Big Ten Power Rankings: Minnesota moves up to No. 4 this week

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Power Rankings: Minnesota moves up to No. 4 this week

Ohio State remains atop my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, with Michigan State and Wisconsin in hot pursuit. Nebraska takes a dip, while Northwestern rises. And we have a new team in the cellar.

Here are my latest power rankings.

1. Ohio State (10-1, 7-1). It wasn’t pretty from start to finish, but the Buckeyes topped Indiana to clinch the East. Playoff hopes remain alive.
Last week: 1
Up next: Michigan

2. Michigan State (9-2, 6-1). The Spartans have looked impressive in the last two games after that home loss to Ohio State. This team is finishing strong.
Last week: 2
Up next: at Penn State

3. Wisconsin (9-2, 6-1). The Badgers have won six in a row and seemingly get better each week. Melvin Gordon is chasing history.
Last week: 3
Up next: Minnesota

4. Minnesota (8-3, 5-2). The Golden Gophers just find a way to get it done. One more victory, and Minnesota will be in the Big Ten title game. Amazing.
Last week: 5
Up next: at Wisconsin

5. Nebraska (8-3, 4-3). The Cornhuskers have lost consecutive conference games for the first time since 2009. Is another four-loss season looming?
Last week: 4
Up next: at Iowa (Nov. 28)

6. Maryland (7-4, 4-3). The Terps have a good shot to finish 5-3 in the Big Ten in their debut. Impressive work by Randy Edsall.
Last week: 6
Up next: Rutgers

7. Iowa (7-4, 4-3). The inconsistent Hawkeyes still haven’t beaten a team that has a winning record. They’ll get another shot Friday afternoon.
Last week: 7
Up next: Nebraska (Nov. 28)

8. Northwestern (5-6, 3-4). The offense has come alive with 81 points the last two games. This team was 3-6 at one point. Win one more, and NU is going bowling.
Last week: 11
Up next: Illinois

9. Penn State (6-5, 2-5). The offense continues to confound; PSU hasn’t scored over 19 points in regulation in any Big Ten game this season.
Last week: 8
Up next: Michigan State

10. Rutgers (6-5, 2-5). That’s four losses in five games for the Scarlet Knights. In the last two defeats, RU has a total of three points.
Last week: 9
Up next: at Maryland

POWER RANKINGS PRESENTED BY
ArcelorMittal

11. Michigan (5-6, 3-4). The Wolverines must win at Ohio State to become bowl eligible vs. a Buckeye squad that has won 23 Big Ten regular-season games in a row.
Last week: 10
Up next: at Ohio State

12. Illinois (5-6, 2-5). The late win vs. Penn State means the Illini are one win from earning a bowl spot.
Last week: 13
Up next: at Northwestern

13. Indiana (3-8, 0-7). The Hoosiers battled valiantly at Ohio State but still lost their sixth in a row. But Tevin Coleman has been fun to watch.
Last week: 14
Up next: Purdue

14. Purdue (3-8, 1-6). Coming off a bye, the Boilers hoped to finish strong. Alas, they got clobbered at home by Northwestern, 38-14, and have lost five in a row.
Last week: 12
Up next: at Indiana

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.

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