The Big Ten East looks to be decided by a collision of undefeated teams at the end of November. The West, on the other hand, is anyone’s if they can string together some solid wins through the remainder of the season.
With the end fast approaching, here are the updated Big Ten Power Rankings heading into Week 11.
14. Indiana Hoosiers (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 13
The Hoosiers continue their decline, losing their sixth game in a row after a blowout against Penn State. Indiana posted 196 total yards of offense and the defense allowed 45 points and 483 total yards. Nothing was clicking for the Hoosiers and it cost them greatly.
Up next: Ohio State
13. Northwestern Wildcats (1-8, 1-5 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 14
Maybe it was the weather that allowed one-win Northwestern to fall to No. 2 Ohio State by only 14 points, but that depends on who you ask. The Wildcats tried their best, going so far as to outgain the Buckeyes in first downs, total yards, and passing yards. Northwestern struck first and forced OSU to punt five times in the first half. Unfortunately, that’s where momentum ended as it allowed two touchdowns in the second half.
Up next: Minnesota
12. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-5, 1-5 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 12
Their first half really gave Michigan a run for their money, but that was a tale of two halves. The Scarlet Knights would end the game with only five first downs, 180 total yards of offense and three turnovers. Not exactly reflective of a team that led the then No. 4 Wolverines 17-14 at the half.
Up next: Michigan State
11. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-6, 2-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 11
This game was a close one in almost every sense, but Minnesota came back to life to outscore the Cornhuskers 20-3 in the second half.
Up next: Michigan
10. Purdue Boilermakers (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 6
It appears Iowa passed on its cursed offense to Purdue, as the Boilermakers only scored a field goal through four quarters. It was Aidan O’Connell’s worst showing this season, only throwing 168 yards and two picks. Even after being shutout in three quarters and allowing 200 rushing yards by a freshman running back, Purdue can still contend for the Big Ten West.
Up next: Illinois
9. Maryland Terrapins (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 5
This was a sad showing from the Terrapins, as Taulia Tagovailoa had his worst game of the season against Wisconsin. He was 10-of-23 with a touchdown, an interception and 77 yards. Maryland was scoreless until the third quarter. The defense didn’t do Maryland any favors, allowing the Badgers 355 yards, including 278 rushing yards.
Up next: Penn State
8. Michigan State Spartans (5-4, 2-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 10
The only thing the Spartans led in was the score, which is arguably the most important of them all at the end of the day. MSU upset No. 15 Illinois despite allowing 441 yards and 25 first downs from the Fighting Illini. The Spartans led going into half and only allowed Illinois to score once in the second half.
Up next: Rutgers
7. Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 8
Minnesota started off the game with a stale offense but Mohamed Ibrahim turned things up a notch for the Golden Gophers. After two wins in a row, they can be one of teams that can compete for the Big Ten West.
Up next: Northwestern
6. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 9
Two solid offensive showings from Iowa in a row and the Hawkeyes are all of a sudden in contention for the Big Ten West, along with everyone else. After going scoreless in the first quarter, Iowa struck first with a touchdown pass from Spencer Petras. The Hawkeyes came up with an interception on Purdue’s next drive, which set up Petras’ second passing touchdown of the game. Iowa’s rushing game was rolling as well, with running back Kaleb Johnson ending the game with 200 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Up next: Rutgers
5. Wisconsin Badgers (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 7
The Big Ten West is as open as it has been in the past few weeks, and the Badgers can toss their names into the ring after their win over Maryland. While it wasn’t a particularly flashy showing from the Badgers, they were able to keep Maryland’s high passing offense to just 77 yards. On the flipside, they themselves only threw for 77 yards, but found their success on the ground, rushing for 278 total yards in the game.
Up next: Iowa
4. Illinois Fighting Illini (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 3
Illinois looked like it was coasting to the top of the Big Ten West. With MSU’s upset over the FIghting Illini, things are still up in the air. Despites out gaining the Spartans 441-294, Illinois’ struggled to come up with consistent scoring drives. Their offense has been troublesome so if they want to cap off their stellar season, they’ll need more consistent answers.
Up next: Purdue
3. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 4
They may not be able to take down the top dogs of the Big Ten East, but they can blow out the rest. Or at least play their best after those losses. Penn State rolled through Indiana, thanks to running back duo Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, who combined for four rushing touchdowns in the game. They put on a showing on both sides of the ball, but those two losses must linger in the back of their minds.
Up next: Maryland
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten)
Last week’s rank: 1
Even the best of the best have off days, but to have an off day to a one-win Northwestern is a different story. Maybe it’s something in the air, as Penn State was also in a close game with the Wildcats. Regardless, for a team that has been praised for its dominating offense all season, that same offense checked out for the weekend. The Buckeyes had 13 first downs to Northwestern’s 17 and were on par with the Wildcats in total yards, 283-285.
Up next: Indiana
1. Michigan Wolverines (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 2
For a team to be explosive in the second half after making necessary adjustments and outscore the opponent 38-0 is huge. The Wolverines out-gained the Scarlet Knights 433-180 and allow only five first downs. Michigan’s ground game continues to shine with two backs going over 100 yards in the game. On the defensive side, Michigan came away with three interceptions, including a pick six in the second half. It was a tale of two halves, but Michigan looked unstoppable.
Up next: Nebraska