Week 6 Power Rankings: Ohio State stays on top

Ohio State solidified its case for the top spot in my Week 6 Power Rankings, this after going into East Lansing at knocking off Michigan State. But what about the rest of my list? See my latest rankings in this post. Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below or tweet me (@BTNTomDienhart).

1. Ohio State (5-0, 1-0). The Buckeyes finally put together a good four quarters at Michigan State, quelling some fears of inconsistency on both sides of the ball that some had for Ohio State. The maligned defense was especially impressive vs. Michigan State. Could this team run the table?
Last week: 1
Up next: Nebraska

[RELATED: Dienhart: These 5-0 Buckeyes are very good]

2. Northwestern (5-0, 1-0). The Wildcats are 5-0 for the third time in five years after a 44-29 win over Indiana. But neither 5-0 start to a season has ended in glory. Can that change this year? The offense looked great vs. the Hoosiers in notching a school-record 704 yards.
Last week: 2
Up next: at Penn State

[RELATED: Brent Yarina’s Week 6 Player Rankings]

3. Nebraska (4-1, 1-0). The Cornhuskers are riding high, winning three in a row. And a 30-27 win over Wisconsin was one of the most impressive by any Big Ten this season. This team will be difficult to beat if the offense keeps roaring and the defense continues to dominate.
Last week: 5
Up next: at Ohio State

[RELATED: Week 5 Big Ten picks revisited]

4. Michigan State (3-2, 0-1). The Spartans have lost two games at home and have scored just three touchdowns in the last three games. The offense needs more balance and consistency if Michigan State wants to return to the Big Ten title game. Frustration is mounting.
Last week: 4
Up next: at Indiana

5. Michigan (2-2, 0-0). The Wolverines had Saturday off. That may have been a good thing for a 2-2 Michigan squad that was tested like no other Big Ten program in the non-conference. The offense still has a ways to go and looks lost vs. good defenses. Will it look any different in conference action?
Last week: 6
Up next: at Purdue

[RELATED: 5 things Dienhart learned in Week 5]

6. Penn State (3-2, 1-0). The Nittany Lions may be the hottest team in the Big Ten coming off a 35-7 win at Illinois. The only thing standing between Penn State and perfection is 11 points (combined point loss numbers vs. Ohio and Virginia). Hat’s off to a defense that continues to play out of its mind.
Last week: 9
Up next: Northwestern

7. Purdue (3-1, 0-0). The Boilermaker offense has looked good the last two times out, notching 54 points vs. Eastern Michigan and 51 vs. Marshall. The next three weeks will define Purdue’s season: Michigan; Wisconsin; at Ohio State. What’s it gonna be?
Last week: 7
Up next: Michigan

[RELATED: See who took home our Week 5 Game Balls]

8. Minnesota (4-1, 0-1). Iowa stuck a pin in the Gophers’ balloon and took away Floyd of Rosedale, which Minnesota had owned the last two seasons. Now we get to see how Minnesota reacts to adversity. This, ladies and gentlemen, will be the true test.
Last week: 3
Up next: off (Northwestern Oct. 13)

9. Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1). Yes, the Badger attack is looking better, but it just lacks a lot of big-play ability and isn’t as physical as in years past. Blowing a 17-point lead at Nebraska hurts. How will Wisconsin respond from here? The good news: It may have found a quarterback in Joel Stave.
Last week: 8
Up next: Illinois

10. Iowa (3-2, 1-0). The Hawkeye offense showed signs of life in a 31-13 demolition of previously unbeaten Minnesota. And the defense played well in a strong all-around effort that had been missing all season. Herky can now come off the ledge.
Last week: 10
Up next: off (at Michigan State Oct. 13)

[RELATED: Gerry DiNardo tweets Week 5 Sunday Ruminations]

11. Illinois (2-3, 0-1). The Fighting Illini have to be spinning following consecutive blowout losses at home to unranked teams. You getting the same feeling that I am getting? This team needs something to positive to happen. Now.
Last week: 11
Up next: at Wisconsin

12. Indiana (2-2, 0-1). The Hoosiers showed some heart by rallying from a 27-0 hole before falling 44-29 at Northwestern. Hey, it’s difficult to find many positives when a defense yields 704 yards, which happened to set a Northwestern record.
Last week: 12
Up next: Michigan State

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (13 Comments)
Tony T on 9/30/2012 @ 11:55am EDT Said:

Wow! Tom actually moved Nebraska out of the number 5 spot. I was rationalizing how he’d keep them there this week: 1. OSU ‘cuz Meyer is a god. 2. Northwestern ‘cuz they’re undefeated. 3. Michigan State ‘cuz losing to OSU by 1 point shouldn’t be punished. 4. Iowa ‘cuz they finally got the offense rolling and beat an undefeated team. And 5. Nebraska (with an even arrow) ‘cuz a victory at home with a bad first half doesn’t mean much.

big ten fan on 9/30/2012 @ 2:34pm EDT Said:

Northwestern has yet to play a respectable team, Michign St is very lucky it doesn’t have 3-4 losses already Penn St win over Ill mens nothing doubt if Illl can bet indiana,PeenSt vs Northwestern loser should drop big time, Wisc gets beat by your #2 ranked team by 3 @ Nebraska is #9 Wisc is underrated or Nebraska is overrated, Iow domintes Minny yet Minny is rted 2 spots higher…Tom was you up against a deadline..doesn’t appear much thought ws put into this !

Ed Crawford on 9/30/2012 @ 5:45pm EDT Said:

I realize the Iowa Hawkeyes had some problems getting started so I agree with the # 10 ranking until this week.. If the hawks keep demolishing big ten opponents this should change.

Evan on 9/30/2012 @ 6:35pm EDT Said:

How is Purdue @ #7? Below PSU? Really? They haven’t done anything wrong and are the only B1G team to come close to beating ND. crazy

bob jones on 9/30/2012 @ 7:35pm EDT Said:

Wisconsin is a spot or two low, the rest look to be right where they belong for now. Lots of big games left, Neb/Ohio St, NW/PennSt and Purdue/Michigan will sort things out a bit more this week. If the Huskers play like they did the 2nd half vs Wisky and quit beating themselves with dumb mistakes they will be tough to handle. We’ll see.

AxoMuGirl on 9/30/2012 @ 10:14pm EDT Said:

I feel like the Hawks and Gophers should have been switched on this one.

freddiefitz on 9/30/2012 @ 11:01pm EDT Said:

whoa. This is the most ridiculous list I’ve ever seen. Did you watch the Iowa-Minny game? 24 rip at half. Iowa took zero chances in the 2nd half. Remind me never to read this list again.

Ben Schlichter on 10/1/2012 @ 12:15am EDT Said:

Good list, but I’d put Nebraska up at #2 for the time being… But they won’t be there for long, since they play #1 OSU next.

mary brennan on 10/1/2012 @ 11:19am EDT Said:

I am trying to understand why you ranked Northwestern higher than Nebraska. Losing the third quarter lead against Indiana and winning as they did seems to be making Northwestern living dangerously. Overcoming a 17 point deficit and turnovers would seem to indicate more strength in Nebraska. I guess the fact that Northwestern is undefeated helps, but when comparing apples to apples, I think Nebraska should be considered a bit more strong than Northwestern. Of course, the head to head matchup in a few weeks will settle that debate. GBR!!

AASparty on 10/1/2012 @ 11:54am EDT Said:

@Big Ten Fan- I think that can be said for most B1G teams, OSU got taken to the mat by Cali and UAB, the Huskers had to come from behind to beat Wiscy, and MSU was a field goal/dropped pass away from beating the Bucks on saturday, nothing’s going to come easy for anyone this season…

UNBELIEVABLE on 10/1/2012 @ 2:10pm EDT Said:

Wow!!! Iowa completely dismantles Minnesota, yet Minnesota is better? This kind f stupidity is great for your credibility. You had NONE before this…But this is just absurd!!! This is a very very young Iowa team learning as they go, with the worst quarterback in the history of Iowa football, save Jake Christensen, and this is the most clueless thing i have ever seen

Bob Jordan on 10/2/2012 @ 1:46pm EDT Said:

Three words for the BTN after this list. MANDATORY DRUG TEST

I wonder if you’ll be able to put a meaningful Power Rating together after the bowl games. I guess I’ll never know.

Huh? on 10/3/2012 @ 11:39am EDT Said:

Iowa destroys Minnesota, yet Minnesota is two spots ahead? Purdue is playing some of the best football in the Big Ten and they are only 7?