With only two weeks of conference play remaining, the conference ranking is starting to take shape. Minnesota was the big story line this week as they were handed their first loss on the season. No other major upsets occurred and only one other close game with Indiana at Penn State. No new teams made it to bowl eligibility, but Nebraska, Michigan State and Purdue still have a chance to make it to the six-win mark.
Big Ten Football Week 13 Power Rankings
No. 14 Rutgers (2-8, 0-7 B1G)
Previous: No. 14; Last Week: Loss vs #2 Ohio State 21-56
Well if there are moral victories, Rutgers’ 21 to 56 loss against Ohio State would count. Despite being underdogs by over 55 points, the Scarlet Knights have no problem covering that as they do not completely embarrass themselves against the number two team in the country. Their 21 points ties the highest number of points that any team has scored against Ohio State this season.
No. 13 Northwestern (2-8, 0-7 B1G)
Previous: No. 13; Last Week: Win vs UMass 48-7
After scoring 38 points in their previous five games, the Wildcats broke out for 45 against a woeful 1-10 UMass squad. In his first career start, freshman RB Evan Hull reeled off 220 yards and 4 TD, becoming the first Big Ten player to do so since Ezekiel Elliott.
No. 12 Maryland (3-7, 1-6 B1G)
Previous: No. 12; Last Week: Bye Week
Maryland exits their bye week with a home match up against Nebraska who are coming off a 16-point loss to Wisconsin. The Terrapins two remaining opponents have a combined record of 8-12. The chance for bowl eligibility is out the window, but the team can try to find some positives as they head into the off season.
No. 11 Nebraska (4-6, 2-5 B1G)
Previous: No. 11; Last Week: Loss vs #14 Wisconsin 21-37
Breaking news: Nebraska lost again. That’s the Huskers’ third home loss of the season, and Iowa still comes to Lincoln in two weeks. For some reason, Nebraska decided to reward coach Scott Frost’s 8-14 start with a two-year extension to 2026 that pays him $5 million per season.
No. 10 Purdue (4-6, 3-4 B1G)
Previous: No. 9; Last Week: Bye Week
Two chances to become bowl eligible. One game against the Badgers, who are also fighting for their own destiny and one game against the Hoosiers, who played admirably against Penn State at Happy Valley. Neither game will be easy for the Boilermakers, but their season is not yet completely over. Does Purdue to try to muster up one more push for the post-season action or does it make more sense to not rush any of their offensive weapons who are troubled with injuries?
No. 9 Michigan State (4-6, 2-5 B1G)
Previous: No. 9; Last Week: Loss at #15 Michigan 10-44
Michigan State continues its downward spiral from being ranked to now needing to win out for a bowl game. On the bright side, they play Rutgers and Maryland to end the season so it is likely they will do so. If not, it will be a very disappointing season for the Spartans.
No. 8 Illinois (6-4, 4-3 B1G)
Previous: No. 8; Last Week: Bye Week
Illinois is coming off a bye week after extending their winning streak to four games and reaching bowl eligibility. The Fighting Illini go on the road for a match up against Iowa and then have a home contest against Northwestern to finish the regular season. Lovie Smith’s team is facing a Hawkeye defense that is giving up lust 11.7 points per game. Look for the Illini to come out fighting to receive a bigger bowl bid.
No. 7 Indiana (7-3, 4-3 B1G)
Previous: No. 6; Last Week: Loss at #9 Penn State 27-34
The Hoosiers fell short to a top team in the conference once again after their seven-point loss to the Nittany Lions. Tom Allen’s team does not have long to hang their heads on this loss as Michigan rolls into Bloomington on a three game winning streak. Can this be the game that Indiana defeats one of the Big Ten’s best before they face off against the Boilermakers for the Old Oaken Bucket?
No. 6 Minnesota (9-1, 6-1 B1G)
Previous: No. 2; Last Week: Loss at #20 Iowa 19-23
All good things come to an end. Minnesota took a major blow to their CFP chances with a loss to Iowa on the road. They still look to win the Big Ten West, but need to prep for their final game against Wisconsin at home to cap off their regular season.
No. 5 Iowa (7-3, 4-3 B1G)
Previous: No. 6; Last Week: Win vs #8 Minnesota 23-19
Iowa put an end to Minnesota’s chances of an undefeated season with their four-point victory over the Golden Gophers. The Hawkeyes end the season with Illinois and Nebraska and wins in both of those games can set them up with a larger bowl game at the end of the season.
No. 4 Michigan (8-2, 5-2 B1G)
Previous: No. 5; Last Week: Win vs Michigan State 44-10
Shea Patterson was the star of the week behind nearly 400 yards passing and 4 TDs. Michigan just tore apart Michigan State as Michigan is still gearing up to make a major bowl game. They will travel to Indiana for a tough match and end the season against Ohio State. It’ll be unlikely to win out, but they have the tools to make a few late surprises.
No. 3 Penn State (9-1, 6-1 B1G)
Previous: No. 4; Last Week: Win vs Indiana 34-27
The Nittany Lions stayed alive in the College Football Playoff race, but not without some nervous moments against Indiana. Star WR KJ Hamler left the game in the first quarter, but coach James Franklin feels “pretty hopeful” Hamler will be back for Penn State’s titanic showdown with the Buckeyes in Columbus next week.
No. 2 Wisconsin (8-2, 5-2 B1G)
Previous: No. 3; Last Week: Win at Nebraska 37-21
Wisconsin handles business and gets some help from Iowa as they still have a chance to win the Big Ten West and have a shot at the championship game. Is there more that can be said about Jonathan Taylor? He continues to have record-breaking games as he approaches nearly 5,700 yards for his career. The Badgers control their own destiny.
No. 1 Ohio State (10-0, 7-0 B1G)
Previous: No. 1; Last Week: Win at Rutgers 56-21
With losses by Baylor and Minnesota on Saturday, Ohio State now is one of three teams (LSU, Clemson) to remain undefeated. With that said, cupcake season is over. Penn State (and College Gameday) comes to town, and Michigan follows. A loss either week would ruin the Buckeye’s perfect season.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ