Suddenly a 2-2 team after Saturday night's shocking overtime loss to Indiana, Michigan State was nowhere to be found when both the coaches and AP polls were released Sunday afternoon.
Michigan State dropped out of the polls, with Ohio State and Michigan holding the Nos. 2 and 4 rankings in both polls and Wisconsin and Nebraska ranked in both polls, as well.
The Spartans were upended in thrilling fashion, the Hoosiers benefiting from a penalty on a missed field goal in overtime and eventually kicking the game-winner through for a 24-21 victory. It was a bad loss for Michigan State, which hadn't fallen to Indiana since 2006. After a seemingly big win at Notre Dame in Week 3, the Spartans have dropped two straight, dominated by Wisconsin and falling at Indiana.
The Buckeyes were ranked second in both polls after stomping Rutgers in a 58-0 laugher Saturday to improve to 4-0. Ohio State has looked as good as anyone in the country on both sides of the ball. Saturday, the Buckeyes shut out the Knights and held them to 116 total yards while racking up 669 on offense behind J.T. Barrett's four first-half touchdown tosses.
The Wolverines were ranked fourth in both polls after edging the Badgers, 14-7, in a clash of two elite defenses. Michigan proved the superior squad, limiting Wisconsin to 159 total yards — just 88 passing and 71 rushing — and getting the game's biggest play: a 48-yard touchdown bomb from Wilton Speight to Amara Darboh.
The Huskers bounced up to No. 12 in both polls, up three spots after a 31-16 win over Illinois. Nebraska needed a fourth-quarter comeback, and boy did it get one, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter behind the efforts of Tommy Armstrong and Terrell Newby. The Huskers improved to 5-0 with the win, quite the start following the 6-7 finish to Year 1 of the Mike Riley Era.
The Badgers stayed ahead of the Huskers at No. 11 in the AP poll but fell a spot beneath them at No. 13 in the coaches poll after the loss to the Wolverines. Wisconsin was stifled by that sensational Michigan defense, and the high quality of that opposing unit makes reserving judgment wise moving forward. But next up is a date with Ohio State on Oct. 15 in Madison, and the Buckeyes' defense has been excellent, as well.
Maryland, Michigan State and Indiana also received votes in the AP poll. Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana and Minnesota also received votes in the coaches poll.