Find Week 12’s rankings here.
1. (1) Ohio State (11-0), W - 28-17 vs. No. 8 Penn State, Next Week: at No. 13 Michigan
In a win that was more decisive than the final score would indicate, the Buckeyes defeated the eighth ranked Nittany Lions 28-17 on Saturday. It wasn’t a perfect performance, as the Buckeyes fumbled three times to keep Penn State in the game, but the overall firepower of Ohio State’s offense proved to be too much for the Nittany Lions. Running back J.K. Dobbins lead the way with 157 rushing yards and two scores, while quarterback Justin Fields added 188 passing yards and two touchdowns.
2. (3) Minnesota (10-1), W - 38-22 at Northwestern, Next Week: vs. No. 12 Wisconsin
The Golden Gophers took care of business on Saturday, beating a dreadful Northwestern team 38-22 in Evanston. Quarterback Tanner Morgan threw for four touchdowns and wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson had big games in the win. Minnesota clinched their first 10-plus win season since 2003 with their victory over the Wildcats, and will look to earn a trip to the Big Ten Championship game with a win over Wisconsin this weekend.
3. (2) Penn State (9-2), L - 28-17 at No. 2 Ohio State, Next Week: vs. Rutgers
The Nittany Lions gave Ohio State their best challenge of the season, but eventually fell 28-17 in Columbus. After starting quarterback Sean Clifford left with an injury in the third quarter, backup Will Levis filled in admirably but Ohio State’s defense proved to be too much for the freshman. With Clifford out for almost all of the second half, Penn State’s offense could muster only 227 total yards against a fully loaded Buckeye defense.
4. (4) Wisconsin (9-2), W - 45-24 vs. Purdue, Next Week: at No. 8 Minnesota
Running back Jonathan Taylor ran over 200 yards for the third straight week, as the Badgers toppled Purdue 45-24 in Madison. Wisconsin’s defense showed some flaws in the secondary, but overall they did a solid job of slowing down an injury riddle Purdue offense. The Badgers’ win sets up a showdown with Minnesota for not only Paul Bunyan’s Axe, but a trip to the Big Ten Championship game.
5. (5) Michigan (9-2), W - 39-14 at Indiana, Next Week: vs. No. 1 Ohio State
The Wolverines won their fourth straight game, behind a five touchdown performance from quarterback Shea Patterson. The senior signal caller has thrown for nine touchdowns and one interception in the last two games to lead a Michigan offense rolling on all cylinders. Jim Harbaugh’s team is playing their best football of the season heading into their rivalry game with the top-ranked Buckeyes.
6. (6) Iowa (8-3), W - 19-10 vs. Illinois, Next Week: at Nebraska
Led by a 308-yard passing performance by quarterback Nate Stanley, the Hawkeyes outlasted Illinois 19-10 in Iowa City. Iowa’s defense forced three turnovers and held the Illini to their lowest point total of the season in the win. The Hawkeyes will look to clinch their second consecutive nine-win season if they can beat Nebraska on the road this weekend.
7. (7) Indiana (7-4), L - 39-14 vs. No. 13 Michigan, Next Week: at Purdue
The Hoosiers ran into a red hot Michigan team and fell 39-14 at home on Saturday. Indiana’s pass defense was torched by quarterback Shea Patterson, who threw for 366 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Stevie Scott and wide receiver Ty Fryfogle were battling injuries throughout this game, which limited the upside of Indiana’s offense. Tom Allen’s team will look to get to eight wins on the season with a win over rival Purdue this weekend.
8. (8) Illinois (6-5), L - 19-10 at No. 17 Iowa, Next Week: vs. Northwestern
In a tough road environment at Kinnick Stadium, the Illini turned the ball over three times in a 19-10 loss. Quarterback Brandon Peters struggled through the air, finishing with only 125 yards, one touchdown, and two picks. Illinois’ defense had no answer for Iowa’s passing attack, as quarterback Nate Stanley threw for over 300 yards to lead the Hawkeyes to a win.
9. (9) Michigan State (5-6), W - 27-0 at Rutgers, Next Week: vs. Maryland
The Spartans broke a five game losing streak with their 27-0 shutout win at Rutgers. Sparty flexed their muscles on defense, holding the Scarlet Knights to only 140 total yards and forcing two turnovers. Mark Dantonio’s team has a great opportunity to become bowl eligible this weekend with a home win over an awful Maryland team.
10. (11) Nebraska (5-6), W - 54-7 at Maryland, Next Week: vs. No. 17 Iowa
Nebraska kept their bowl hopes alive with a 54-7 beatdown of Maryland. Quarterback Adrian Martinez threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns, and added 94 yards and a score on the ground. The Cornhuskers will look to become bowl eligible when they host No. 17 Iowa the Friday after Thanksgiving.
11. (10) Purdue (4-7), L - 45-24 at No. 12 Wisconsin, Next Week: vs. Indiana
The Boilermakers moved the ball on offense but were just never able to slow down running back Jonathan Taylor in a 45-24 loss at Camp Randall Stadium. In a good sign for Purdue fans, redshirt sophomore quarterback Aidan O’Connell played well and finished with 289 yards and two touchdowns against a stout Wisconsin defense. Purdue fell out of bowl contention with the loss, but with so many freshmen and sophomores seeing significant playing time this season, the future is bright for Jeff Brohm and the Boilermakers.
12. (12) Maryland (3-8), L - 54-7 vs. Nebraska, Next Week: at Michigan State
Maryland dropped its sixth straight game after getting blown out 54-7 at home to Nebraska. The Terrapins completed just seven passes and threw for only 57 yards in the loss. Maryland’s defense was shredded for 531 total yards and 31 first downs, as the Cornhuskers completely dominated time of possession. It’s been a rough first year at the helm for head coach Mike Locksley, who’s only Big Ten win on the season was against an abysmal Rutgers team.
13. (13) Northwestern (2-9), L - 38-22 vs. No. 10 Minnesota, Next Week: at Illinois
The Wildcats remained winless in the Big Ten with a 38-22 home loss to Minnesota on Saturday. After reaching the Big Ten Championship game last year, Pat Fitzgerald’s team has been a complete disaster this season. The Wildcats have the third-worst scoring offense in the FBS and their only wins have come against UNLV and UMass, who are a combined 4-19 on the season.
14. (14) Rutgers (2-9), L - 27-0 vs. Michigan State, Next Week: at No. 10 Penn State
Another week, another blowout loss for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights were shutout 27-0 at home on Saturday to a team that was on a five game losing streak. Rutgers’ offense could barely move the ball against the Spartans, as they managed only 140 total yards and turned the ball over twice in the loss. To make matters worse for Rutgers fans, it looks like Greg Schiano is not returning to take over as head coach.