Week 10 B1G Power Rankings
What a mess.
No, I’m not talking about the top of the power rankings. The B1G is one of two conferences in America with three undefeated teams. Even the Wisconsins, Penn States and Minnesotas looked solid over the weekend.
It’s the bottom six that’s a complete and utter mess. With the exception of one-win Purdue — which isn’t suddenly going to leapfrog five teams just because it finally won a B1G home game — the bottom six didn’t do anything this weekend to dig themselves out of the B1G basement. It was so rough that idle Indiana moved up two spots.
Make any case for how the bottom six could look and I’m sure you can justify it. Just know that No. 9 Illinois is a whole lot closer to No. 14 Nebraska than it is to No. 8 Minnesota.
Biggest riser: Indiana +2
Biggest faller: Nebraska -5
14. Nebraska (prev. 9)
What’s the fastest way to move down in the B1G Power Rankings, you ask? Allow 55 points to a team that hadn’t won a B1G home game in three years and hadn’t beat an FBS team all season. Injuries aside, Nebraska is a bad, bad football team right now.
13. Purdue (prev. 14)
What’s the quickest way to move up in the B1G Power Rankings, you ask? Win a game. Crazy thought, right?
12. Maryland (prev. 13)
Credit the Terps for not mailing it in when they were down 21-0 to the No. 10 team on the road. If Perry Hills would stop throwing the football, Maryland would look even better.
11. Rutgers (prev. 11)
The Scarlet Knights deserved to drop. That showing in Madison was one that Rutgers fans will look back on when Kyle Flood is fired a year’s end. But the Scarlet Knights are still capable of hanging with most of the conference when Leonte Carroo is healthy. That’s worth something.
10. Indiana (prev. 12)
How about those Hoosiers? Take a week off and allow others to play some horrific defense. IU’s bowl chances would get a monumental boost if it can somehow knock off Iowa or Michigan in the next two weeks. Again, that involves playing defense.
9. Illinois (prev. 8)
Since Josh Ferguson went down a month ago, Illinois has four touchdowns. The Illini desperately needed him to soften the Penn State defense and give Wes Lunt a safety valve out of the backfield. I get that Ke’Shawn Vaughn is the future, but Illinois is lost offensively without its present star.
8. Minnesota (prev. 10)
One yard. One yard would’ve given the Gophers one memorable night in what’s been a season full of gut-punches. Minnesota out-played the No. 15 team and did everything to win but finish. Still, let’s not ignore what they showed for 59 minutes and 41 seconds.
7. Northwestern (prev. 6)
It seems odd to have Northwestern all the way back at No. 7, but it’s been over a month since they even beat a mediocre team. Penn State and Wisconsin, however, continue to show improvement.
6. Penn State (prev. 7)
It all came together on Saturday. If the Lions didn’t completely embarrass themselves in the opener against Temple, they would have an argument for a top-25 spot. A backloaded schedule will show us how much Penn State has really improved since September.
5. Wisconsin (prev. 5)
What a difference Corey Clement makes. The Badgers also now have the top scoring defense in the country. Who cares about quarterback play when you have that combination?
4. Michigan (prev. 4)
Disaster avoided. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are no such things as style points in B1G road games. The Wolverines finally got the bad taste of the Michigan State loss out of their mouths and ended up on the right side of a nail-biter. But on both sides of the ball, they have some adjustments to make if they want to look like a top-10 team again.
3. Iowa (prev. 3)
I heard an odd question over the weekend. An unnamed person said, ‘If Iowa wins out and wins the B1G title, will it get into the playoff?’ Are you kidding me? Stop it with the bashing of the Hawkeyes’ strength of schedule. Find me the massive list of teams that have three wins over teams receiving Associated Press votes then we can talk about strength of schedule.
2. Michigan State (prev. 2)
A bye week hopefully healed the Spartans for their stretch run. This team needs to be healthier to make a serious College Football Playoff push. And by “College Football Playoff push,” I mean beat Ohio State.
1. Ohio State (prev. 1)
There’s never a dull moment in Columbus, is there? J.T. Barrett’s arrest dominated a Saturday in which the Buckeyes didn’t even play. Long term, it shouldn’t change anything. It’ll be interesting to see how Cardale Jones responds to another opportunity. But if the defense plays like it did against Rutgers, the Buckeyes won’t need a whole lot of offense to keep winning convincingly.