1. Michigan (8-0, 5-0)
While it wasn’t the clobbering many thought it would be, the Wolverines had little problems with Michigan State, picking up another victory and staying undefeated. The Wolverines will finish the year with Maryland, at Iowa, and Indiana before going to the Horseshoe for a clash with the Buckeyes.
2. Ohio State (7-1, 4-1)
After starting the season so strongly, Ohio State’s offense has hit a wall in the last few weeks, struggling against Indiana, Wisconsin, Penn State, and now Northwestern. Still, the Buckeyes found a way to win, beating the Wildcats 24-20.
3. Penn State (6-2, 4-1)
You’d be hard-pressed to find another team in the country that has improved as much as the Nittany Lions from the beginning of the season to now. Penn State will host Iowa next weekend for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, and then will finish the season with three teams that are .500 or worse.
4. Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2)
Heading into the season, I don’t think even the most optimistic Badgers fan realistically thought they’d be 6-2 going into November, but here we are. And now with a win over Nebraska, the Badgers are right back in the thick of things for the Big Ten West crown.
5. Nebraska (7-1, 4-1)
I’ve been more bearish on Nebraska than most, but despite the loss to Wisconsin, I was impressed with the Cornhuskers. Unfortunately, they’re back on the road again next week to take on Ohio State.
6. Northwestern (4-4, 3-2)
The loss to Ohio State snaps Northwestern’s three-game win streak, but the Wildcats proved they’re for real. Another tough game against Wisconsin awaits for Pat Fitzgerald’s team.
7. Iowa (5-3, 3-2)
Fresh off a bye week, the Hawkeyes will be in Happy Valley for a quasi-White Out.
8. Minnesota (6-2, 3-2)
While a 6-2 start is great for Minnesota, you have to think Golden Gopher fans are thinking what could have been with this season. They lost a game they probably shouldn’t have in Penn State, and then they lose a game to Iowa because they wanted to throw the ball three thousand times. If things bounce a little bit differently, we could have been talking about the College Football Playoff bound Minnesota Golden Gophers.
9. Indiana (4-4, 2-3)
The Hoosiers snapped their three-game losing skid, topping Maryland 42-36. With Rutgers and Purdue still left on the schedule, Indiana is looking good for the second consecutive season of bowl eligibility.
10. Maryland (5-3, 2-3)
I don’t mean to rain on Maryland’s parade, because D.J. Durkin has obviously done a decent enough job, but if the Terrapins beat Rutgers and make a bowl game, are they the worst bowl team ever? Wins over Howard, FIU, UCF, Purdue, Michigan State, and Rutgers — not exactly impressive.
11. Michigan State (2-6, 0-5)
The Spartans came to play on Saturday, but they were no match for Jim Harbaugh. Fortunately for Michigan State, it has Illinois and Rutgers coming up next, so it should be able to snap its six-game losing streak.
12. Purdue (3-5, 1-4)
I’m pretty sure another Penn State running back just scored another touchdown.
13. Illinois (2-6, 1-4)
Illinois lost again.
14. Rutgers (2-6, 0-5)
Rutgers didn’t lose again because it had a bye.