1. Wisconsin Badgers (10-0)
Granted, the Hawkeyes are a completely different animal on the road — and by different I mean way less scary — we once again have to give credit to Wisconsin for winning the games it should. Like they’ve been doing for what feels like 20 years, the Badgers can run the ball and they play defense. I think they’ll give Ohio State a good game in the Big Ten Championship.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-2)
Barring an upset to Illinois, the Buckeyes have all but locked up the the Big Ten East crown. Ohio State bounced back from a 31-point trouncing to upend Michigan State 48-3, as impressive of a win as the Buckeyes have had in some time.
3. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2)
Penn State continues to be plagued by its inability to the run the football, but Trace McSorley was wonderful on Saturday, having one of his most efficient games of the season in the Nittany Lions’ 35-6 victory over Rutgers. Penn State also extended its home game winning streak to 13 games, having not dropped a game inside Beaver Stadium since 2015.
4. Michigan State Spartans (7-3)
I still can’t believe Penn State loss to Michigan State.
5. Michigan Wolverines (8-2)
The Wolverines finish the year with a road trip to Madison, and then will host Ohio State in the Big House. 8-4 looks likely for Jim Harbaugh and Co.
6. Northwestern Wildcats (7-3)
Since losing to Penn State 31-7, the Wildcats have really turned things around, winning their last five games to move to 7-3. With Minnesota and Illinois left on the schedule, Northwestern may quietly finish the season 9-3.
7. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4)
If only Iowa played all of its games at home. The Hawkeyes are 0-3 on the road in Big Ten play, falling to Michigan State, Northwestern, and now Wisconsin. After putting up 55 points against Ohio State, Iowa’s offense could only mutter up 66...yards. 66 total yards.
8. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-5)
I’ve been pretty harsh on the Golden Gophers this year, but I’ll give them some credit for absolutely waxing Nebraska. With Northwestern and Wisconsin left on the schedule, it’s doubtful this program makes a bowl game, but things will be looking up shortly for the Fighting Flecks.
9. Indiana Hoosiers (4-6)
Honestly, from No. 8 to No. 13, all these teams are about the same, but we’ll put Indiana here for winning its first Big Ten conference game of the year. The Hoosiers knocked off Illinois 24-14, in a game I hope no one (outside of Eli) watched.
10. Maryland Terrapins (4-6)
Losers of five of its last six games, Maryland probably just wants the season to be over. After knocking off Texas in its opening game, this is certainly not the season DJ Durkin envision for his program.
11. Purdue Boilermakers (4-6)
12. Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-6)
UCF moved to 10-0, making easy work of UConn.
13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-6)
Rutgers hasn’t scored a touchdown against Penn State in the last 1,157 days.
14. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-8)
I’m #done writing about Illinois football.