning the ball over twice in the first half last Saturday. First, Minnesota failed on a fourth down attempt at the South Dakota 30, and then QB Adam Weber fumbled at the Coyotes 30 in the closing seconds.

Kicker Ellestad, who missed from 39 and 40 yards in the opening win at Middle Tennessee, also hooked a 48-yard field goal left.

Weber found Stoudermire open on a post pattern from 49 yards out for Minnesota’s first touchdown and hit Gray and Da’Jon McKnight for scores in the third quarter. Weber was 21 for 31 for 258 yards.

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