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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Michigan rises after tight win

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It’s nice to be on the rise again.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The fifth week of action in Big Ten football is over and now we are officially in the home stretch of the season with four games (including the crossover) left to play. After another week of games, here is the latest batch of power rankings.

1. Ohio State (4-0, Last week: 1)

OSU was able to survive the horrors brought to them by Michael Penix Jr. and Indiana this week. Never has it been more apparent that the Beelzebucks have a blood pact with Lucifer himself than Justin Fields throwing three interceptions and still being somewhat control of a game against a top ten team.

2. Northwestern (5-0, Last week: 4)

Nothing about what Northwestern does is pretty. Seriously, go look at what they did offensively in the third quarter in the win over Wisconsin on Saturday. But they now are in the driver’s seat to win the West division with very little standing in the way of that from here on out.

3. Indiana (4-1, Last week: 3)

It’s hard to penalize Indiana for losing at OSU, especially after they stormed back late and darn-near tied the game. Penix is a star and they’ll need every drop of his talent against Maryland and Wisconsin in the next two weeks.

4. Wisconsin (2-1, Last week: 2)

The momentum that the Badgers had offensively to start the year was zapped away in Saturday’s loss at Northwestern, as they could only muster a single touchdown and it came in the first quarter. Their shot at winning the West has taken a hit with the loss over the weekend and the possibility that one more game wiped out by COVID renders them disqualified anyways.

5. Maryland (2-1, Last week: 5)

Maryland was idle once again after COVID issues within the program. We’ll wait and see if they wind up playing this weekend’s game against Indiana.

6. Iowa (3-2, Last week: 7)

Iowa had a rough start to the year, but has now won three-straight games in blowout fashion over terrible football teams. Another terrible football team awaits for them this week as they host Nebraska. More on those Cornhuskers later.

7. Purdue (2-2, Last week: 6)

Purdue was absolutely robbed on Friday night at Minnesota on a phantom offensive pass interference penalty on what would have been the game-winning drive. They have now lost two in a row and are all but officially eliminated from the West title picture.

8. Illinois (2-3, Last week: 9)

Illinois beat the holy hell out of Nebraska over the weekend, which is hilarious enough on its own. But the tweet embedded below arguably necessitates a higher rise for the Illini than the spot they land in.

9. Michigan (2-3, Last week: 12)

Some would argue a win over Rutgers that necessitated three overtimes is unworthy of a rise in these rankings, but a win is a win and Michigan looks like it at least has a chance offensively to put something together or at least be competent. The defense is a lost cause and won’t get better this year. We don’t apologize for wins around these parts especially when, for the purpose of this exercise, the rest of the league is so bad.

10. Rutgers (1-4, Last week: 10)

Rutgers’ fight and raised level of competition was even more on display on Saturday night against Michigan. Even when the Wolverines roared back, the Scarlet Knights had answers late in the game. Some of that (ok, a lot of it) is on Michigan, but Greg Schiano has a team bereft of talent playing as well as it possibly can.

11. Minnesota (2-3, Last week: 13)

Minnesota was the beneficiary of Purdue getting hosed at the end of that game on Friday night. At least they showed some signs of life this week.

12. Nebraska (1-3, Last week: 8)

Every team that I sort of buy into in these power rankings winds up shitting the bed in the week that follows it. Few in college football have put up more of a dud performance in the conference this year than Nebraska getting blown out by Illinois at home. WOOF.

13. Michigan State (1-3, Last week: 11)

MSU was idle this week, but we know they’re not very good. It makes what happened in Ann Arbor in Week 2 even more frustrating.

14. Penn State (0-5, Last week: 14)

This is a bad football team that looks like it has mailed it in. The only reason we aren’t talking about James Franklin being fired is because of the $32 million buyout it would cost to get rid of him after this year.