After a week break, we are back to provide the Big Ten rankings everyone has been waiting for. Things have shaken up since our last rankings, so let’s get into it.
14. Indiana Hoosiers (2-6)
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Indiana hasn’t been good at all this year. Last week against Penn State was arguably their best game all year and they still lost by nine points.
I would expect there could be a head coaching shake up coming their way at the end of the year.
13. Michigan State Spartans (2-6)
Michigan State’s season has completely gone off the rails.
It’s not that they were expected to do much this year anyway, but to be 0-5 in the conference is a new low for them.
Again, they have obviously had a number of circumstances that contributed to this, but it feels like they would prefer to pack it in rather than play their last 4 games.
12. Purdue Boilermakers (2-6)
I stuck my neck out for Purdue a few weeks back and suggested they may be the third best team in the west. I was wrong. Purdue really really stinks.
They played me for multiple weeks. Now, they are the third worst team in my power rankings.
11. Illinois Fighting Illini(3-5)
If I see one more Bret Bielema tweet about the Wisconsin vs. Illinois game two weeks ago, I am permanently moving them to 15th.
Illinois stinks but they still could very easily knock off Minnesota this weekend. If it happens, I’ll celebrate. But, stop complaining about officials.
10. Maryland Terrapins (5-3)
Talk about a fall from grace. Maryland was fourth going into their matchup with Ohio State four weeks ago.
Since then, they have lost three straight. Two of those games were to Illinois and Northwestern. They probably should be lower, but I do think they will bounce back.
9. Northwestern Wildcats (4-4)
Northwestern is going to make a bowl game this year and head coach David Braun should be given the key to the city of Chicago when that happens.
Their last four games are against Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Illinois. I think they could easily win two of those.
8. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2)
Iowa lost to Minnesota going into a bye week and now has informed the world that their offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is being fired when the clock strikes zero on their season. Their offense is currently ranked last in the nation.
If they win out, they win the West. My money says they lose one somewhere. Their remaining opponents are Northwestern, Rutgers, Illinois, and Nebraska.
7. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-3)
A big jump for Minnesota after their two best wins of the season. They beat Iowa and Michigan State back to back. That loss to Northwestern continues to look better and better.
Could they win out and win the West? It’s unlikely with Ohio State and Wisconsin looming.
6. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-3)
Nebraska is playing good football and Matt Rhule has done a tremendous job in year one. They are another candidate for the Big Ten West title.
I am not sure they’ll get there this year, but I would bet a win over Iowa would solidify their best year of football in the last decade.
5. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-2)
Rutgers is still playing very clean football. They probably have the toughest schedule remaining in the conference with games against Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, and Maryland.
IF they can win two of those and get to eight wins, it will be one their best seasons since joining the B1G.
4. Wisconsin Badgers (5-3)
I have Wisconsin here because I think they are still the team with the best chance to win the west. Their remaining schedule is manageable. They played Ohio State tough last weekend and I think they’ll go on a run here to win the west.
But, I am biased. They very well could also lose this weekend! Who knows!
3. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1)
No surprises in the top 3. Penn State is clearly the third best team in the Big Ten at this point.
If they can find a way to knock off Michigan next week, they’d be doing everyone a huge service. Let’s hope for that.
2. Michigan Wolverines (8-0)
I am not sure how you could have a worse two weeks of press than what Michigan has had. It feels like every day another damning piece of evidence pops up in the media and it looks like it’s only going to get worse if they somehow keep winning and make it to the CFP.
Not to mention, they haven’t really played anyone to this point. They are the only top 10 team to not have a ranked win at this point in the season.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0)
Ohio State has the best resume to this point and they ranked first in the college football playoff ranking. I am not one to cheer for Ohio State, but they’d be my pick to represent the Big Ten in the College Football Playoff at this point.
The Michigan scandal has this whole conference on edge and it’s on Ohio State to knock Michigan off their high horse.
Only four weeks left! See you next week!