Big Ten Power Rankings: Michigan State reclaims No. 2 position

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Power Rankings: Michigan State reclaims No. 2 position

It hasn’t been pretty every week for Michigan State or Ohio State, but the two power programs keep winning. And now, after a couple weeks of Ohio State and Michigan atop my Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, the Spartans are back at No. 2.

[ MORE: Best of Week 7 | Week 7 scoreboard | Power Rankings | Bowl Projections | Latest polls | Week 7 picks revisited | Week 7 top performers | What our expert learned | Dienhart: The Mitten State rivalry is back | Twitter: Former Spartans react to winning play | Read Jim Hackett’s letter to fans | Gerry DiNardo tweets | Photo: Braxton Miller jersey mix-up | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats ]

See my latest list below.

1. Ohio State (7-0, 3-0). One more Saturday, one more victory. That’s 20 wins in a row. Yawn. Will Nov. 21 hurry up and get here?
Last week: 1
Up next: at Rutgers


2. Michigan State (7-0, 3-0). Just as you drew it up, right Mark Dantonio? No doubt about it, that wild final play will forever have a place in the heated Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.
Last week: 3
Up next: vs. Indiana

3. Michigan (5-2, 2-1). Look, the Wolverines didn’t trail vs. No. 4 Michigan State until the improbable, fluky final play. Michigan’s two losses (at Utah; vs. Michigan State) are by a combined 11 points to teams with a combined 13-0 record.
Last week: 2
Up next: at Minnesota, Oct. 31

4. Iowa (7-0, 3-0). That’s seven wins in a row and counting for the Hawkeyes. Will this team go 12-0? It has the schedule to do so.
Last week: 4
Up next: vs. Maryland, Oct. 31

5. Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1). These aren’t your father’s Badgers, as Wisconsin is traveling through the air. And, it’s working.
Last week: 6
Up next: at Illinois

6. Northwestern (5-2, 1-2). First a 38-0 loss at Michigan; now a 40-10 home setback to Iowa. Things are trending down. Remember when NU was 5-0?
Last week: 5
Up next: at Nebraska

7. Illinois (4-2, 1-1). The Fighting Illini were off, searching for a running game.
Last week: 7
Up next: vs. Wisconsin

8. Nebraska (3-4, 1-2). The Huskers made sure there would be no heartache and drama this week, taking a resounding win at Minnesota.
Last week: 10
Up next: vs. Northwestern

9. Penn State (5-2, 2-1). The cushy five-game homestead ended with the reality of a game at No. 1 Ohio State. Look at it as a measuring stick.
Last week: 9
Up next: at Maryland

10. Rutgers (3-3, 1-2). This is a resourceful and tough-minded team that will continue to make some noise in the Big Ten East. Especially if Leonte Carroo’s injury isn’t serious.
Last week: 11
Up next: vs. Ohio State

11. Minnesota (4-3, 1-2). The Golden Gophers are just too limited on offense. They will have to fight to grind out wins. And, it won’t be easy.
Last week: 8
Up next: vs. Michigan, Oct. 31

12. Indiana (4-3, 0-3). The Hoosiers have a heck of an offense, even with star running back Jordan Howard out injured. Did I mention that the Hoosiers have a heck of an offense?
Last week: 12
Up next: at Michigan State

13. Maryland (2-4, 0-2). The good news: The Terps didn’t lose. That’s because they were off after firing Randy Edsall last week.
Last week: 13
Up next: vs. Penn State

14. Purdue (1-6, 0-3). Another Saturday, another loss. The Boilers have now dropped five in a row, scoring a combined 41 points in three Big Ten games.
Last week: 14
Up next: vs. Nebraska, Oct. 31


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Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.


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all times ET
1:00 PMHofstra at RutgersWatch
1:00 PMMinnesota at Penn St.Watch
1:00 PMPenn St. at Michigan St.Watch
2:00 PMWisconsin at IllinoisWatch
2:00 PMRutgers at NorthwesternWatch
2:00 PMIllinois St. at IllinoisWatch
2:00 PMIowa at IndianaWatch
2:00 PMIndiana at Ohio St.Watch

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