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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 12

The Big Ten West remains wild and untamed, while the Big Ten East’s top dogs continue to dominate.

Maryland v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

It shouldn’t come as a surprise the Big Ten West doesn’t have a clear front runner heading into Week 12. Or that the Big Ten East still has two undefeated teams.

After some shakeups courtesy of the West, here are the updated Big Ten power rankings.

14. Northwestern Wildcats (1-9, 1-6 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 13

The Wildcats are facing the reality their lone win in Week 0 could be their only of the season. Northwestern’s offense couldn’t stay on the field long enough to be effective as it had one drive over 50 yards the whole game, which resulted in a field goal. The defense struggled to contain Minnesota’s run game, as Mo Ibrahim rushed 178 yards and three touchdowns.

Up next: Purdue

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-7, 2-5 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 11

Nebraska’s lack of offense and defense extended Nebraska’s losing streak to four. The Cornhuskers’ longest drive was 56 yards, which led to a field goal. They punted seven times and averaged 14.6 yards a possession. Defensively, the Cornhuskers allowed Michigan 412 total yards and 27 first downs. Nebraska was outscored 17-0 in the second half.

Up next: Wisconsin

12. Maryland Terrapins (6-4, 3-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 9

Maryland’s 134 total yards of offense was the lowest in Big Ten play this past weekend. They averaged 11.2 yards a possession and got shutout through four quarters. Taulia Tagovailoa threw a season-low 74 yards. The Terrapin defense struggled to contain the run, allowing Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton to combine for 195 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Up next: Ohio State

11. Indiana Hoosiers (3-7, 1-6 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 14

Indiana was completely overwhelmed by Ohio State’s high powered offense, allowing two running backs to rush for more than 100 yards and a touchdown. Their pass containment also lagged, as C.J. Stroud threw for 297 yards and five touchdowns. An overall bad performance once again from Indiana.

Up next: Michigan State

10. Wisconsin Badgers (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 5

Wisconsin struggled to create and sustain offensive drives. That only got worse in the second half, where it averaged 6.1 yards per possession. Turnovers ailed the Badgers, as Iowa had a pick six in the first half. The other two came in the final 30 minutes to take away any offensive momentum Wisconsin had.

Up next: Nebraska

9. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-6, 1-6 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 12

Rutgers had 460 total yards, its highest production in conference play, yet lost by six. In tandem, the defense allowed 453 yards. The inconsistent offensive drives left the Scarlet Knights scrambling to overtake Michigan State. They never led and their 108 penalty yards were their downfall.

Up next: Penn State

8. Michigan State Spartans (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 8

The Spartans edged out Rutgers late in the second half off a blocked field goal attempt. Ameer Speed returned the ball to MSU’s 44, which set up a field goal to put the Spartans up 10. Despite amassing 453 total yards, Michigan State could not pull away from Rutgers.

Up next: Indiana

7. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 6

Once again, the defense kept the Hawkeyes alive, as Cooper DeJean’s pick six put them in the driver’s seat. They came away with two more turnovers, but their offense struggled to take advantage. They had 146 total yards of offense and their longest drive was 39 yards, which resulted in a fumble recovered by Wisconsin. Luckily for the Hawkeyes, they shut out the Badgers in the second half.

Up next: Minnesota

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers — Last week’s rank: 7

Minnesota was dominant on both sides of the ball in this one. The Gophers held the Wildcats to just one field goal. They also came away with two interceptions in the second half to halt any momentum Northwestern had. Mo Ibrahim led the offense with 178 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Minnesota controlled the ball for more than 40 minutes, leaving Northwestern little time to come up with answers.

Up next: Iowa

5. Illinois Fighting Illini (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 4

Illinois dropped its second game in a row, cooling off a fiery 7-1 start. Though the Illini were tied coming out of the half, they struggled to create scoring drives. They amassed 121 penalty yards, which provided Purdue ample opportunities to take advantage. Chase Brown was held under 100 rushing yards for the first time this season, stagnating Illinois’ main offensive output.

Up next: Michigan

4. Purdue Boilermakers (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 10

Purdue threw the Big Ten West into further chaos after a win over Illinois. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns to get the Boilermaker offense rolling. They found some consistency on the ground against a top rushing defense, as Devin Mockobee rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Up next: Northwestern

3. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 3

Penn State’s seven sacks led the conference this past weekend, as its defense was the main contributor in the shutout over Maryland. Freshman running back Nick Singleton rushed 122 yards and two touchdowns to get Penn State’s offense moving in the first half. The Nittany Lions only scored a field goal in the final 30 minutes, but their defense forced Maryland off the field in all five of their second-half possessions.

Up next: Rutgers

2. Michigan Wolverines (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 1

The Wolverines handled Nebraska accordingly to remain undefeated. Their defense held the Cornhuskers to 146 total yards, eight first downs and just one field goal. Michigan took advantage of Nebraska’s lackluster defense to record 412 total yards, with star running back Blake Corum going for 162 yards and a touchdown to lead the offense.

Up next: Illinois

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 2

Ohio State returned to bullying Big Ten opponents with their offense. Along with Stroud’s dominant performance, the Buckeyes also recorded 340 rushing yards against Indiana. Ohio State’s defense forced Indiana to punt 12 times and only allowed 11 first downs.

Up next: Maryland