Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 10
Week 10 was a statement week for several Big Ten teams, while for others, it was a week to forget. The Michigan Wolverines, Penn State Nittany Lions and Ohio State Buckeyes grabbed massive wins, while the Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan State Spartans scored disappointing losses.
1. Michigan Wolverines (9-0, 6-0): For the first time in years, Michigan fans are starting to get bored. Well, at least one of my good friends from Michigan is. As if these blowouts weren't enough to make Michigan feel invincible, I'm hearing on a weekly basis that it's time to bring on the Buckeyes. Only a few more weeks, Michigan fans. Then you'll get the showdown the rivalry deserves. Next: at Iowa.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1, 5-1): Arguably the most complete performance of the season for Ohio State, the Buckeyes rolled over an overmatched Nebraska side. The downfield passing game is still shaky, but Ohio State claimed the statement win it needed to generate confidence around the program again. Next: at Maryland.
3. Wisconsin Badgers (7-2, 4-2): A steady diet of a great defense and solid run game put Wisconsin right where it deserves: the driver's seat of the Big Ten West. If the Badgers avoid a slip-up over the final three weeks, they'll find themselves playing in Indianapolis. Next: vs. Illinois.
4. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2, 5-1): Penn State's blocked field goal returned for a touchdown against Ohio State brought a new Big Ten monster to light. A dismantling of Iowa in nearly all facets of the game keet the Nittany Lions Big Ten title hopes alive. Next: at Indiana.
5. Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2, 4-2): These past two weeks told us a lot about Nebraska, and the reality is they just don't have the all-around talent to compete with the Big Ten's elite. But, Mike Riley has helped Nebraska's football program get back on track. Also, great to see Tommy Armstrong is OK. Next: vs. Minnesota.
6. Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-2, 4-2): Going largely unnoticed, the Golden Gophers have rolled off four straight Big Ten victories. The competition wasn't great, but the wins were there nonetheless. Next: at Nebraska.
7. Northwestern Wildcats (4-5, 3-3): Northwestern may be under .500, but don't let the record fool you. The Wildcats put up decent fights the past two weeks against Ohio State and Wisconsin. The schedule does get easier, and I'd be shocked if Northwestern didn't find itself bowl eligible in a matter of weeks. Next: at Purdue.
8. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-4, 3-3): With great expectations comes great responsibility. The Hawkeyes haven't fulfilled their responsibilities, and it has contributed to a long 2016 campaign. Currently, Iowa's on pace for its worst offensive season under Ferentz. Next: vs. Michigan.
9. Indiana Hoosiers (5-4, 3-3): It was closer than Kevin Wilson would've liked, but the Hoosiers held off Rutgers and moved a game over .500. The win was more important than you think: Indiana will be favored in only one of its remaining three games. Remember, you need six wins to automatically become bowl eligible. Next: vs. Penn State.
10. Maryland Terrapins (5-4, 2-4): Don't take it personally, D.J. Durkin. Your homecoming wasn't meant to be a pleasant one. Michigan dismantles everyone, so don't feel like there was any extra hate behind that beatdown. Next: vs. Ohio State.
11. Illinois Fighting Illini (3-6, 2-4): The fight to get bowl eligible is still alive for the Illini after its narrow victory over Sparty. Still, I'm willing to make bets Illinois finds itself watching everyone else play come December. Next: at Wisconsin.
12. Purdue Boilermakers (3-6, 1-5): Second half performances continue to be the difference for Purdue since the dismissal of Darrell Hazell. Purdue's been blown out, 65-7, in the second half over the past three weeks. Next: vs. Northwestern.
13. Michigan State Spartans (2-7, 0-6): It's official: last year's Big Ten champions no longer have a chance to clinch an automatic bowl bid. Yikes. Next: vs. Rutgers.
14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-7, 0-6): Rutgers is slowly getting closer, but it still finds itself winless in Big Ten competition this season. As ESPN dubbed it, the Big Ten Sadness Bowl is next week and should decide who finishes the conference in last place. Next: at Michigan State.