For the first time this season, all fourteen Big Ten teams took the field on a Saturday. Yet, only one game came down to the final possession; the rest had margins of at least ten points. Ohio State, Penn State, and Minnesota continued their undefeated starts, while Michigan pulled off a 31-point win over #8 Notre Dame. Also, it’s October 28th, and Indiana has clinched bowl eligibility. It might take until Friday for that to sink in. Let’s get into the rankings.
Big Ten Football Week 10 Power Rankings
No. 14 Rutgers (2-6, 0-5 B1G)
Previous: No. 14; Last Week: Win against Liberty 44-34
Rutgers wins an upset victory at home against Liberty. The Scarlet Knights really needed some form of motivation, and a loss to Liberty would have truly impacted the team’s ego. With expectations at rock bottom for the program, Rutgers has nothing to lose moving forward.
No. 13 N’western (1-6, 0-5 B1G)
Previous: No. 13; Last Week: Loss against Iowa 0-20
Things went from bad to worse for the Wildcats on Saturday, as they were shut out at home for the first time since 1999. Looking at the Big Ten standings, Northwestern now has a worse record than Rutgers, marking a steep fall from the Big Ten Championship Game appearance last year. Northwestern’s schedule eases up somewhat going forward, but they are still a 11.5-point underdog Saturday in Bloomington.
No. 12 Purdue (2-6, 1-4 B1G)
Previous: No. 11; Last Week: Loss against Illinois 6-24
Purdue takes a step backwards losing at home to Illinois. The Fighting Illini are turning their season around, while Purdue seems to be heading in the opposite direction. The Boilermakers are going to have an open quarterback position going into next week. Social media has been reminding Purdue fans about Jeff Brohm’s salary, which is eighth-highest in the nation.
No. 11 Maryland (3-5, 1-4 B1G)
Previous: No. 12; Last Week: Loss at #17 Minnesota 10-52
Coming off a 52-10 loss to Minnesota over the weekend, the Terrapins continue to trend downwards on the season. The recent loss marks their third in a row, and the next two games may not come easy as they are against Michigan and Ohio State respectively. With a 3-5 record, Maryland’s season is not over just yet, but they have work to do if they want to reach bowl eligibility at the end of the season.
No. 10 Nebraska (4-4, 2-3 B1G)
Previous: No. 9; Last Week: Loss against Indiana 31-38
“We seem to find new and innovative ways to give a game away every week,” coach Scott Frost said after Nebraska’s loss to IU. They have lost three out of their last four games, and it’s tough to find two wins in their final four. Freshman Wan’Dale Robinson looks like a player Frost can build around, after his 150-yard performance against the Hoosiers.
No. 9 Illinois (4-4, 2-3 B1G)
Previous: No. 10; Last Week: Win at Purdue 24-6
The Illini came off their monumental upset against Wisconsin with a road victory in West Lafayette against the Boilermakers. Lovie Smith has been able to get the Illini out of the hole they found themselves in during the first half of the season. After four straight losses, Illinois has won back-to-back games for the second time this season and have given themselves a chance at playing in a bowl game at the end of the season
No. 8 Michigan St. (4-4, 2-3 B1G)
Previous: No. 7; Last Week: Loss against #6 Penn State 7-28
Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin in three consecutive games leading to three consecutive losses. This should not be terribly surprising to the Spartan faithful, but the games were not close. This week’s 21-point loss to #6 Penn State was their closest defeat of the three, which says a lot. Michigan State is in desperate need for a win and they hope to find one against an improving Illini team that took down Purdue and Wisconsin over the last two weeks.
No. 7 Indiana (6-2, 3-2 B1G)
Previous: No. 7; Last Week: Win at Nebraska 38-31
Indiana continues their hot streak with their third win in a row after defeating Nebraska 38-31 Saturday. The Hoosiers are 6-2 on the season and have reached bowl eligibility before Halloween. This is their best start since the 1993 season when they started off the season 7-1. With four games remaining in the regular season, Tom Allen’s team has home matchups against Northwestern and Michigan and then road trips to Penn State and Purdue. The Hoosiers can look to build off this historic win against the Cornhuskers, as they strive towards improving their program each and every week.
No. 6 Iowa (6-2, 3-2 B1G)
Previous: No. 6; Last Week: Win at Northwestern 20-0
The Hawkeyes are coming off back-to-back wins after road victories against Purdue and Northwestern. Iowa currently sits at 6-2 on the season with a 3-2 conference mark and have their two biggest match ups of the season over the next two weeks. With a road contest against Wisconsin and then home match up against Minnesota, Kirk Ferentz’s team has a chance to make a statement on the Big Ten West division race as the calendar turns to November.
No. 5 Minnesota (8-0, 5-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 4; Last Week: Win against Maryland 52-10
Another week and another resounding victory over a lowly opponent for the Golden Gophers. These next two weeks (bye and then hosting Penn State) will tell us a lot on where this team really is currently. Putting 52 points on any team in the Big Ten is impressive even though it was against a struggling Maryland team.
No. 4 Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2 B1G)
Previous: No. 3; Last Week: Loss at #3 Ohio State 7-38
With back to back losses, the Badgers are now two games behind Big Ten West rival Minnesota. Not many believed that Wisconsin would actually beat Ohio State in Columbus, but the game really did open up near the end. The Badgers are still one of the top teams in the conference and league, but the road is now uphill for them. Next up, they’ll get to return back home to host Iowa.
No. 3 Michigan (6-2, 3-2 B1G)
Previous: No. 5; Last Week: Win against #8 Notre Dame 45-14
Michigan finally pulled off that season defining victory that will boost their resume for the postseason. This was their biggest margin of victory since the 70’s over a top 10 team and they relied heavily on their ground game in a terrible weather game. Michigan will travel to Maryland this upcoming week and hope to secure their seventh victory on the season, which they should do without a problem.
No. 2 Penn State (8-0, 5-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 2; Last Week: Win at Michigan State 28-7
The Nittany Lions thoroughly dominated all three sides of the ball in cold and rainy East Lansing. TE Pat Freiermuth caught three TDs on his birthday weekend, and WR KJ Hamler scored his eighth TD of the season. Next up is a bye week for PSU, before a trip to Minneapolis to face the also-undefeated Golden Gophers.
No. 1 Ohio State (8-0, 5-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 1; Last Week: Win against #13 Wisconsin 38-7
Only one player has ever won the Heisman Trophy primarily playing defense: Michigan’s Charles Woodson in 1997. After Saturday’s effort, Chase Young might join him. Young’s four sacks, 5 TFLs, and 2 forced fumbles against Wisconsin will almost undoubtedly be the defensive game of the season in college football. The Buckeyes crushed the Badgers, saw another CFP contender fall (Oklahoma), and now get to rest up before facing Maryland in two weeks.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ