Here’s our sixth edition of Big Ten power rankings:
14. Rutgers 1-3 (Last Week: 14)
Michigan was the lucky team that got to face Rutgers last week. The Scarlet Knights then fired coach Chris Ash on Sunday. They’ll be lucky to win another game.
13. Illinois 2-2 (Last Week: 13)
Illinois was on a bye last week and will play Minnesota on the road on Saturday.
12. Purdue 1-3 (Last Week: 12)
Purdue turned in a disappointing performance at home against Minnesota. To make matters worse, starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar may miss the rest of the season with an injury.
11. Nebraska 3-2 (Last Week: 11)
The Cornhuskers were drubbed by Ohio State in Lincoln over the weekend. The Buckeyes are clearly the class of the conference, but Nebraska has shown it’s a fraud.
10. Maryland 2-2 (Last Week: 9)
Maryland is coming back down to Earth and looking more like the team everyone expected it to be to start the year. A really disappointing game at home against Penn State.
9. Northwestern 1-3 (Last Week: 7)
I’ve been higher on the Wildcats for most of this year than most others, but I can’t do it any longer. This isn’t a very good football team, despite the strong road effort against Wisconsin.
8. Indiana 2-2 (Last Week: 8)
Indiana, quite frankly, should have beaten Michigan State in East Lansing over the weekend. The only problem is that IU’s defense was nowhere to be found. That’s going to continue to cause issues for the Hoosiers, but they look like a totally different team with freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at the helm, who dismantled the tough Spartan defense with ease.
7. Minnesota 4-0 (Last Week: 10)
The Gophers earned a hard-fought road victory at Purdue to stay unbeaten. The schedule has been easy, but taking care of business is easier said than done, and Minnesota has done what has been needed.
6. Michigan State 4-1 (Last Week: 6)
MSU withstood a battle from Indiana, but was able to find enough offense to thwart the upset attempt. The offense looked much better, while the defense looked the opposite. We’ll learn a lot about the Spartans this week in Columbus.
5. Michigan 3-1 (Last Week: 5)
It’s hard to judge what we saw against Rutgers. On one hand, the Wolverines did a lot of nice things on both side of the ball that we hadn’t seen yet, but on the other hand, it was all against Rutgers, which would be lucky to finish .500 in the MAC. The true test comes this week against top 15 ranked Iowa.
4. Penn State 4-0 (Last Week: 4)
Penn State showed how you’re supposed to come out of a bye week by blasting Maryland on the road. It was a good win after some shaky performances so far this season.
3. Iowa 4-0 (Last Week: 3)
Iowa beat Middle Tennessee State 48-3 last week in a tune up game before traveling to Ann Arbor. One Big Ten West team already announced its presence by pounding Michigan, now Iowa will try to do the same. I don’t think they’ll have the same level of success, but the Hawkeyes are a consistent team that will certainly put pressure on U-M.
2. Wisconsin 4-0 (Last Week: 2)
Wisconsin avoided a letdown against Northwestern to stay undefeated. The Badgers get a break this week with Kent State before returning to Big Ten action.
1. Ohio State 5-0 (Last Week: 1)
Ohio State has outscored opponents 262 to 43 this season and put on another show at Nebraska, winning 48-7. The Buckeyes will play MSU at home this week, with an opportunity to beat one of the more respected teams in the league.