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The BSD Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 8

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Ohio State is starting to separate from the rest of the field, which is scary.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

I didn't get a chance to watch much of Ohio State's drubbing of Rutgers on Saturday, but the little that I did combined with my box score combing got me wondering what everyone else did: why didn't J.T. Barrett start from day one? Five total touchdowns and 324 all-purpose yards are Heisman-caliber numbers, and it kind of sucks that he's only just now getting the chance to put them up.

It also sucks that he didn't become the Buckeyes' quarterback until the game against Penn State. Curse you, Urbz.

Anyway, here are this week's power rankings:

Bill

  1. Ohio State (Last Week: 1)
  2. Michigan State (2)
  3. Iowa (3)
  4. Michigan (4)
  5. Wisconsin (5)
  6. Northwestern (6)
  7. Penn State (7)
  8. Nebraska (8)
  9. Illinois (9)
  10. Minnesota (10)
  11. Rutgers (11)
  12. Indiana (12)
  13. Maryland (13)
  14. Purdue (14)
My rankings from last week and my rankings this week are exactly the same. Nothing happened this week to make me think that anything really deserved to be changed, although I did consider moving Illinois above Nebraska. I don't know if I didn't flip them because I think Nebraska is better or because I just feel bad for them – seriously, how do the Huskers keep losing by single-digits? – but the margin between those two is really close. I also came close to throwing Maryland above Rutgers and Indiana but that's probably just the overreacting Penn State fan in me.

If Ohio State is starting to find its form, and it looks like it may be, then the Buckeyes could begin lapping the field soon. The schedule leading up to the final two games against the Michigan schools is favorable, and if J.T. Barrett can shake off all of the rust that he has on him, the Buckeyes could look like the team that ran through everyone (save for Virginia Tech) last year. While Michigan State, Michigan, and Iowa are all really good, I can't see any of them having the firepower to take down OSU if the Buckeyes get going.

As for the race at the bottom, the gap between the second-worst team (Maryland) and the worst team (Purdue) is larger than usual this week, because Maryland played one hell of a game against Penn State while Purdue had a bye week. Indiana and Rutgers are also lurking at the bottom.

Nick

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

Ohio State and Michigan State both turned in dominant wins (although Michigan State's was only dominant in the second half), so they retain their places at the top. Why did I move Iowa ahead of Michigan despite neither one of them playing in week eight? Because I want Iowa to be better.

After those top four, the Big Ten that looked to be so deep after the first few weeks of the season tails off considerably. Wisconsin and Northwestern are pretty much just ranked where they are by default, and because Penn State has yet to show that they are worthy of moving any higher than seventh. Nebraska almost beat the Wildcats, so we'll give them the edge over Illinois who fell to the Badgers.

Indiana played Sparty close for three quarters, but got annihilated in the fourth quarter. However, I'd still take them over Minnesota. I was close to moving Maryland up after seeing their offense run over Penn State's defense, but then I remembered that Penn State's flawed offense returned the favor, so it's still hard seeing them winning more than one more game. Rutgers got smashed by Ohio State, but Purdue is still Purdue.

Matt

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

Only 10 of the 14 teams were in action this week, so not a lot of change, at least above the basement. I said last week that Penn State was a hair ahead of Northwestern. Given a week to think about it, Penn State's struggles with Maryland, and Northwestern getting up off the floor to beat Nebraska on the road, the Cats edge back ahead. If PSU knocks off Illinois this weekend, that battle gets decided in Evanston the following week.

Speaking of Nebraska, does Mike Riley get a second year? Logic says yes, but this has gone south fast for the new man in Lincoln. They don't move down, however, courtesy of their win over Minnesota.

In the bottom, Rutgers gets the title of best of the worst, given their win in Bloomington last week, while Indiana, Maryland, and Purdue continue to search for a B1G win.