Week 13 B1G Power Rankings: Iowa upsets Minnesota, Penn State-Ohio State prepare for epic showdown
It may not have been quite as exciting as a week ago, but Saturday in the B1G provided plenty of entertainment once again. Give the top 25 clash between No. 8 Minnesota and No. 19 Iowa a lot of credit for that.
The Hawkeyes worked their magic again in Kinnick Stadium, handing the Golden Gophers their first loss of the 2019 season in exciting fashion. As thrilling as the win was for the Hawkeyes and disappointing for Minnesota, the Gophers still have everything in front of them.
A few other rivalry games were in action, but neither of those ended up being quite as close. Wisconsin took care of business against Nebraska and Michigan pummeled Michigan State. The only other close call was in State College, as Indiana gave a scare to Penn State before the Nittany Lions got a late score to ice the game.
Twelve weeks are in the books. The rankings didn’t change much this week, but here’s where we stand heading into Week 13:
14. Rutgers, 2-8 (L, 56-21 vs. #2 Ohio State)
Hey, not as bad as anyone expected. Not only did the Buckeyes fail to cover, Rutgers tied the highest-point total of any Ohio State opponent this season. That’s saying quite a bit, actually.
Last week: No. 14
13. Maryland, 3-7 (OFF)
The Terrapins got the week off and will finish of the season against Nebraska and Michigan State.
Last week: No. 13
12. Northwestern, 2-8 (W, 45-6 vs. UMass)
An offensive explosion in Evanston on Saturday. After Northwestern turned the football over twice in its first three possessions, a blocked field goal and scoop and score really got momentum and confidence rolling. Northwestern dropped 45 points on a bad UMass team, but at least it showed some life. We’ll see if it carries over into the final two games of the season.
Last week: No. 12
11. Michigan State, 4-6 (L, 44-10 vs. #15 Michigan)
Losses continue to pile up and they’re getting uglier and uglier. Michigan State has now lost five straight games and has scored more than 10 points in just one of those contests. Playing in a rivalry game, the Spartans showed a little life through the first half, but it wilted away in the final 30 minutes. This team just doesn’t have much going for it.
Last week: No. 11
10. Nebraska, 4-6 (L, 37-21 vs. #14 Wisconsin)
Coming out of the off week, Nebraska did show some life in the first half, the defense just had no answer for Jonathan Taylor. Now, the Huskers are in desperation mode, needing to win their final two games in order to get to 6-6 and earn a bowl berth. We’ll see how this team fights with its back against the wall.
Last week: No. 10
9. Purdue, 4-6 (OFF)
The Boilermakers got an off week after back-to-back wins. They head to Madison to play Wisconsin next Saturday.
Last week: No. 9
8. Illinois, 6-4 (OFF)
Illinois got an extra week to recover from that 25-point comeback win over Michigan State. The Illini have a big showdown with Iowa in a week.
Last week: No. 8
7. Indiana, 7-3 (L, 34-27 vs. #9 Penn State)
A four-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday, with the Hoosiers falling by a touchdown to Penn State. Indiana has been in these situations before, going toe-to-toe with the big programs of the B1G. Once again, it fell short. Tom Allen’s bunch gets one more try to beat a blueblood this season, with Michigan coming to town. It’s another chance for the Hoosiers to get a program-changing win.
Last week: No. 7
6. Iowa, 7-3 (W, 23-19 vs. #8 Minnesota)
Kinnick Stadium worked its magic once again. For the fifth time in 11 years, a team ranked in the top seven suffered a loss to the Hawkeyes. This year, Iowa was due a big win. It had fought valiantly against Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin, falling by a combined 14 points in those games against ranked opponents. The Hawkeyes finally got over the hump and Nate Stanley got a big win.
Last week: No. 6
5. Wisconsin, 8-2 (W, 37-21 vs. Nebraska)
The Badgers continue to do their thing and are continuing to rack up the wins. At 8-2, if Wisconsin beats Purdue next weekend, it’ll be in position to win another B1G West title at the end of the year. The season finale against Minnesota will likely be for Paul Bunyan’s Axe and a trip to Indianapolis. The Badgers are playing some really meaningful football over the next two weekends.
Last week: No. 4
4. Michigan, 8-2 (W, 44-10 vs. Michigan State)
Jim Harbaugh said a few weeks ago that Michigan was about to enjoy “it’s finest hour” in the second half against Penn State. The finest hour as trickled over into the entire second half of the season. Saturday’s blowout win over Michigan State was another complete performance by the Wolverines, which are now 8-2 on the year. This team really is playing as well as anyone in the B1G right now, and it should make for an interesting final week matchup against Ohio State.
Last week: No. 5
3. Penn State, 9-1 (W, 34-27 vs. Indiana)
Not the soundest performance from Penn State, but enough to get the job done. Penn State made plays when it needed to, and put together a long, 18-play, 75-yard drive and capped it off with a touchdown to essentially put the game out of reach. Now, the Nittany Lions face their biggest test of the season, going on the road to play Ohio State in Columbus.
Last week: No. 3
2. Minnesota, 9-1 (L, 23-19 vs. #19 Iowa)
For the first time this season, the Gophers stumbled. They played from behind all afternoon and couldn’t overcome a 17-point deficit to beat Iowa. But, if there’s a bright spot, it’s that Minnesota still controls its own destiny in the B1G and College Football Playoff race. Minnesota isn’t the first highly ranked team to fall at Kinnick Stadium. Now, it’s all about moving on and getting a win over Northwestern to set up a showdown for the B1G West in the finale.
Last week: No. 2
1. Ohio State, 10-0 (W, 56-21 vs. Rutgers)
The Buckeyes got one more brush-up game before taking on a top 10 Penn State squad next weekend. Justin Fields threw for over 300 yards and Ohio State had no issues with Rutgers in a blowout victory. Next weekend, the Buckeyes can lock up the B1G East title with a win over the Nittany Lions.
Last week: No. 1