Here’s our 11th edition of Big Ten power rankings:
14. Rutgers 2-7 (Last Week: 14)
Rutgers lost to Illinois by 28 to stay ranked at the bottom. Northwestern has been awful too, but I’m confident even the Wildcats could beat Rutgers handily.
13. Northwestern 1-7 (Last Week: 13)
Indiana had its turn to blow out Northwestern last week. It’s been a remarkable collapse this year for a program that was playing for a Big Ten championship a year ago.
12. Maryland 3-6 (Last Week: 11)
Maryland continued its slide, losing big to Michigan. At this point, the 10-12 spots are just a rotation of crappy teams and this week happens to have Maryland at the bottom.
11. Nebraska (4-5) (Last Week: (10)
Safe to say at this point that the Scott Frost hire hasn’t exactly gone as planned. It’s still plenty early in his tenure, but man has it been bad in Lincoln as the Cornhuskers lose again, this time to Purdue.
10. Purdue 3-6 (Last Week: 12)
Purdue picked up a win, but lost quarterback Jake Plummer for the season. That means the Boilermakers are down to their third-string quarterback for this week’s game against Northwestern.
9. Illinois 5-4 (Last Week: 9)
Illinois has been one of the surprise teams in the conference this season. It hasn’t lost since upsetting Wisconsin and now will face a reeling Michigan State for a chance to clinch a bowl game.
8. Michigan State 4-4 (Last Week: 8)
MSU was on a much needed bye last week. It can’t afford a loss to Illinois.
7. Indiana 7-2 (Last Week: 7)
Indiana has clinched a winning record for the first time since 2007 and second time since 1993. It finished just outside the AP Top 25 this week and now has a bye week before a big game against Penn State. IU hasn’t had the toughest schedule so far, but that will change with its final three games: PSU, Michigan and rival Purdue.
6. Minnesota 8-0 (Last Week: 6)
Minnesota continues to move up in the rankings thanks to its perfect record, but has been lucky given just how easy that schedule has been. That’s why I continue to rank the Gophers behind Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. They finally have their first real test of the season against Penn State this week.
5. Iowa 6-2 (Last Week: 5)
Iowa has pretty much been your stereotypical Iowa team this season. Good, not great, but certainly better than average. It gets the Badgers on the road this week in a huge contest for the West Division standings.
4. Michigan 7-2 (Last Week: 4)
Michigan handled its business against Maryland on Saturday and now gets to enjoy a bye week before taking on Michigan State. The game doesn’t seem to have as much hype as it has in previous seasons, but chalk that up to MSU’s miserable season.
3. Wisconsin 6-2 (Last Week: 3)
The Badgers will face a test in Iowa this week as the team looks to rebound from its blowout loss to Ohio State.
2. Penn State 8-0 (Last Week: 2)
Penn State goes on the road for a highly anticipated game this week against Minnesota. A win this week puts the Nittany Lions firmly in the College Football Playoff mix. There’s a good chance they’re in the top four when the first playoff rankings are released Tuesday.
1. Ohio State 8-0 (Last Week: 1)
The Buckeyes had a bye last week as they get ready for the difficult challenge of facing Maryland and Rutgers in the next two weeks. The Buckeyes will either be No. 1 or No. 2 in the playoff rankings when they are released.