PHOTOS: 2015 preseason Big Ten Power Rankings
PHOTOS: Preseason Big Ten Power Rankings
As football season inches closer by the second, we take a look at the early preseason Power Rankings for the 2015 Big Ten Season.
No. 14 - Purdue
2014 Record: 3-9 (1-7) - Found themselves on the bottom of the standings last year, and nothing indicates things going differently in 2015.
No. 13 - Indiana
2014 Record: 4-8 (1-7) - By far the bottom-dweller in the Big Ten East, not winning a single game inside the division last year.
No. 12 - Northwestern
2014 Record: 5-7 (3-5) - Were thought to be on the rise last year, but a tough 2014 season saw the Wildcats take a step in the wrong direction.
No. 11 - Illinois
2014 Record: 6-7 (3-5) - The Illini saw notable improvement last year, but still not enough to seriously contend in the Big Ten West.
No. 10 - Rutgers
2014 Record: 8-5 (3-5) - Opened to a strong 5-1 record to begin the 2014 season, but perhaps showed their true colors with numerous blowout losses to close.
No. 9 - Iowa
2014 Record: 7-6 (4-4) - Could have been a great 2014 season if not for close losses to Wisconsin and Nebraska, as the Hawkeyes will search for payback this year to prove they belong.
No. 8 - Maryland
2014 Record: 7-6 (4-4) - Had a better first year in the Big Ten than many predicted, but only return 11 starters and face a tough road schedule at Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa.
No. 7 - Penn State
2014 Record: 7-6 (2-6) - James Franklin's first year in Happy Valley didn't go quite as he'd hoped, but figure to be in most games this year with top signal-caller Christian Hackenberg at the helm.
No. 6 - Michigan
2014 Record: 5-7 (3-5) - Nobody quite knows how soon Jim Harbaugh will be able to turn things around in Ann Arbor, but from his recent track record we'll see noticeable improvement in year one with a roster more talented than most realize.
No. 5 - Minnesota
2014 Record: 8-5 (5-3) - The major surprise of last year with wins over Michigan and Nebraska, as well as hanging in tight with the Buckeyes; have the ability to make a strong statement in their Sept. 3 opener with TCU.
No. 4 - Nebraska
2014 Record: 9-4 (5-3) - Hope to win the wide-open West this year behind an explosive offense, but face considerable challenges with a new coaching staff and weakened defense.
No. 3 - Wisconsin
2014 Record: 11-3 (7-1) - Kings of the West Division until proven otherwise, Wisconsin is weakened by departures from running back Melvin Gordon and head coach Gary Anderson, but remain favorites to win the West nonetheless.
No. 2 - Michigan State
2014 Record: 11-2 (7-1) - Having developed into perennial national contenders, the Spartans will feature a potent combination this year of punishing defense and a balanced offense led by future first-round quarterback Connor Cook.
No. 1 - Ohio State
2014 Record: 14-1 (8-0) - The Buckeyes opened the football world's eyes last year with dominating performances in the first ever College Football Playoff; they enter the 2015 season as favorites not only in the Big Ten, but to repeat as National Champions as well.