B1G Power Rankings following Week 12
Here we are, college football fans. After a long offseason and 12 wild weeks of blissful college football action, the 2022 regular season has officially reached Rivalry Weekend.
While it has been a fun and wild ride, many teams will see their seasons end in Week 13. Others will wait to find out a postseason destination, and even fewer still will settle in for big-time matchups on Championship Weekend.
In the B1G, the race for a perfect season is still intact for Michigan and Ohio State. Those two juggernauts will square off for the B1G East and a 12-0 regular season record in Week 13.
So, without further ado, here are Tradition’s B1G Power Rankings coming out of Week 12:
14. Northwestern (1-10)
Last week: at Purdue, L 17-9
With multiple QBs out for Northwestern, Cole Freeman stepped into the lineup and tried to engineer something magical for the Wildcats. Freeman and company hung around thanks to Evan Hull and the defense (and a frigid atmosphere) but it was not enough.
Up next: vs. Illinois
13. Indiana (4-7)
Last Week: at Michigan State, W 39-31 (2OT)
In Week 12, the Hoosiers tried a new approach with Dexter Williams starting at QB. That approach featured just 7 passes attempted — in a double overtime affair — and 44 carries spread mainly across Williams, Shaun Shivers and Josh Henderson. It paid off with Indiana rallying from a 17-point halftime deficit to stun the Spartans in East Lansing.
Up next: vs. Purdue
12. Rutgers (4-7)
Last week: vs. Penn State, L 55-10
Believe it or not, Rutgers was in this thing in the first quarter, scoring 10 points in the opening period. Unfortunately, that was the end of the feel-good moments for the Scarlet Knights. Penn State forced 3 turnovers, scored a pair of defensive TDs and had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Up next: at Maryland
11. Nebraska (3-8)
Last week: vs. Wisconsin, L 15-14
Well, Casey Thompson returned to the starting lineup for the Huskers. He was a boost to the offense, throwing a pair of touchdowns to Trey Palmer, but it was not enough. Nebraska squandered another double-digit lead, giving up 12 unanswered points in the 4th quarter as Wisconsin rallied on the road.
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Up next: at Iowa
10. Michigan State (5-6)
Last week: vs. Rutgers, W 27-21
Michigan State’s propensity to play down to competition — and let things get close late — finally caught up to the Spartans. At halftime against Indiana, the Spartans had scored 24 points and held a 17-point lead. Then, Michigan State somehow lost a game where the offense produced 540 total yards and held the ball for more than 36 minutes of game time. The Spartans likely also missed their shot at the postseason.
Up next: at Penn State
9. Maryland (6-6)
Last week: vs. Ohio State, L 43-30
Mike Locksley’s squad had their shot. Maryland went toe-to-toe with Ohio State, reminiscent of the high-scoring affair the two sides waged in 2018. The Terrapins even had a shot to tie or take the lead with the Buckeyes clinging to a 36-30 lead late. Unfortunately for the Terps, the Ohio State defensive front got after Taulia Tagovailoa and produced a defensive TD to ice the game.
Up next: vs. Rutgers
8. Wisconsin (6-5)
Last week: at Nebraska, W 15-14
It was far from a smooth or happy week for the Badgers as the program dealt with the tragic death of former teammate Devin Chandler. Much of the game against Nebraska was also a rough one for Wisconsin. Fortunately, Jim Leonhard’s team rallied for a nail-biting win on the road. And in the process, the Badgers may have clinched the full-time head coaching gig for Leonhard.
Up next: vs. Minnesota
7. Illinois (7-4)
Last Week: at Michigan, L 19-17
Bret Bielema’s squad had a shot. After a 14-point 3rd quarter — courtesy of TD runs by Chase Brown — Illinois had a chance to lean on its defense on the road against Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, Michigan’s offense — without Blake Corum — made enough plays to get Jake Moody in range for some key field goals. Bielema will also be hoping to get more clarity following some “frustrating” flags by the officials.
Up next: at Northwestern
6. Purdue (7-4)
Last week: vs. Northwestern, W 17-9
Nothing comes easy or pretty in the B1G West. In the first half, Purdue built its lead with TDs to Charlie Jones and Payne Durham. After the break, the Boilermakers grounded out a win without star freshman Devin Mockobee who left early in the action. Now, Purdue needs a win against Indiana and some help to reach Indianapolis, but the Boilermakers did their part in Week 12.
Up next: at Indiana
5. Minnesota (7-4)
Last Week: vs. Iowa, L 13-10
This one stings, and not just because Saturday marked the 8th straight loss to Iowa. No, this one stings because Mohamed Ibrahim set a new career-high with 263 rushing yards in the loss. Playing without Tanner Morgan, Ibrahim quite literally almost carried the Golden Gophers to a win against one of the stingiest defenses in the country. Unfortunately, the keyword there is “almost.”
Up next: at Wisconsin
4. Iowa (7-4)
Last week: at Minnesota, W 13-10
Where’s Jack Campbell when you need him? Coming up with huge takeaways, including an amazing interception and return that should have been ruled a pick-6 against the Gophers. Fortunately, it still stood as an interception and led to the eventual game-winning field goal for the Hawkeyes. Now, Iowa is the only team to hold its own destiny in the B1G West and will reach Indy with a win in Week 13.
Up next: vs. Nebraska
3. Penn State (9-2)
Last week: at Rutgers, W 55-10
Penn State’s run through the second-tier B1G teams continues, and the Nittany Lions will try to complete a 10-win regular season next week against Michigan State. Something to keep an eye out for this week is the status of Parker Washington. The star receiver did not make the trip in Week 12, and James Franklin announced he will discuss Washington’s status on Tuesday.
Up next: vs. Michigan State
2. Michigan (11-0)
Last week: vs. Illinois, W 19-17
That was a close one. The Wolverines had avoided the nail-biter all season long, but a spirited effort from Illinois was no joke. Now, Michigan can turn its attention to The Game, and all that matters right now is being 11-0. Injury concerns are starting to mount, and all eyes will be on the status of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards this week.
Up next: at Ohio State
1. Ohio State (11-0)
Last week: at Maryland, W 43-30
Week 12 is often a week of upsets and close calls, and this one was no different for the Buckeyes. Maryland produced a surprisingly stout defense in the first half, and Ohio State had to turn to true freshman Dallan Hayden in the second half. Hayden and the Buckeyes responded, setting up the colossal showdown against Michigan with a shot at revenge.
Up next: vs. Michigan