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Michigan, Penn State plummet in NCAA Re-Rank 1-127 after disappointing losses

Paul Myerberg
USA TODAY

After a largely uneventful weekend that saw several highly anticipated matchups featuring many of the nation's best teams canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus, traditional Big Ten powers Michigan and Penn State continue to plummet down the rankings and Wisconsin moves forward in the latest USA TODAY Sports NCAA Re-Rank 1-127.

Michigan's 38-point loss to Wisconsin was the program's worst at home since 1935, while the Wolverines' 1-3 mark is the program's worst start since 1967. The early struggles have combined to send Michigan tumbling to No. 91, one spot ahead of Wyoming and one spot behind Colorado State. 

Michigan running back Zach Charbonnet carries the ball during the second half against Wisconsin at Michigan Stadium.

Penn State is now 0-4 after losing 30-23 to Nebraska, though the Nittany Lions did climb out of a 21-point hole at halftime and had several chances to draw even late in the fourth quarter. This latest loss dropped Penn State down 13 spots to No. 72.

The top seven remained the same: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Clemson, No. 5 Cincinnati, No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 7 Florida. The Irish beat Boston College 45-31, the Bearcats crushed East Carolina 55-17 and the Gators had no real issues beating Arkansas 63-35.

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Wisconsin is up two spots to No. 8, pushing Oregon down one to No. 9 and Brigham Young to No. 10. After a two-week absence while adhering to COVID-19 protocols and safety guidelines, the Badgers dominated Michigan and looked the part of Ohio State's biggest threat in the Big Ten.

Next weekend promises to be more dramatic, COVID-19 permitting. Wisconsin takes on No. 18 Northwestern in what will likely be the deciding game in the Big Ten West. Cincinnati meets No. 31 Central Florida in a pairing of one of the nation's best defenses against one of the best offenses. 

The Buckeyes host No. 11 Indiana, one of the great surprises of the 2020 season. No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 22 Oklahoma rekindle the in-state rivalry with the potential to decide which teams reach the Big 12 championship game.