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Final Big Ten Power Rankings of the 2023 season

Things came to a head in Week 13 as rivalry week chaos ensued.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
Matt Hartwell Matt covers all things Michigan football related for Maize n Brew and runs the social media accounts.

The Big Ten Championship Game is set! Thanks to Michigan’s 30-24 win over Ohio State, the Wolverines are headed to Indianapolis to take on Iowa with the conference title on the line. While The Game may have been the headliner in Week 13, it wasn’t the only game on the docket.

Here’s our final conference power rankings for the 2023 season.

14. Indiana Hoosiers (3-9, 1-8 Big Ten) — Last week: 14

Indiana closed out another forgettable season with an exhausting outing against Purdue. The Hoosiers lost their final three games by a total of 10 points, blowing late leads in all three.

13. Michigan State Spartans (4-8, 2-7 Big Ten) — Last week: 12

The Harlon Barnett era is over in East Lansing after the interim coach went 2-8. Many Spartans will now look to enter the transfer portal after a tumultuous season, while Athletic Director Alan Haller has hired Jonathan Smith away from Oregon State.

12. Purdue Boilermakers (4-8, 3-6 Big Ten) — Last week: 13

Ryan Walters’ first season fell well short of expectations. The Boilermakers struggled to find their footing early in the season, and suffered many self-inflicted wounds along the way. Still, the team is young and it will be interesting to see the roster changes Walters makes for the 2024 season.

11. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-7, 3-6 Big Ten) — Last week: 9

Three turnovers came back to bite the Huskers in a 13-10 loss to the Hawkeyes. The Cornhuskers lost four straight to end Matt Rhule’s first season at Nebraska, and the team’s bowl drought extends to seven years.

10. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-7, 3-6 Big Ten) — Last week: 10

A season that started with high expectations ended with a bitter defeat when the Illini lost, 45-43, to Northwestern.

9. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-7, 4-6 Big Ten) — Last week: 8

The inability to step on the gas when there’s a potential momentum-shifting play to be made has been a problem for the Gophers all season long. Minnesota failed to secure bowl eligibility after the loss, but did qualify for the final spot amid a shortage of six-win teams thanks to its Academic Progress Rate score being the best of the 5-7 bunch.

8. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-6, 3-6 Big Ten) — Last week: 5

Gavin Wimsatt scored on two quarterback sneaks and tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to senior Aaron Young on a day that saw the Scarlet Knights honor 24 outgoing seniors. Rutgers will gear up to play in the 12th bowl game in program history.

7. Maryland Terrapins (7-5, 4-5 Big Ten) — Last week: 8

Taulia Tagovailoa hit 24-of-31 passes for 361 yards, as the Terps scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and never looked back against Rutgers. Tagovailoa is now all-time Big Ten passing leader after this performance as well.

6. Wisconsin Badgers (7-5, 5-4 Big Ten) — Last week: 7

Wisconsin underwent a major offensive overhaul this season under new coach Luke Fickell, and the process of becoming a faster-paced, pass-friendly team hasn’t been pretty. Injuries may have hampered the Badgers, but another offseason in Fickell’s system should bring improvement.

5. Northwestern Wildcats (7-5, 5-4 Big Ten) — Last week: 6

A season that began with a scandal and a coaching change will continue on for the Wildcats with a bowl game following the team’s 45-43 win over Illinois. This marks the first bowl appearance for the program since 2020.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2, 8-2 Big Ten) — Last week: 4

Iowa keeps finding ways to win low-scoring games, and the same was true during the 13-10 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Hawkeyes will take their unorthodox playing style on the road to Indianapolis next week where they’ll take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Big Ten Championship.

3. Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) — Last week: 3

Offensive momentum continued during the second game in which running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider and tight ends coach Ty Howle managed the unit. With their regular season over, Penn State will now await a New Year’s Six bowl matchup as a top-12 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) — Last week: 2

Michigan emerged victorious over Ohio State on Saturday, giving the Buckeyes their first loss this season. Last season they were able to sneak into the playoff after losing The Game, but the back door is much smaller this year with a crowded field of contenders.

1. Michigan Wolverines (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) — Last week: 1

With two years of dominance being called into question and their coach banned from the sideline, the Wolverines stared down Ohio State again and earned a victory that will go down as one of the biggest in the history of the rivalry. Next up, the Wolverines will head to the Big Ten Championship on Saturday against Iowa.