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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 11 Recap

Minnesota shocks Penn State, Wisconsin keeps the Heartland Trophy, and Illinois wins their fourth straight.

Find Week 10’s rankings here.

1. (1) Ohio State (9-0), W - 73-14 vs. Maryland, Next Week: at Rutgers

The Buckeyes dropped 73 points on Maryland to stay unbeaten and continue their dominant run through the Big Ten. Quarterback Justin Fields threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns and added 28 yards and a score on the ground in the blowout win. Ohio State’s defense barely missed Heisman hopeful Chase Young, who didn’t play due to eligibility concerns, and held the Terps to just 139 total yards and forced two turnovers.

2. (3) Minnesota (9-0), W - 31-26 vs. No. 4 Penn St., Next Week: at No. 20 Iowa

In a program-changing win, the Golden Gophers shocked No. 4 Penn State behind a fantastic defensive effort and a big game from quarterback Tanner Morgan. The redshirt sophomore signal caller threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns in the Gophers’ first win against a top-five team since 1999. Minnesota picked off Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford three times, including one with 1:01 left in the game that sealed the victory for the Gophers.

3. (2) Penn State (8-1), L - 31-26 at No. 17 Minnesota, Next Week: vs. Indiana

The Nittany Lions went on the road and were outplayed by Minnesota in a 31-26 loss this past Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Sean Clifford threw three interceptions in the loss, as Minnesota’s defense came up with big play after big play. Running back Journey Brown had a huge performance in the losing effort, rushing for 124 yards on just 14 carries and scoring two touchdowns. This loss makes it almost impossible for the Nittany Lions to win the Big Ten East without a victory over undefeated Ohio State in two weeks.

4. (4) Wisconsin (7-2), W - 24-22 vs. No. 18 Iowa, Next Week: at Nebraska

Behind a 250-yard rushing performance from Jonathan Taylor, the Badgers won their fourth straight game against Iowa in Week 11. Wisconsin was outscored 16-3 in the fourth quarter, as the Hawkeyes nearly mounted a 15-point comeback at Camp Randall. Coming off a 52-yard rushing performance against Ohio State, this was a bounce back game for Taylor who now leads the Big Ten in rushing with 1,259 yards on the season. This was a much-needed win for the Badgers after back-to-back road losses to Illinois and Ohio State, and keeps them in the hunt for the Big Ten West.

5. (5) Michigan (7-2), BYE, Next Week: vs. Michigan St.

The Wolverines had a bye in Week 11, as they get ready to play rival Michigan State in Ann Arbor this weekend. Jim Harbaugh’s team is on a roll, having won five of six games since their blowout loss to Wisconsin.

6. (7) Indiana (7-2), BYE, Next Week: at No. 9 Penn St.

The Hoosiers were off this past weekend and will travel to play No. 9 ranked Penn State on Saturday. It’s been a surprisingly great season for Indiana, but a win against the Nittany Lions, who are coming off a loss to Minnesota, seems unlikely.

7. (6) Iowa (6-3), L - 24-22 at No. 13 Wisconsin, Next Week: vs. No. 8 Minnesota

After a failed two-point conversion that would have tied the game late in the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes fell to Wisconsin 24-22 in Madison. Iowa simply had no answer for running back Jonathan Taylor, who ran all over the Hawkeyes for 250 yards. Quarterback Nate Stanley was serviceable, finishing with 208 passing yards, two touchdowns and no picks, but Iowa’s running game was almost non existent. This is still a solid team, led by a great defense, but Saturday’s loss to the Badgers all but eliminates them from the Big Ten West race.

8. (9) Illinois (6-4), W - 37-34 at Michigan St., Next Week: BYE

The Illini won their fourth straight game, after a 37-34 comeback victory at Michigan State this past weekend. Illinois used three touchdown drives and a pick six to outscore the Spartans 27-3 in the fourth quarter and secure a bowl berth for the first time under head coach Lovie Smith. Quarterback Brandon Peters had his best game of the year, throwing for a season-high 369 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

9. (8) Michigan State (4-5), L - 37-34 vs. Illinois, Next Week: at No. 15 Michigan

The Spartans blew a 25-point lead and collapsed in the fourth quarter in their 37-34 home loss to Illinois. Quarterback Brian Lewkere threw for three interceptions, including a crucial pick six in the fourth quarter to aid the Illini’s comeback. Sparty’s usually stout defense surrendered 369 passing yards and couldn’t hold on in the fourth, as they allowed a 13 play 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes. It’s been a surprisingly down year for Michigan State, who are now in real danger of missing out on a bowl game for just the second time in Mark Dantonio’s thirteen years in East Lansing.

10. (10) Purdue (4-6), W - 24-22 at Northwestern, Next Week: BYE

Despite a plethora of injuries, the Boilermakers haven’t given up on their season. Led by third-string quarterback Aidan O’Connell, Jeff Brohm’s team kept their bowl hopes alive with a 24-22 road win at Northwestern. O’Connell engineered a 58-yard game-winning field goal drive and threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns in the win. True freshman wide receiver David Bell had a huge day, finishing with 14 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

11. (11) Nebraska (4-5), BYE, Next Week: vs. No. 14 Wisconsin

After a tough loss to Purdue in Week 10, the Cornhuskers had this past week off to get ready for Wisconsin. A bowl berth is still very much in play for Nebraska, but this has been a disappointing season in head coach Scott Frost’s second year at the helm.

12. (12) Maryland (3-7), L - 73-14 at No. 1 Ohio St., Next Week: BYE

Maryland was completely overmatched in a 73-14 loss to Ohio State on Saturday. The Terrapins were out-gained 705 to 139, in a game that was over before it really even began. The Buckeyes jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back, moving the ball at will and converting 40 first downs against Maryland’s shaky defense. The Terps have now lost five straight games and have a bye in week 12.

13. (13) Northwestern (1-8), L - 24-22 vs. Purdue, Next Week: vs. UMass

The Wildcats remained winless in the Big Ten and fell to 1-8 on the year after a 24-22 home loss to Purdue. Northwestern scored their most points since week 2 but it wasn’t enough, as Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell made just enough plays to secure the road win. Running back Kyric McGowan was the lone bright spot for the Wildcats and finished with 146 rushing yards and a touchdown. Northwestern will look to win a game for just the second time this season when lowly UMass travels to Evanston this weekend.

14. (14) Rutgers (2-7), BYE, Next Week: vs. No. 2 Ohio St.

The good news is the Scarlet Knights had an extra week to get ready for No. 2 ranked Ohio State this weekend. The bad news is Rutgers will be lucky to even hold the Buckeyes to 50 points, in a game that should be all but over before the end of the first quarter.