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The BSD Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 7

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Have we considered that Iowa may actually not lose during the regular season?

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

With each passing week, things become more and more clear about the Big Ten. Some make a ton of sense (Ohio State and Michigan State: really good!), some do not (Iowa: same!). Here's what we all think of the Big Ten through seven weeks:

Bill

  1. Ohio State (Last Week: 1)
  2. Michigan State (2)
  3. Iowa (4)
  4. Michigan (3)
  5. Wisconsin (7)
  6. Northwestern (5)
  7. Penn State (6)
  8. Nebraska (11)
  9. Illinois (9)
  10. Minnesota (10)
  11. Rutgers (12)
  12. Indiana (8)
  13. Maryland (14)
  14. Purdue (13)
Starting at the very top and the very bottom: Ohio State and Michigan State are both very good. Purdue regained the No. last spot because it lost this week and Maryland didn't, but the Terrapins have a chance to snag that spot back this week. To be honest, the race for last is more compelling than anything else in the Big Ten.

Beyond that, I think Iowa deserves to be ranked No. 3 in the conference over Michigan. Sure, the Wolverines are probably a better team, but Iowa keeps finding ways to win against solid (albeit not amazing) competition. There's a distinct chance that the Hawkeyes run the table up until the Big Ten title game, which would be something. Michigan is still really good, Wisconsin suddenly looks like it's starting to figure things out, and Northwestern stays above Penn State because of the Stanford win and really that's it.

Nebraska and Illinois are both perfectly fine and nothing spectacular – although maybe Nebraska turned a page this weekend I dunno – Minnesota is still the most whatever thing on earth, and Rutgers and Indiana played college football's version of a Red Bull chased with a Five Hour Energy last week.

Nick

  1. Ohio State (1)
  2. Michigan State (2)
  3. Michigan (3)
  4. Iowa (4)
  5. Northwestern (5)
  6. Wisconsin (6)
  7. Penn State (7)
  8. Illinois (8)
  9. Nebraska (11)
  10. Minnesota (9)
  11. Rutgers (12)
  12. Indiana (10)
  13. Maryland (14)
  14. Purdue (13)

Ohio State retains their number one spot, mostly because they're probably unstoppable with JT Barrett at quarterback. Michigan State was outplayed by Michigan, but the margin was razor-thin, so I'll go with the team that was able to pull out the victory. I will, however, keep the Wolverines at number three, despite my brain wanting nothing more than to put Iowa in that spot. The Michigan defense is still good enough that they might not lose again this season, and that includes Ohio State.

Iowa steamrolled Northwestern and did so while scoring 40 points with a third-string running back on a defense that is supposedly one of the nation's best. Yeah, the Hawkeyes are for real. I will keep the Wildcats in the top five though, if only because I don't trust anyone else in the entire conference. The Badgers looked good enough and would probably beat Penn State head to head, so they stay ahead of the Nittany Lions.

Illinois has an offense that can play, but a bad loss to UNC and a loss to Iowa keeps them down in the ranks. A date with Wisconsin this week will be very telling. Nebraska won a game, but they're still not very good. Minnesota did a great job showing everyone that a win over Purdue was just a win over a bad opponent and nothing more. Rutgers completed a monster comeback to beat Indiana, and jump them in the ranks for that reason. Maryland and Purdue are also teams in the Big Ten.

Matt

  1. Ohio State (1)
  2. Michigan State (2)
  3. Iowa (4)
  4. Michigan (3)
  5. Wisconsin (5)
  6. Penn State (7)
  7. Northwestern (6)
  8. Illinois (9)
  9. Nebraska (11)
  10. Minnesota (8)
  11. Rutgers (12)
  12. Indiana (10)
  13. Purdue (13)
  14. Maryland (14)

Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa have solidified their places at the top of the league. The Buckeyes are a clear number one on my list, but the Spartans and Hawkeyes are practically a coin flip. I was almost inclined to put Iowa ahead, given how MSU pulled out their seventh win of the year, but I still like Mark Dantonio's squad a hair more.

Further down, Penn State was able to pull off the rare feat of moving up, despite a loss. I may be guilty of being a homer here, but with Northwestern being outscored 78-10 over the last two weeks, I couldn't find it in myself to keep them ahead of the Lions. But really, it still feels like five through eight or nine is pretty close. A lot of that should rectify itself in the coming weeks.