Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning, left, and defensive end Chase Young, center, team up to tackle Rutgers quarterback Johnathan Lewis. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ohio State thumped Rutgers on Saturday and Michigan had a bye week, but in terms of the AP Top 25 poll, the end result was the same — the Buckeyes and Wolverines jumped one spot in the latest poll, released Sunday.
The Buckeyes moved up to No. 10 in the poll after they rolled over Rutgers 56-0, their third straight win over the Scarlet Knights and second consecutive shutout. Mike Weber had his best game of the season so far, rushing for three touchdowns, and J.T. Barrett threw for three more scores. The senior quarterback also became the school’s all-time leading passer and first player to eclipse 10,000 total yards in a career.
Meanwhile, Michigan rose to No. 7 in the poll and didn’t have to work for it. Which begs the question — is facing Rutgers really like a bye week?
OSU’s rise gives the Big Ten four teams in top 10, as Penn State stayed at 4 and Wisconsin edged up to No. 9. The Buckeyes don’t face Wisconsin this year, but they’ll host the Nittany Lions on Oct. 28. Michigan, though, has road games against both, traveling to Penn State on Oct. 21 and Wisconsin on Nov. 11.
All of this shapes up to a knockout October and November for the Big Ten, when someone will gain enough steam to rise — or stay steady, in the case of Penn State — in the rankings or plummet into the also-rans.