Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, November 8, 2015
Iowa shoots up my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, to No. 2. In fact, a case could be made for the Hawkeyes being No. 1. Meanwhile, the poll isn?t so kind to Michigan State.
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See my latest list below:
1. Ohio State (9-0, 5-0). The beat goes on for the Buckeyes, but I?m still waiting to be wowed by this team. And I say put J.T. Barrett back at starting QB.
Last week: 1
Up next: at Illinois
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2. Iowa (9-0, 5-0). The Hawkeyes aren?t going away, America. So deal with them. And start familiarizing yourself with their resume. This team is really good. C?mon. Give ?em a hug.
Last week: 3
Up next: vs. Minnesota
3. Michigan (7-2, 4-1). No team is tougher or more physical than the Wolverines. I can?t wait to see where this program is in the next two to three years. It?s pretty good now. Maybe as good as anyone in the league.
Last week: 4
Up next: at Indiana
4. Michigan State (8-1, 4-1). Down go the Spartans! This team had been playing with fire for weeks. And, it finally got burned. Please tell me you aren?t shocked. These aren?t your 2013 or 2014 Spartans.
Last week: 2
Up next: vs. Maryland
5. Northwestern (7-2, 3-2). A great rally for the Wildcats, who have now won two in a row after two disappointing losses in succession. The win over Penn State gives NU a push over Wisconsin in these rankings.
Last week: 6
Up next: vs. Purdue
6. Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1). The Badgers have five wins in a row. Is there a more nondescript and anonymous 8-2 team in the nation?
Last week: 5
Up next: vs. Northwestern, Nov. 21
7. Penn State (7-3, 4-2). The Nittany Lions basically beat the teams they are supposed to beat ? and lose to the ones they?re supposed to. Not a good thing when they finish with Michigan and Michigan State.
Last week: 7
Up next: vs. Michigan, Nov. 21
8. Illinois (5-4, 2-3). The Illini snuffed out their three-game losing streak in style at Purdue. Now, Illinois is just a win from bowl eligibility. Rip the ?interim? from Bill Cubit?s title if Illinois gets one more victory.
Last week: 8
Up next: vs. Ohio State
9. Nebraska (4-6, 2-4). The Football gods finally smiled on the Cornhuskers, who had suffered so many difficult losses. I know Mike Riley is smiling. He?s always smiling. Now, can Nebraska handle success and finish strong?
Last week: 10
Up next: at Rutgers
10. Minnesota (4-5, 1-4). A valiant effort at Ohio State. Up next: a trip to Iowa to play another unbeaten. The bloom keeps falling off this season of great expectations.
Last week: 11
Up next: at Iowa
11. Indiana (4-5, 0-5). The Hoosiers have gone from 4-0 to 4-5, losing their first five Big Ten games. It hasn't been as bad as the record indicates, though, as Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa haven't exactly breezed by Indiana.
Last week: 12
Up next: vs. Michigan
12. Rutgers (3-6, 1-5). It's been a forgettable three weeks for the Scarlet Knights, who have lost to Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan by a combined score of 146-33, allowing at least 48 points in each one.
Last week: 9
Up next: vs. Nebraska
13. Maryland (2-7, 0-5). That is six losses in a row for the Terrapins, whose season continues to slip away. The turnovers, especially the interceptions, need to be limited if Maryland wants to win again.
Last week: 14
Up next: at Michigan State
14. Purdue (2-7, 1-4). The Boilermakers get banished back to the basement after a spirit-crushing Homecoming loss to an Illinois team that rode a three-game losing skid into West Lafayette. What?s going on?
Last week: 13
Up next: at Northwestern
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