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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week 12

Some wild results have resulted in a big shakeup in this week’s rankings.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions Photo by Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Here’s our 12th edition of Big Ten power rankings:

14. Rutgers 2-7 (Last Week: 14)

Rutgers has the joy of facing Ohio State this week. Can OSU win by 70?

13. Northwestern 1-8 (Last Week: 13)

Northwestern lost on a late field goal by Purdue to continue its dreadful slide. The Wildcats should pick up their second win of the year this week against UMass.

12. Maryland 3-7 (Last Week: 12)

Maryland gave up 73 points to Ohio State over the weekend and now gets a week off.

11. Nebraska (4-5) (Last Week: (11)

Nebraska sat at home this week preparing for Wisconsin. Hard to see how this team makes a bowl game.

10. Purdue 4-6 (Last Week: 10)

Purdue beat Northwestern, but still looks like an awful football team. It’s on bye this week before a road trip to Wisconsin.

9. Michigan State 4-5 (Last Week: 8)

There a case to be made that MSU belongs further down on this list, but I still don’t think the Spartans are as bad as Purdue. This team stinks and will be headed into full rebuilding mode after the season, presumably with a new coach.

8. Illinois 6-4 (Last Week: 9)

Illinois clinched a bowl berth for the first time under coach Lovie Smith, completing a comeback to win after being down 28-3 to MSU. The Illini have a bye before a critical game against Iowa.

7. Iowa 6-3 (Last Week: 5)

Iowa lost a tough one to Wisconsin, but it wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Hawkeyes can make things right with a win over Minnesota this week.

6. Indiana 7-2 (Last Week: 7)

Indiana was ranked for the first time since 1994 this weekend, coming in at No. 24 in the AP Poll and No. 25 in the coaches. It’s been a great year in Bloomington, but it can get even better with an upset win at Penn State this Saturday.

5. Michigan 7-2 (Last Week: 4)

Michigan doesn’t deserve to drop a spot, but it’s due to Minnesota rising up. The Wolverines should have a fun week ahead preparing for a Michigan State team that looks like it’s falling apart. They can’t overlook this game, however, as MSU is known for surprising U-M. It’s been a long time since MSU has looked this awful though too. U-M should win by 20.

4. Wisconsin 7-2 (Last Week: 3)

Same deal here, Wisconsin really shouldn’t fall, but here it is. The Badgers picked up a solid win over Iowa and should cruise into a regular season finale with Minnesota at 9-2.

3. Penn State 8-1 (Last Week: 2)

Penn State had a chance to solidify its spot in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings, but squandered it at Minnesota. Maybe PSU is overrated, maybe Minnesota is actually really good? Hard to say, but I’ll give the Gophers the benefit of the doubt.

2. Minnesota 9-0 (Last Week: 6)

Minnesota jumps all the way up to No. 2 this week after a signature win versus Penn State. The Gophers should move into the top six or seven this week in the CFP poll as well. They get another test this week, however, on the road at Iowa.

1. Ohio State 9-0 (Last Week: 1)

Ohio State was ranked No. 1 in the first set of CFP rankings to little surprise. It might not stay there thanks to LSU’s win at Alabama, but this is clearly a top two team in the country and is in a class of its own.