Week 12 B1G Power Rankings: Gophers are for real, Illini break out bowling shoes
What a weekend in the B1G. The second Saturday in November provided us with the best day of football the conference has seen yet.
No. 17 Minnesota upset No. 4 Penn State in a thrilling 31-26 contest; No. 13 Wisconsin did just enough to beat No. 18 Iowa in a 24-22 decision; Illinois overcame a 25-point deficit to get a 37-34 victory over Michigan State; and Purdue nailed a game-winning field goal to defeat Northwestern 24-22. It was, by far, the most exciting weekend of the season.
Well, unless you watched that Maryland-Ohio State game.
With some interesting results in Week 11, there have been some changes to the weekly B1G power rankings. Here’s an updated look as we head into the 12th week of the college football season:
14. Rutgers, 2-7 (OFF)
Hope you enjoyed the week off, Rutgers. Ohio State is next. Good luck with that.
Last week: No. 14
13. Maryland, 3-7 (L, 73-14 vs. #1 Ohio State)
On a positive note, Maryland was able to score 14 points on Ohio State, the most any B1G team has scored on the Buckeyes all season. That’s not much of a consolation prize in a 59-point loss, though.
Last week: No. 12
12. Northwestern, 1-8 (L, 24-22 vs. Purdue)
Yes, Northwestern actually moves up a spot because it finally located its offense. The Wildcats found the end zone three times against Purdue after not crossing the goal line in over a month. Maybe it will give Northwestern a bit of an offensive spark moving forward? Even if the end result was a loss to the Boilermakers.
Last week: No. 13
11. Michigan State, 4-5 (L, 37-34 vs. Illinois)
Even when Michigan State builds a big lead, it still can’t be trusted. The Spartans owned a 28-3 lead in the first half and led by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter before Illinois dropped 27 points in the final quarter. The Spartans have continually found ways to lose games this season, and now, they’ve dropped below .500. Things seem to be getting a little dicey for Mark Dantonio.
Last week: No. 9
10. Nebraska, 4-5 (OFF)
Nebraska has been a mess recently, but not as big of a mess as Michigan State. The Huskers get Wisconsin next weekend after a Saturday off.
Last week: No. 11
9. Purdue, 4-6 (W, 24-22 vs. Northwestern)
This might be the best coaching job of Jeff Brohm’s career. Purdue went on the road and defeated a (bad) B1G team to keep their bowl hopes alive, all with a depleted roster and a third-string walk-on quarterback. The Boilermakers could’ve thrown in the towel long ago, but still have a shot at the postseason despite a 2-6 start.
Last week: No. 10
8. Illinois, 6-4 (W, 37-34 vs. Michigan State)
How appropriate that Illinois brought a bowling ball to East Lansing. The Illini have done the impossible each of the last four weeks, ripping off wins in four consecutive weeks to get that all-important sixth win. Upsetting Wisconsin and posting the largest comeback win in school history against Michigan State highlight this improbable run. It feels like this program has turned a corner.
Last week: No. 8
7. Indiana, 7-2 (OFF)
The Hoosiers had a week off to enjoy their 7-2 record. They’ll go on the road to play an angry Penn State team this weekend.
Last week: No. 7
6. Iowa, 6-3 (L, 24-22 vs. #13 Wisconsin)
A few plays here or there this season, and we’re talking about an entirely different Iowa team. The Hawkeyes dropped another close one this week to Wisconsin, and have now lost three games by a grand total of 14 points. The offense showed up in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late once again.
Last week: No. 6
5. Michigan, 7-2 (OFF)
Another rivalry game lies ahead for Michigan, with the Wolverines hosting Michigan State next weekend. A good chance Jim Harbaugh improves his record against rivals next Saturday.
Last week: No. 5
4. Wisconsin, 7-2 (W, 24-22 vs. #18 Iowa)
So you’re telling me there’s a chance? With Wisconsin getting an important win over Iowa, the Badgers are still alive in the B1G West. Yes, they’ll need some help, but if Iowa or Northwestern can upset Minnesota, we may have a showdown for a division title in the season finale between the Badgers and Gophers. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Last week: No. 4
3. Penn State, 8-1 (L, 31-26 vs. #17 Minnesota)
A few days after landing in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings, Penn State stumbled in the Twin Cities. It wasn’t really a bad loss for the Nittany Lions, but now the margin for error is razor thin moving forward. And, obviously, James Franklin’s bunch takes a drop in the power rankings after the road loss.
Last week: No. 2
2. Minnesota, 9-0 (W, 31-26 vs. #4 Penn State)
Minnesota played somebody…and won. The Gophers no longer have to deal with that burden, and will have chances to prove they can beat good teams with games against Iowa and Wisconsin still on the schedule. The Gophers are playing really well offensively right now and the defense is making critical plays when they’re needed most. There’s no more disputing it, Minnesota is for real.
Last week: No. 3
1. Ohio State, 9-0 (W, 73-14 vs. Maryland)
The Buckeyes scored 73 points on Maryland and didn’t play their starters after halftime. That’s just how good this team is right now. And if they were able to put up that many on the Terrapins, what on earth could Ohio State possibly do to Rutgers next week? We may see something historic in college football.
Last week: No. 1