Here’s our 13th edition of Big Ten power rankings:
14. Rutgers 2-8 (Last Week: 14)
I have to give Rutgers some credit this week, it actually exceeded expectations against Ohio State and scored 21 points.
13. Northwestern 2-8 (Last Week: 13)
Northwestern scored a season-high 45 points against UMass to earn its second win.
12. Maryland 3-7 (Last Week: 12)
Maryland was on bye last week after giving up 73 to OSU.
11. Michigan State (4-6) (Last Week: (9)
MSU embarrassed itself during the program’s biggest game of the year.
10. Nebraska 4-6 (Last Week: 11)
Nebraska kept things somewhat interesting with Wisconsin before fall apart. Somehow continued disappointment meant a two-year extension for Scott Frost.
9. Purdue 4-6 (Last Week: 10)
The Boilermakers were on bye over the weekend and will play Wisconsin on the road this week as they try to keep their slim bowl hopes alive.
8. Illinois 6-4 (Last Week: 8)
Illinois enjoyed a much deserved week off after coming back from a 28-3 lead at MSU. Now the Illini will face Iowa on the road.
7. Indiana 7-3 (Last Week: 6)
The Hoosiers had Penn State on the ropes but couldn’t take advantage of several opportunities throughout the game, settling for a seven-point loss. Michigan visits Bloomington in a clear trap game before facing Ohio State. U-M would be wise not to overlook IU.
6. Minnesota 9-1 (Last Week: 2)
This feels like a steep punishment for a road loss at Iowa, but I also didn’t have the Gophers ranked higher than this spot until they beat Penn State. I think this ranking better reflects how good Minnesota really is. It had a great home win, but the resume outside of that game is lacking. There’s still plenty of time to make me a believer.
5. Iowa 7-3 (Last Week: 7)
Iowa handled Minnesota at home to pick up its seventh win of the year. There’s no reason this team can’t finish 9-3.
4. Wisconsin 8-2 (Last Week: 4)
Yeah, yeah Wisconsin clobbered Michigan, but these are my rankings and I think Michigan is playing better football right now than Wisconsin so here we are. The Badgers are still very alive in the Big Ten West race, and it’ll all come down to a showdown with Minnesota at the end of the year.
3. Michigan 8-2 (Last Week: 5)
Michigan is playing really good football right now. Frankly, the Wolverines have been outstanding ever since the second half against Penn State. Beat downs of Notre Dame, Maryland and Michigan State have been impressive and have U-M set up for a couple of huge — and difficult — games against IU and OSU to end the year.
2. Penn State 9-1 (Last Week: 3)
The Nittany Lions got back on track with a win over Indiana. Their season now comes down to this week’s game at Ohio State.
1. Ohio State 10-0 (Last Week: 1)
Ohio State will face Penn State this week after sleepwalking its way past Rutgers. On paper, you’d think this would be a close game, but OSU is good enough that I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Buckeye blowout win.