B1G Power Rankings following Week 6
Week 6 of the B1G football season is in the books, and it was a doozy.
Unfortunately, one of the themes of the weekend around the conference was the injury cart. Michigan assistant Mike Hart was even involved with the cart after a medical emergency during the game against Indiana.
Fortunately, of all the players — and Hart — who were carted off in Week 6, none appear to be of a severe nature moving forward.
As for the football being played, a number of blowouts were served up while a couple of games did prove to be nail-biters while coming down to the final plays of the game. And the B1G West? Well, it remains as wild as ever.
Here are Tradition’s B1G Power Rankings after Week 6:
14. Northwestern (1-5)
Last week: vs. Wisconsin, L 42-7
Northwestern’s season is truly hard to believe. Somehow, the program beat Nebraska, is riding a 5-game losing streak and is possibly even worse than the 2021 team that lost 10 games. And believe it or not, things might get even worse moving forward. Four of Northwestern’s next 5 games are on the road, and the one home game in that stretch is against Ohio State. The Wildcats look lost and lifeless on both sides of the ball.
Up next: at Maryland
13. Indiana (3-3)
Last Week: vs. Michigan, L 31-10
Yes, Indiana did fight to a 10-all halftime tie vs. the Wolverines, but it’s fair to mention that the first half involved the scary scene for the Michigan sideline involving Mike Hart. What’s concerning is that the offense did not score at all in the second half, and the Hoosiers lost the time-of-possession battle by 15 minutes. The rest of the season will be a battle for the Hoosiers.
Up next: at Rutgers
12. Rutgers (3-3)
Last week: vs. Nebraska, L 14-13
The opening of conference play was always going to be a wake-up call for the Scarlet Knights, but the Friday loss to Nebraska particularly stings. Rutgers built a 13-point halftime lead before producing 3 punts and 3 interceptions after the break. The game against Nebraska felt like a “must-win” if the Scarlet Knights were going to get to 6 wins, and the loss is a serious blow to bowl hopes of the program.
Up next: vs. Indiana
11. Nebraska (3-3)
Last week: at Rutgers, W 14-13
Don’t look now, but Nebraska is… rising? The Huskers have at least climbed well above the cellar of the B1G right now after back-to-back wins. And let’s not forget Nebraska is currently tied atop the B1G West standings. (No, that wasn’t a joke.) However, those wins were against Indiana and Rutgers, two of the three teams behind Nebraska in these power rankings.
Up next: at Purdue
10. Iowa (3-3)
Last week: at Illinois, L 9-6
Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Iowa put an anemic offense on display in a lackluster loss. Without regurgitating all of our previous criticism of the Hawkeyes, it’s worth noting QB Spencer Petras completed 50% of his passes (18-of-36) for 170 yards. However, the difference in the game came in the ground attack with Iowa getting outgained 200-to-52 in that facet of the game.
Up next: BYE
9. Michigan State (2-4)
Last week: vs. Ohio State, L 49-20
There is not much to say about Michigan State’s loss to Ohio State in Week 6, other than fans should hope Mel Tucker and company took a long, hard look at what an elite program looks like. Yes, Michigan State won in spite of its lack of depth in 2021, but a four-game losing streak — all by double-digits — is not the expectation in East Lansing.
Up next: vs. Wisconsin
8. Wisconsin (3-3)
Last week: at Northwestern, W 42-7
The Jim Leonhard era started with a bang for the Badgers, steamrolling Pat Fitzgerald’s squad on Saturday. Graham Mertz played efficiently, the defense forced turnovers and Braelon Allen eclipsed 100 yards rushing. Leonhard also gets a winnable portion of the schedule to open his tenure with a Week 7 matchup against a sliding Michigan State program on deck.
Up next: at Michigan State
7. Maryland (4-2)
Last week: vs. Purdue, L 31-29
What a beautiful chance missed by the Terrapins in Week 6. Coming out of the first half, the Maryland defense forced a number of turnovers in the third quarter. Unfortunately, Taulia Tagovailoa and the offense could not generate any offense off of those takeaways. Yeah, the questionable non-call on the blocked PAT hurts — and the same goes for the odd penalty on the two-point conversion try — but those calls should not have determined the game. The Terrapins failed to make plays in key situations, and that’s where the ultimate blame for the loss resides.
Up next: at Indiana
6. Minnesota (4-1)
Last Week: BYE
Up next: at Illinois
5. Purdue (4-2)
Last week: at Maryland, W 31-29
After some last-second losses early in the year — and injury concerns to Aidan O’Connell — the Boilermakers appear to have stabilized a bit. Back-to-back road games were tackled with Purdue winning at Minnesota in Week 5 and a dramatic affair at Maryland in Week 6. The Boilermakers are also 1 of 3 teams tied atop the West standings at 2-1 entering Week 7. Oh, and don’t forget a run defense that will keep this team in most games on the schedule this year.
Up next: vs. Nebraska
4. Illinois (5-1)
Last Week: vs. Iowa, W 9-6
Look at the Illini now! Saturday’s game against Iowa did turn into a nail-biter — and the Illinois faithful showed out in Champaign — but the actual game featured some lackluster offense for much of the evening. Fortunately, Illinois won and moved into a tie for first, but the injuries started to pile up a bit. There will be particular concern for QB Tommy DeVito and WR Isaiah Williams after both left Saturday’s game and did not return.
Up next: vs. Minnesota
3. Penn State (5-0)
Last week: BYE
Up next: at Michigan
2. Michigan (6-0)
Last week: at Indiana, W 31-10
The potential trap game in Bloomington materialized with a 10-all tie heading into halftime. Unfortunately, that tight contest was overshadowed by a medical emergency for Michigan assistant Mike Hart. He was carted off the field after collapsing on the sideline. Fortunately, Hart is expected to be okay, and Michigan is 6-0 heading into a huge B1G East matchup.
Up next: vs. Penn State
1. Ohio State (6-0)
Last week: at Michigan State, W 49-20
Ohio State dealt with another new absence in Week 6. This time, it was RB Miyan Williams who was held out of the game in East Lansing. Fortunately, it didn’t impact the Buckeyes with TreVeyon Henderson rushing for 100 yards, CJ Stroud throwing for 6 touchdowns and Marvin Harrison Jr. putting up his 3rd hat trick in the past 7 seven games played. Now, it’s time to rest and regroup for a serious national championship contender.
Up next: BYE