Big Ten Power Rankings following Week 9
Congratulations college football fans, we have made it through the October slate! With Week 9 wrapped up in the B1G, the Week 10 schedule will feature all 14 teams back in action with bye weeks wrapping up.
Over the next four weeks, the B1G schedule will feature 7 games every weekend as the race to Indianapolis heats up. The B1G West is still as topsy-turvy as ever while the East division is once again headed towards The Game setting up as a winner-take-all showdown.
Without further ado, here are the latest Big Ten Power Rankings as we hit Week 10:
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14. Indiana (2-6)
Last week: at Penn State, L 33-24
Fans can take some bright spots from the latest loss if they want, but it doesn’t change the outlook for the Hoosiers. Brendan Sorsby capitalized on some miscues to get some big-play touchdowns and the defense stifled Penn State’s run game. However, it was not enough to shut down Drew Allar late.
13. Michigan State (2-6)
Last week: at Minnesota, L 27-12
With all due respect to Harlon Barnett and the football program, it’s officially basketball season in East Lansing. The Spartans will try to get to the end of this awful season and turn the page with a new head coach for 2024 and beyond.
12. Illinois (3-5)
Last week: BYE
11. Purdue (2-6)
Last week: at Nebraska, L 31-14
Ryan Walters has a tall task ahead of him, especially when it comes to rebuilding the defense in West Lafayette. Purdue has surrendered at least 30 points 5 times this season, and that cannot sit well with the former DC.
10. Northwestern (4-4)
Last week: vs. Maryland, W 33-27
David Braun will not win the B1G’s Coach of the Year award, but it’s possible he’s the most deserving recipient. Northwestern is at .500 overall to wrap up October with 2 B1G victories. For context, Pat Fitzgerald won 4 games total across 2021-22 with a 2-16 B1G record.
9. Minnesota (5-3)
Last week: vs. Michigan State, W 27-12
Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but Minnesota is alive and well in the B1G West. The path to Indy is not easy, but the Golden Gophers should be in the race until the end. Jordan Nubin is the latest RB to shine with a 200-yard outing in the win.
8. Maryland (5-3)
Last week: at Northwestern, L 33-27
Maryland’s 5-0 start was impressive, and there was a chance to bounce back from back-to-back losses. Unfortunately, losing to Northwestern is the time to re-evaluate what’s going on with the program on a weekly basis. After previously looking like a lock to get back to a bowl game, Maryland must now find at least one win with games against Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan and Rutgers to finish the season. Every single one of those teams currently has a winning record.
7. Wisconsin (5-3)
Last week: vs. Ohio State, L 24-10
Wisconsin did its best against Ohio State and had the Buckeyes up against the ropes for a while. The defense is still impressive, but the offense did not have enough punch. Also, Braelon Allen’s status is a major concern moving forward.
6. Nebraska (5-3)
Last week: vs. Purdue, W 31-14
Matt Rhule didn’t want to talk about bowl games a few weeks ago, but the time has come that Nebraska can think about it. That’s because the Cornhuskers would punch their ticket to the postseason with a win over Michigan State. The team cannot afford a lack of focus, but that once-regular issue with the program has not surfaced under Rhule… yet.
5. Iowa (6-2)
Last week: BYE
4. Rutgers (6-2)
Last week: BYE
3. Penn State (7-1)
Last week: vs. Indiana, W 33-24
Penn State avoided disaster, but somehow the gulf between the Nittany Lions and the B1G’s elite grew even larger with a win. Does anybody really expect this team to be able to hang with Michigan in a few weeks?
2. Ohio State (8-0)
Last week: at Wisconsin, W 24-10
Ohio State’s body of work says this is a defensive-first team. That might be okay, provided Kyle McCord cuts down on turnovers. If TreVeyon Henderson stays healthy, the Buckeyes have offensive difference-makers on the ground and in the passing game (Marvin Harrison Jr.). The defense is clearly an elite unit and one that will try to carry this team back to the College Football Playoff.
1. Michigan (8-0)
Last week: BYE
Michigan had a bye week, but there was plenty of drama as more and more (alleged) details about the sign-stealing network of Connor Stalions continued to come out. It remains to be seen if the NCAA (or Big Ten) will make any decision on the status of the Wolverines in season. Michigan handled its first test with the distraction well against Michigan State, but there is a lot more noise as the Wolverines prepare to come off their bye.