After a shocking upset over the weekend, here’s our ninth edition of Big Ten power rankings:
14. Rutgers 1-6 (Last Week: 14)
Rutgers got pummeled by Minnesota this week to drop to 1-6. On the bright side, it might pick up a win this week against Liberty, but don’t be surprised if the Scarlet Knights find a way to lose, Liberty is 5-2 after all.
13. Northwestern 1-5 (Last Week: 12)
The Wildcats continue their free fall, losing big to Ohio State.
12. Maryland 3-4 (Last Week: 10)
This is more of where we all expected Maryland to be at the beginning of the year.
11. Purdue (2-5) (Last Week: (9)
Purdue belongs one spot ahead of Maryland thanks to the head-to-head matchup. The Boilermakers have a very interesting game against Illinois coming up after a hard-fought loss to Iowa. I’m not sure if picking Purdue to win counts as an upset, but I’ll call my shot now.
10. Nebraska 4-3 (Last Week: 11)
Nebraska was on bye last week and opened up as a home underdog to Indiana this week, despite the fact that starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. may not be able to play.
9. Illinois 3-4 (Last Week: 13)
Illinois pulled off the upset of the season (decade?) by stunning Wisconsin with a last-second field goal. It’s a heck of a boost for Lovie Smith and his program, which was on life support prior to the win. Dare I suggest a bowl game is in the picture if the Illini can beat Purdue?
8. Indiana 5-2 (Last Week: 8)
Indiana earned its fifth win before October for the first time since 2007 setting up the Hoosiers for a nice finish to the year, especially if they beat Nebraska. Earning a road win with a backup quarterback is not something this program would’ve done in past years.
7. Michigan State 4-3 (Last Week: 7)
The Spartans are in danger of falling to No. 8, but their head-to-head win over IU is just enough to keep them in the seven spot.
6. Minnesota 7-0 (Last Week: 6)
Minnesota is not as good as their record suggests, given how incredibly easy its schedule has been. That being said, the Gophers have done enough to be ranked ahead of MSU and Indiana at this point. That could change after they play Penn State.
5. Iowa 5-2 (Last Week: 5)
I’m not thrilled about the Hawkeyes, but I still think they’re better than Minnesota.
4. Michigan 5-2 (Last Week: 4)
It was a tale of two halves for Michigan on Saturday. The team that showed up in the first half could lose the rest of its games. The team that showed up in the second half could win the rest of its games (well, maybe except for Ohio State). Which team will show up against Notre Dame? It feels weird, but Michigan’s playoff and Big Ten title hopes are over in mid October.
3. Wisconsin 6-1 (Last Week: 2)
Saturday couldn’t have gone any worse for Wisconsin. Now, in order to keep its playoff hopes alive, it must beat Ohio State this week.
2. Penn State 7-0 (Last Week: 3)
Penn State doesn’t look quite as good as its record, but it has two high quality wins this year and clearly deserves the second spot in these rankings after Wisconsin’s debacle. The Nittany Lions have a difficult four-game stretch coming up, culminating with a road trip to Ohio State.
1. Ohio State 7-0 (Last Week: 1)
The Buckeyes are in a league of their own. The toughest test of the season comes this week against Wisconsin, but this team looks unstoppable.