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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 9

What a fun weekend

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not gonna lie to you, I really enjoyed this weekend. Penn State got the win, Oklahoma lost, and Michigan throttled Notre Dame, both eliminating any playoff discussion for the Irish, and making the Lions’ win over the Wolverines look even better. Let’s get to it.

As a reminder, this isn’t a ranking of teams based on record, or place in the polls, but rather my assessment of how the teams are playing at the time. If two teams met on a neutral field and played 100 times, a team that wins 51 times gets ranked ahead of the team that wins 49 times.

Let’s see what we got this week, shall we?

1. Ohio State

I never really expected Wisconsin to win against the Buckeyes, but I also thought that they would at least keep it competitive. 38-7? Goodness.

2. Penn State

28-7 is as emphatic a victory over Michigan State as one could realistically hope for, given the generally horrific weather conditions. The Lions have an undefeated showdown in two weeks against the number three team in these here rankings.

3. Minnesota

Maryland is bad, yes, but 52-10 is 52-10. The Lions have another tough road test in two weeks in Minneapolis.

4. Michigan

With their 45-14 win over Notre Dame, the Wolverines have reestablished themselves as a solid top 15 team, and helped Penn State in the process. If they win out, they could help the Lions even more.

5. Iowa

Yes, the Hawkeyes won 20-0 over Northwestern, but Michigan’s victory was more impressive, thus pushing Iowa down a spot.

6. Wisconsin

And then there’s Wisconsin, who looked very pedestrian against Ohio State. OSU makes everyone look pedestrian, but the Badgers were #6 just a couple weeks ago, and now are a fringe top 25 team. Rough couple weeks.

7. Indiana

Don’t look now, but the Hoosiers could end up ranked in the next couple weeks. They defeated Nebraska 38-31, and play Northwestern this week before taking on the Lions.

8. Michigan State

The Lions exorcised their rainy East Lansing demons, and did so in completely dominating fashion. At this point, the best thing MSU can hope for is to spoil other teams’ seasons.

9. Illinois

The Fighting Illini proved that they aren’t just a one-trick pony as they took down Purdue 24-6. I’ll be keeping my eye on Champaign for the remainder of the season.

10. Nebraska

It’s not often that you see a team move up the rankings after a 38-31 loss, but that’s because . . .

11. Maryland

. . . The Terrapins got destroyed 52-10. Oof ouch owie.

12. Purdue

24-6 loss to Illinois won’t help you move up the rankings.

13. Northwestern

Just like a 20-0 loss to Iowa won’t help you either. But the good news is that no matter how bad you look down here . . .

14. Rutgers

. . . There’s always Rutgers. What’s sad is that even in victory, the Scarlet Knights looked bad. That the Knights had to get into a shootout with Liberty to get the 44-34 win says something about the talent level on their roster. Going to be a tough remainder of the season for RU.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, your updated standings!

OSU, PSU, and Minnesota stay steady at the top, with a showdown looming between #2 and #3. Michigan and Iowa trade spots, while Wisconsin hangs out despite a tough loss. Indiana is on the rise as Michigan State falls. Illinois looked solid, while Nebraska failed upwards. Maryland is on the decline, while Purdue and Northwestern suffered their own bad losses. Rutgers.

Let’s see what week 10 brings us!