Power Rankings: Gophers keep jumping up poll

A thrilling Saturday of action went a long way in shaking up my weekly Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. But, in the end, the trio at the top–Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State–reframed its top-billing status with impressive wins. After that trio, it’s surprising Minnesota checking in at No. 4. See my latest list in this post.

[ MORE: Enter the Buffalo Wild Wings Trip to the Football Championship Sweepstakes ]

POWER RANKINGS PRESENTED BY
ArcelorMittal

1. Ohio State (9-0, 5-0). The Buckeyes have been absolutely dominating the last two weeks, beating Penn State, 63-14, and crushing Purdue, 56-0. Ohio State is playing its best as it enters a bye week.
Last week: 1
Next: Off; at Illinois

2. Wisconsin (6-2, 4-1). This team continues to fly under the radar on a national level. No problem. If the Badgers win out, they’ll get plenty of attention by late-November.
Last week: 2
Next: BYU

3. Michigan State (8-1, 5-0). The Spartans nasty defense gives them a chance in any game. And when the offense plays well, Michigan State is almost impossible to beat. Ask Michigan.
Last week: 3
Next: Off; at Nebraska

[ MORE: Dienhart: Spartans send message loud and clear ]

4. Minnesota (7-2, 3-2). That’s three wins in a row for the Golden Gophers, who aren’t just thinking about a bowl game; they are thinking about a good bowl game. Dream on, Goldy!
Last week: 6
Next: Penn State

5. Nebraska (6-2, 3-1). Nebraska never really established control vs. Northwestern and had four turnovers. Still, all of that was washed away by the Hail Mary victory.
Last week: 7
Next: at Michigan

[ MORE: Want more Hail Mary coverage? There's plenty here! ]

6. Penn State (5-3, 2-2). The offense had trouble getting on track vs. a bad Illinois defense. Regardless, the defense played well after three tough weeks and the offense delivered when it needed to late in the game.
Last week: 8
Next: at Minnesota

[ MORE: Get Tom Dienhart's Week 10 honors, stock reports & more ]

7. Michigan (6-2, 2-2). The Wolverines got bullied by the Spartans—Taylor Lewan’s words, not mine. But I won’t argue with that. This Michigan team is still searching for an offensive identity—and it’s November.
Last week: 4
Next: Nebraska

8. Iowa (5-4, 2-3). The Hawkeyes beat average-to-bad teams and lose to good teams. Bottom line: Iowa is just an average team likely headed to a 6-6 record.
Last week: 5
Next: at Purdue

[ MORE: What did Tom Dienhart learn in Week 10? Here's what! ]

9. Indiana (3-5, 1-3). Same story, different Saturday. The offense posted big numbers, but the defense couldn’t make key stops. A bowl game now looks like a pipe dream.
Last week: 9
Next: vs. Illinois

10. Northwestern (4-5, 0-5). That’s five losses in a row for the Wildcats. But this one was the worst of all, coming on a Hail Mary pass. Will this team even get bowl eligible?
Last week: 10
Next: Off; vs. Michigan

11. Illinois (3-5, 0-4). Make it 18 Big Ten losses in a row for the Fighting Illini. But, this team is getting better—really. The defense had one of its best games of 2013 at Penn State.
Last week: 11
Next: at Indiana

[ MORE: Clothes Call: Big Ten teams debut new designs in Week 10 ]

12. Purdue (1-7, 0-4). The lows keep getting lower in West Lafayette. It will be a major surprise if the Boilermakers win another game in 2013. A big question: Will QB Danny Etling survive these beatings?
Last week: 12
Next: vs. Iowa

About Tom Dienhart 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.

Find out more about:

2 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (2 Comments)
reality check on 11/4/2013 @ 12:07am EDT Said:

This will be my final post as new management takes over at Midnight , Congrats to the MSU Defense, Doug you were a better man I admit defeat farewell.

Doug on 11/4/2013 @ 6:57pm EDT Said:

Mark, I actually enjoyed our back and forth banter, but when you deleted my posts just cause you didn’t like them, something had to change. Farewell.