Ranking Big Ten teams by PFF grade through Week 4

·3 min read

Another week of college football has gone by and while some teams in the Big Ten struggled — looking at you Michigan and Michigan State — they still came out victorious. Others lost but looked improved, like Nebraska and Illinois. Ohio State rolled over Akron while Minnesota inexplicably lost at home to Bowling Green.

It was a wild week, to say the least.

Taking a look at how PFF graded each team cumulatively over the course of the season, the grades share more about overall execution compared to either predicting who will win future matchups, strength of schedule, or how they actually stack up against each other. In other words, it isn’t a power ranking. But it is a good snapshot to see how teams have executed thus far.

This ranking below is according to the overall team score, but we’ve also included offensive and defensive grades, and how each team ranks in the FBS according to PFF.


Ranking the Big Ten quarterbacks through Week 4 by PFF grades

Illinois Fighting Illini

Photo: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Overall rank (grade): 94 (72.8)
Offense rank (grade): 92 (67.3)
Defense rank (grade): 84 (72.0)

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey (8) and Brian Asamoah (24) bring down Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez (2) during Saturday’s game in Norman.

Overall rank (grade): 86 (72.8)
Offense rank (grade): 82 (67.3)
Defense rank (grade): 40 (72.0)

Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin’s Chez Mellusi celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Penn State Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Madison, Wis. Penn State won 16-10. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Overall rank (grade): 75 (80.8)
Offense rank (grade): 71 (70.7)
Defense rank (grade): 74 (75.2)

Northwestern Wildcats

Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Overall rank (grade): 74 (81.0)
Offense rank (grade): 70 (71.0)
Defense rank (grade): 71 (75.5)

Indiana Hoosiers

Photo: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Overall rank (grade): 68 (82.8)
Offense rank (grade): 66 (72.4)
Defense rank (grade): 85 (72.5)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Overall rank (grade): 63 (83.8)
Offense rank (grade): 78 (70.0)
Defense rank (grade): 53 (78.4)

Purdue Boilermakers

(Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier via AP)

Overall rank (grade): 57 (84.4)
Offense rank (grade): 56 (73.5)
Defense rank (grade): 72 (75.4)

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Overall rank (grade): 30 (90.6)
Offense rank (grade): 37 (77.7)
Defense rank (grade): 38 (81.6)

Penn State Nittany Lions

Photo: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Overall rank (grade): 19 (91.2)
Offense rank (grade): 25 (80.4)
Defense rank (grade): 35 (82.1)

Michigan State Spartans

Photo: Lansing State Journal

Overall rank (grade): 18 (91.6)
Offense rank (grade): 26 (79.8)
Defense rank (grade): 35 (87.7)

Iowa Hawkeyes

Photo: HawkCentral

Overall rank (grade): 16 (91.9)
Offense rank (grade): 59 (3.1)
Defense rank (grade): 3 (91.2)

Maryland Terrapins

Photo: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Overall rank (grade): 12 (92.7)
Offense rank (grade): 6 (87.8)
Defense rank (grade): 59 (77.5)

Ohio State Buckeyes

Photo: The Columbus Dispatch

Overall rank (grade): 8 (93.7)
Offense rank (grade): 1 (93.0)
Defense rank (grade): 60 (77.2)

Michigan Wolverines

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Overall rank (grade): 3 (95.4)
Offense rank (grade): 8 (85.4)
Defense rank (grade): 6 (90.2)