Week 10 B1G Power Rankings: Minnesota is still perfect, Indiana is bowl eligible
Three B1G teams are still undefeated and seven are now bowl eligible. But of those teams that are either undefeated or bowl eligible, Minnesota and Indiana have to be two of the best stories in the conference, right?
It was 1993 the last time the Hoosiers were bowl eligible in October and it was 1941 when the Gophers started a year 8-0. So, yeah, it’s been awhile. Those two accomplishments are worth highlighting.
Saturday providing some interesting playing conditions, with most teams having to play through the cold, wind and rain. Unfortunately, those elements didn’t provide very many nail-biting results. It was another weekend full of blowouts across the B1G, with the exception of the Indiana-Nebraska game.
Based on this week’s results, there aren’t many changes in the latest power rankings. So here’s what they look like entering Week 10:
14. Rutgers, 2-6 (W, 44-34 vs. Liberty)
Congratulations to Rutgers, who has doubled its win total from a year ago! It’s been a long season in Piscataway, but the Scarlet Knights get to celebrate a victory this week.
Last week: No. 14
13. Maryland, 3-5 (L, 52-10 vs. #17 Minnesota)
It really seems like things continue to spiral out of control in College Park. A season that started fairly promising has led to numerous blowout losses. It doesn’t get much better for Mike Locksley and company, either. The Terrapins end the season with games against Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State.
Last week: No. 13
12. Northwestern, 1-6 (L, 20-0 vs. #20 Iowa)
No matter how many times Pat Fitzgerald hits the Ctrl + Alt +Del, Northwestern can’t seem to restart its offense. Neither Hunter Johnson or Aidan Smith has played well under center and the offensive line play has been anything but crisp. As bad as it’s been all season, Saturday’s outing against Iowa might’ve been the worst of the year.
Last week: No. 12
11. Purdue, 2-6 (L, 24-6 vs. Illinois)
Jeff Brohm refused to go away from a heavy passing attack in hurricane-like conditions. As you can imagine, that didn’t go well. Purdue may not be as bad as that 24-6 loss to Illinois may indicate, but the scheme and game plan for the Illini in these conditions was less than ideal.
Last week: No. 11
10. Illinois, 4-4 (W, 24-6 vs. Purdue)
The Illini are winners of two straight, beating a top 10 team at home and beating a division rival on the road. With four games left, Illinois sits at 4-4 with a real chance to get to the six win mark and earn a trip to a bowl game. It’s almost a little hard to believe this team lost four straight games at one point this year.
Last week: No 10
9. Nebraska, 4-4 (L, 38-31 vs. Indiana)
With an extra week to prepare for Indiana, Nebraska really had no answer to slow down Indiana’s offensive attack. That’s not good. The Huskers offense was operating at a good pace on Saturday, but it couldn’t score enough to take down the Hoosiers. It’s going to be very interesting to see what the mindset of this team is after losing its third game in four weeks.
Last week: No. 9
8. Michigan State, 4-4 (L, 28-7 vs. #6 Penn State)
Michigan State was clinging to that No. 7 spot for a few weeks, but not any longer. After a third straight loss — all of them in blowout fashion, the Spartans have dropped. Once again, the offense couldn’t muster any points and turned the ball over four times against Penn State. Good offenses can’t afford to do that.
Last week: No. 7
7. Indiana, 6-2 (W, 38-31 vs. Nebraska)
Yes, Michigan State beat Indiana earlier in the season, but if they went head to head again, the Hoosiers would probably get the win. That’s how well the offense is playing right now. The defense is continuing to improve by getting more takeaways, too. This team could be 7-2 heading into the final three-game stretch of the season.
Last week: No. 8
6. Iowa, 6-2 (W, 20-0 vs. Northwestern)
Same old Iowa. Really good defense, with just enough offense to fend off an opponent. The Hawkeyes are still in great shape to compete for a division title, although they’ll need a little help. The defense is definitely playing at a championship level, but the offense needs to find a way to score more points.
Last week: No. 6
5. Michigan, 6-2 (W, 45-14 vs. #8 Notre Dame)
Maybe Michigan should run the ball that often every game. Just a thought. The Wolverines trampled Notre Dame on the ground, and were able to make some plays through the air when they needed to do so. After a tough loss to Penn State, Jim Harbaugh had a solid game plan for Notre Dame and embarrassed a top 10 team.
Last week: No. 5
4. Wisconsin, 6-2 (L, 38-7 vs. #3 Ohio State)
The Badgers fell victim to the high-powered Buckeyes. That alone wasn’t enough to drop them to No. 4, but pair it with last week’s loss to Illinois and there’s no choice but to slide Wisconsin down a spot. It’ll be interesting to see how Paul Chryst and his team responds after back-to-back losses.
Last week: No. 3
3. Minnesota, 8-0 (W, 52-10 vs. Maryland)
The competition hasn’t been great, but Minnesota continues look better and better with each passing week. It’s now 8-0 on the year entering the most difficult portion of its schedule. With games against Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin still remaining, we’re about to find out and awful lot about the Gophers.
Last week: No. 4
2. Penn State, 8-0 (W, 28-7 vs. Michigan State)
Another fast start results in another win for Penn State. There’s still some concern about this team’s ability to build on a lead in the second half, but considering how talented the defense is, a two- to three-touchdown advantage is a pretty big lead for the Nittany Lions. Still, you’d like to see them hammer a few wins home emphatically.
Last week: No. 2
1. Ohio State, 8-0 (W, 38-7 vs. #13 Wisconsin)
One of the two teams that many thought could give Ohio State a run for its money in the B1G, and Ohio State disposed of Wisconsin like it has every other team this season. Even against great teams, the Buckeyes look head and shoulders above the competition. OSU’s next two games are against Maryland and Rutgers before finishing with Penn State and Michigan.
Last week: No. 1