Big Ten Power Rankings: Surging Northwestern moves up to No. 5

Big Ten Power Rankings: Surging Northwestern moves up to No. 5

All hail Ohio State, which showed why it is king of the Big Ten with a gutty overtime win at Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes remain atop my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal; in fact the top four teams remain the same this week, with suddenly surging Northwestern moving up five spots to round out the top 5.

See my full list below.

1. Ohio State (6-0, 3-0). It wasn’t always pretty, but the Buckeyes found a way to grind out an OT win at No. 8 Wisconsin. This team may be special.
Last week: 1
Up next: at Penn State

2. Michigan (6-0, 3-0). The Wolverines were off after jetting to a 6-0 start vs. largely unimpressive competition. We will find out more about Michigan in the second half of the season.
Last week: 2
Up next: vs. Illinois

3. Nebraska (6-0, 3-0). The Huskers are off to a 6-0 start for the first time since 2001 but have games left at Wisconsin, at Ohio State and at Iowa.
Last week: 3
Up next: vs. Purdue

4. Wisconsin (4-2, 1-2). The Badgers came oh-so-close to knocking off No. 2 Ohio State. This team has a bright future. How good will QB Alex Hornibrook be?
Last week: 4
Up next: at Iowa

5. Northwestern (3-3, 2-1). The Wildcats already have won at Iowa and at Michigan State. Northwestern is a very dangerous team whose offense has come to life with 38 and 54 points in the last two games.
Last week: 10
Up next: vs. Indiana

6. Iowa (5-2, 3-1). Don’t overlook the Hawkeyes, who still may have the inside track on winning the West if they play like they did at Purdue.
Last week: 6
Up next: vs. Wisconsin

7. Penn State (4-2, 2-1). The Nittany Lions were off last week, looking to continue to play better in the trenches on both sides of the ball. OSU visits this week. Gulp.
Last week: 5
Up next: vs. Ohio State

8. Minnesota (4-2, 1-2). The Golden Gophers needed a big win after suffering two losses in a row. Mission accomplished with a dominating effort at Maryland.
Last week: 9
Up next: vs. Rutgers

9. Indiana (3-3, 1-2). The Hoosiers still haven’t beaten a top 10 team since 1987, but there is no arguing how much IU has improved on defense.
Last week: 8
Up next: at Northwestern

10. Maryland (4-2, 1-2). The Terrapins’ 4-0 start has morphed into a 4-2 reality after sobering losses at Penn State and to Minnesota.
Last week: 7
Up next: vs. Michigan State

11. Michigan State (2-4, 0-3). That’s four losses in a row for the Spartans, whose defense came unhinged vs. Northwestern by allowing 54 points, the most points they’d allowed since a 56-21 loss to Wisconsin in 2003.
Last week: 11
Up next: at Maryland

12. Purdue (3-3, 1-2). The Boilermakers inability to stop the run has reached epic levels. In the last three games, Purdue has allowed Iowa to have 365 yards rushing; Illinois 315; Maryland 400. Woof.
Last week: 12
Up next: at Nebraska

13. Illinois (2-4, 1-2). The Illini offense showed life in ending a four-game losing skid with a victory at Rutgers. How good can QB Chayce Crouch be?
Last week: 13
Up next: at Michigan

14. Rutgers (2-5, 0-4). That’s four defeats in a row for the Scarlet Knights, who at least ended a scoreless streak spanning 11 quarters.
Last week: 14
Up next: at Minnesota

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.


BTN Plus on BTN2Go

BTN Plus on BTN2Go

all times ET
11:59 AMUCONN at MarylandWatch
1:00 PMRichmond at Rutgers Watch
Tuesday Oct 25
4:00 PMVirginia at MarylandWatch
7:00 PMColumbia at Rutgers Watch
7:00 PMSt. Louis at IndianaWatch
7:00 PMDelaware at MarylandWatch
8:00 PMW. Illinois at WisconsinWatch
Wednesday Oct 26
6:00 PMMichigan at IndianaWatch

Watch hundreds of live non-televised Big Ten events via BTN Plus on BTN2Go.