1. Michigan (9-0, 6-0)
The Wolverines beat another overmatched opponent, drubbing Maryland 59-3. Michigan will now visit Iowa for an 8 p.m. kickoff, which isn’t an exactly the easiest place to play. That being said, it’d be a shock to not see an 11-0 Wolverines team head into Columbus on November 26.
2. Ohio State (8-1, 5-1)
Welcome back, Buckeyes. Ohio State’s offense got back on track on Saturday, putting 62 points on a pretty good Nebraska team. With just Maryland and Michigan State left, the Buckeyes are simply waiting for a winner-take-all Michigan game.
3. Penn State (7-2, 5-1)
Indiana, Rutgers, and Michigan State — three teams with a combined record of 9-18 — are what stand between Penn State and a 10-2 season. Hats off to James Franklin, who has done a tremendous jobs in Happy Valley.
4. Wisconsin (7-2, 4-2)
Picking up their first victory at Northwestern since 1999, the Badgers are in control of their own destiny to get to the Big Ten Championship Game.
5. Nebraska (7-2, 4-2)
Things have come crashing back down to earth for the Cornhuskers which are 0-2 after their 7-0 start. The schedule lets up a little bit, but none of the teams — Minnesota, Maryland, and Iowa — are walkovers.
6. Northwestern (4-5, 3-3)
No shame in losing to a very good Wisconsin team. With Purdue and Illinois still left on the schedule, the Wildcats should be good for a bowl game.
7. Iowa (5-4, 3-3)
If the Hawkeyes can beat Michigan next week and Penn State ends up in the Big Ten Championship Game because of it, I promise to name my first born “Iowa.”
8. Minnesota (7-2, 4-2)
Playing Rutgers, Illinois, and Purdue in three consecutive weeks is nice. But now the Golden Gophers must finish the season with trips to Nebraska and Wisconsin, and they’ll play host to Northwestern. Tough to see Minnesota going better than 2-1 during that stretch.
9. Indiana (5-4, 3-3)
The Hoosiers picked up their second victory in a row, defeating Rutgers 33-27 in a close one. Indiana will end its season with Penn State and Michigan before hosting Purdue. Unless a major upset happens against the Boilermakers, Indiana should be going bowling again.
10. Maryland (5-4, 2-4)
Like Indiana, Maryland has a tough next two weeks before finishing with Rutgers. The Terrapins look like a probable bowl team.
11. Illinois (3-6, 2-4)
The Spartans might be really bad, but hey, that’s still a good win for the Illini.
12. Purdue (3-6, 1-5)
Purdue gave up 235 rushing yards. As much as football has evolved, it’s tough to win football games when a team can’t stop the run.
13. Michigan State (2-7, 0-6)
As bad as it has been, I never thought I would actually have to rank Michigan State below Purdue. Yikes.
14. Rutgers (2-7, 0-6)
The Scarlet Knights lost again. It’s doubtful they’ll win again this season.