Week 10 has arrived in college football and the battle between the top two of the Big Ten East gets more interesting by the week. With more limited Big Ten action this past weekend with many teams on bye, there was still some unmissable action, for better or worse.
Here are the updated Big Ten Power Rankings.
14. Northwestern Wildcats (1-7, 1-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 14
In likely the most realistic game left on their schedule to compete and win, the Wildcats couldn’t find any answers on the road against Iowa. It was actually Northwestern’s offense that was nonexistent, only gaining 177 yards. They rushed for 18 yards in the game and punted six out of nine possessions. Northwestern’s defense fared no better, allowing three touchdowns and 398 total yards to the Hawkeyes.
Next up: Ohio State
13. Indiana Hoosiers (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 13
Indiana was on bye this past weekend but return to host No. 16 Penn State. The Hoosiers will have their hands full trying to contain the Nittany Lions, a team that averages 430.9 total yards a game. Indiana allows its opponents on average 416.4 yards and 30.6 points each game. It will have a rough upcoming two weeks between Penn State and Ohio State.
Next up: Penn State
12. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 12
Rutgers couldn’t get anything going against Minnesota’s defense this past week, ending the game with 48 rushing yards, 86 passing yards and no points. Nothing seemed to go right and more quarterback struggles resulted in Rutgers’ fourth loss this season.
Next up: Michigan
11. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-5, 2-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 8
Ultimately, the Cornhuskers’ four turnovers and lack of scoring drives in the second half would cost them another win. While Illinois doesn’t have a particularly stellar offense, Nebraska has a defense that is much worse, allowing 367 total yards. With their inability to contain Illinois’ offense, coupled with their own lack of scoring ability, the Cornhuskers find themselves with their fifth loss this year.
Next up: Minnesota
10. Michigan State Spartans (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 10
Michigan State did find the end zone first, but that was its only score of the evening. The Spartans still struggled to move the ball on the ground, only rushing for 37 yards the entire game. They couldn’t get much moving offensively and then struggled to contain Michigan in tandem. They’ll struggle to get bowl eligible.
Next up: Illinois
9. Iowa Hawkeyes (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 11
Iowa found an offense, scoring three touchdowns against Northwestern. Their 33 points was the most scored by the Hawkeyes so far this season. Their defense continued to find success, holding Northwestern 177 total yards and shutting out the Wildcats in the first half.
Next up: Purdue
8. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 9
The Golden Gophers defense roared back to life as they shut out Rutgers, allowing 134 total yards in the game. Their offense worked equally well for the first time in a few weeks, rushing for 253 yards and four touchdowns to get back in the win column.
Next up: Nebraska
7. Wisconsin Badgers (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 7
Wisconsin returns to action this weekend to take on Maryland. This will have to be a demonstration of pass defense prowess as the Terrapins average 454.4 total yards per game, 283 of which are passing yards. The Badgers’ defense allows 228.9 passing yards and 21.9 points per game. If it can get the ball rolling and score early, Wisconsin can bounce back in the Big Ten West standings.
Next up: Maryland
6. Purdue Boilermakers (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 6
Purdue is coming off a bye to take on Iowa. The Hawkeyes will prove a difficult test defensively for the Boilermakers, as they allow 15.8 points and 365.6 total yards per game. The Boilermakers’ main focus will be on getting the ball moving early on and capping off drives efficiently and effectively.
Next up: Iowa
5. Maryland Terrapins (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 5
Maryland returns to action by taking on Wisconsin on the road. This will be a tough environment for the Terrapins, so they’ll have to be able to get their offense moving quickly. Maryland will have to be wary of turnovers as the Badgers will be working hard to eliminate its passing threat.
Next up: Wisconsin
4. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 3
It was another instance of Penn State playing a top dog of the Big Ten East and losing the second half quite handedly. The Nittany Lions lead at the half but lost this game on turnovers — three picks, one being a pick-six, and a fumble. Another big time loss for Big Game James.
Next up: Indiana
3. Illinois Fighting Illini (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 4
Illinois continues its winning streak after defeating Nebraska to improve to 7-1. The Illini were able to find some offense, but it was still hard to find effective drives, as they punted six times in this game. Their rushing offense continued to shine as their star running back Chase Brown rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Next up: Michigan State
2. Michigan Wolverines (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 2
Despite not covering the spread, the Wolverines were still able to pick up a rivalry win over MSU. Michigan was still fully dominant, outgaining the Spartans 443-252 in total yards and shutting it out through three quarters. The rushing attack was still dominant as Blake Corum rushed for 177 yards and one touchdown.
Up next: Rutgers
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) — Last week’s rank: 1
Ohio State got off to a rough start against Penn State as its high powered offense only scored 13 points in the first half. It awoke in the second half as C.J. Stroud ended the game with 354 passing yards and one touchdown. The Buckeyes did reveal some vulnerability as they punted three times and settled for four field goals, one was missed. Luckily for them, Penn State had four turnovers and OSU was able to get three touchdowns off them.
Up next: Northwestern