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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 7

The top three remain steadfast from the Big Ten East, and the Big Ten West is truly anyone’s for the taking.

Michigan v Indiana Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Big Ten West is still up for grabs and there are some newcomers in the mix. The Big Ten East has the highest highs with two teams 3-0 in the conference, as well as the lowest lows with two teams without a win in conference play.

So what does that all mean for the power rankings? Let’s find out.

14. Michigan State Spartans (2-4, 0-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 12

The Spartans have lost four in a row, including most recently to Ohio State. The conference has taken notice of Michigan State’s lagging defense, as the Spartans allow on average 6.1 yards per play, the worst in the Big Ten. Ohio State can attest, as the Spartans allowed 614 total yards. MSU’s offense doesn’t bode any better, as they put up a meager 202 total yards against OSU.

Up Next: Wisconsin

13. Northwestern Wildcats (1-5, 1-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 13

What we like here is consistency, and Northwestern is consistently bad. It was unfortunate the Wildcats were at the receiving end of Wisconsin’s pent up emotion, but Northwestern didn’t do itself any favors. With three turnovers in the game and a missed field goal at the end of the first half, the Wildcats couldn’t get anything going offensively until the fourth quarter. Their defense didn’t fare any better, allowing 515 total yards.

Up Next: Bye

12. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 9

It’s a sad occurrence to go from undefeated to a three-game losing streak. And losing their 21st consecutive Big Ten game at home is a tougher pill to swallow. Without clear and consistent quarterback play, the Scarlet Knights have no Big Ten wins. After leading the majority of the game against the Cornhuskers, Rutgers threw the game away, literally and figuratively. With three interceptions and 97 penalty yards, the Scarlet Knights couldn’t find their way to score in the second half.

Up Next: Bye

11. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 8

Iowa had five possessions totaling negative yardage, and somehow one resulted in a field goal. Iowa was shut out in the second half and while the game was tied for the majority of that time, Illinois’ go-ahead field goal came with less than three minutes left. The Hawkeyes have just one win in Big Ten play and now have a bye to prepare for Ohio State.

Up Next: Bye

10. Indiana Hoosiers (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 11

The Hoosiers have now been dealt their third loss in a row, and are two losses away from having 700 total in program history. While they kept up with Michigan in the first half, they went scoreless in the second, punting four times and turning it over on downs to end the game. While their defense did well to try and keep it close, the lack of offense was a huge hindrance to their effort.

Up next: Maryland

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 14

Once you remove Scott Frost, you shoot to the top of the Big Ten West. It’s that easy. For one whole day, the Cornhuskers were leading the Big Ten West after their win against Rutgers on Thursday night. Nebraska has now strung together two wins in a row, improving to 2-1 in conference play. After being shut out in the first half, Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson threw two touchdowns, with the go-ahead 27-yarder coming about midway through the fourth quarter. They’ve been rolling since their bye and face a tough opponent in Purdue this weekend.

Up Next: Purdue

8. Wisconsin Badgers (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 10

One way to come back from a blowout is to create one of your own. The Badgers dominated the Wildcats, with quarterback Graham Mertz going for 299 yards and five touchdowns. They regained their footing on the ground, rushing for 193 yards after last game’s performance of 2 yards. Wisconsin found the redemption it needed, and interim head coach Jim Leonhard collected his first win Perhaps he can get his second in East Lansing this weekend.

Up next: Michigan State

7. Maryland Terrapins (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 6

It appears whenever Maryland tries to formulate a string of wins, someone throws a wrench in the plan. Since entering conference play, the Terrapins are now 1-2 after losing a tight one to Purdue. Once more, they returned to their penalty ridden ways and it cost them the game. The Boilermakers also had three turnovers, which the Terrapins weren’t able to capitalize on. Both teams were tied for the majority of the second half, but Maryland couldn’t make the late comeback.

Up next: Indiana

6. Purdue Boilermakers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 7

Once again in another close game decided by four or fewer points, the Boilermakers were able to stave off Maryland with two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Purdue was able to escape its three turnovers and 13 rushing yards as Aidan O’Connell threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Now 2-1 in conference play, the Boilermakers are in excellent position in the Big Ten West. They are also now 2-0 in their last two games on the road and remain competitive after their win against Minnesota.

Up next: Nebraska

5. Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 4

The Golden Gophers return from bye to take on a ranked Illinois team. Minnesota looked tough through the first four games with the best defense in the conference. They still hold that rank as they only allow 222 yards a game. Their offense that averages 495.2 yards a game, which is second in the conference, needs a resurgence. After being held to 304 yards against Purdue, their season low, the Gophers will have to be wary of a tough Illinois defense.

Up next: Illinois

4. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 5

Well, I’ll be darned, we got a ranked Illinois team. After losing to Indiana, the Fighting Illini have won their last four games. While they boast a pretty solid defense, their offense lags behind. The Fighting Illini have the second-best defense in the Big Ten, allowing on average 228 yards each game. Their offense however, is ninth and averages 406.5 yards per game. Their defense rang true against Iowa, as they outgained the Hawkeyes 316-222.

Up Next: Minnesota

3. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 3

The Nittany Lions are coming off a bye after a sad showing against Northwestern. They will need to play a clean game if they wish to pull off the upset. In their last game against Northwestern, the Nittany Lions had five turnovers and 55 penalty yards. They were lucky they played a team without an offense, as anyone else would have been able to capitalize. It will be a tough go as the last time the two teams were ranked in the Big House, it wasn’t a good day for Penn State.

Up next: Michigan

2. Michigan Wolverines (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 2

After a dicey performance in the first half against Indiana, Michigan was able to make the necessary adjustments to come out on top. Though offensive play was a little lackluster and Michigan traded missed field goals with the Hoosiers, a health scare on the sideline for Mike Hart left the team shaken up. J.J McCarthy threw his first 300+ yard game, completing 28-of-36 passes while throwing three touchdowns. Blake Corum once again rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown to elevate Michigan to bowl eligibility.

Up Next: Penn State

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 1

There probably isn’t much more to be said about this Ohio State team this year. It has been a resounding success, especially within conference play. C.J. Stroud threw for six touchdowns and 361 yards to elevate OSU to its sixth win of the season. Even working through injury, TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 118 yards and a touchdowns. This game was complete dominance and now the Buckeyes get a week of rest.

Up next: Bye