Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, November 16, 2014
Ohio State continued to show why it?s the Big Ten?s best team. And how about Wisconsin? The teams look to be headed for a showdown in the Big Ten title game.
Overall, things hold steady this week in my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal-even with Northwestern?s upset at Notre Dame.
1. Ohio State (9-1, 6-0). The Buckeyes had to work for it, but they gutted out a tough win at Minnesota after an emotional victory at Michigan State. No letdown. Impressive.
Last week: 1
Up next: Indiana
2. Michigan State (8-2, 5-1). The Spartans rebounded with a methodical win at Maryland. However, they must win out and have Ohio State (vs. Indiana; vs. Michigan) lose out to claim the East Division.
Last week: 2
Up next: Rutgers
3. Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1). A blowout win vs. Nebraska fueled by Melvin Gordon?s record day is proof the Badgers are the best in the Big Ten West. Also, yes, the defense aced its first true test and is legit.
Last week: 3
Up next: at Iowa
4. Nebraska (8-2, 4-2). A 17-3 lead melted into a 59-24 loss. This defeat looked depressingly similar to some recent Husker meltdowns. How will Bo Pelini and Nebraska respond?
Last week: 4
Up next: Minnesota
5. Minnesota (7-3, 4-2). This team lacked the talent to topple Ohio State, although it made it close. No shame in the 31-24 loss. Jerry Kill has a strong program that?s going places.
Last week: 5
Up next: at Nebraska
6. Maryland (6-4, 3-3). The Terps have lost to Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State by a combined 141-46 score. They'll get to battle another Big Ten power in Michigan on Saturday.
Last week: 6
Up next: at Michigan
7. Iowa (7-3, 4-2). The Hawkeyes showed heart by rebounding from a 51-14 loss at Minnesota to win 30-14 at Illinois. Iowa still could win the West. Amazing, given the team?s wild inconsistency.
Last week: 7
Up next: Wisconsin
8. Penn State (6-4, 2-4). The Nittany Lions now have won two in a row and are bowl eligible. Thank goodness for their lights out defense, because the offense continue to struggle.
Last week: 8
Up next: at Illinois
9. Rutgers (6-4, 2-4). The three-game losing skid is finally over. Even better, the Scarlet Knights are bowl eligible for the ninth time in 10 years.
Last week: 9
Up next: at Michigan State
10. Michigan (5-5, 3-3). The Wolverines were off, winners of two in a row and three of four and gearing up for their final two games. They need to win one to be bowl eligible.
Last week: 10
Up next: Maryland
|POWER RANKINGS PRESENTED BY|
11. Northwestern (4-6, 2-4). The stunning overtime win at Notre Dame means the Wildcats? bowl hopes are alive. Where did all of this offense come from? Who cares? Enjoy.
Last week: 11
Up next: at Purdue
12. Purdue (3-7, 1-5). The Boilermakers, who were off, are left to play spoiler. There?s a chance to end on an up note with a visit from Northwestern and a trip to Indiana.
Last week: 12
Up next: Northwestern
13. Illinois (4-6, 1-5). The Illini have lost two in a row and five of six and sit on the brink of bowl elimination with six losses.
Last week: 13
Up next: Penn State
14. Indiana (3-7, 0-6). Saturday's loss at Rutgers ended the Hoosiers? bowl hopes. IU has been to two bowls since 1993.
Last week: 14
Up next: at Ohio State
|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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