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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 6

Competitive Big Ten games make this harder than you’d think

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

We had some competitive games across the conference this week, which makes ranking teams tough. Sure, a loss is a loss, but is it a quality loss? Or a quality win? Read on to find out.

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

Look, Ohio State is the best team in the conference. But Michigan State did themselves no favors with inept offensive play, and turnovers. Still, 34-10 is a solid win for the Buckeyes..

2. Wisconsin

48-0 over Kent State is what everyone expected.

3. Penn State

If the Lions had kept up the offensive pace for the entire game, and finished something like 56-7, I’d probably have put them up to #2 in the conference. As it is, the team got a bit sleepy after jumping out 28-0, and basically coasted from there. Not a bad thing, but not enough to move up.

4. Michigan

The Wolverines may have been written off too quickly after their decimation at the hands of the Badgers. Sure, they only beat Iowa 10-3, and the offense remains a question, but that defense is gooooooood.

5. Iowa

And then there’s Iowa, who apparently got out-Michiganed by Michigan. 10-3 is a tough loss, knowing that a single touchdown would have at least sent the game to overtime. Live by the Ferentz, die by the Ferentz.

6. Minnesota

I’ve been down on the Gophers for a while now, but they are indeed undefeated. A 40-17 win over Illinois has Minny on the rise.

7. Maryland

The Terrapins rebounded from their shellacking against Penn State by routing Rutgers 48-7. Playing Rutgers is the easy way to get well in these here rankings, it seems.

8. Michigan State

Oh Sparty. I liked the fight your defense put up, but your offense has to give you some help if you want to be a complete football team.

9. Nebraska

A 13-10 win over Northwestern doesn’t look great, but then again no win against Northwestern ever looks great.

10. Northwestern

What the Fightin’ Fitzgeralds lack in actual skill and talent, they more than make up for with obnoxious strategy and peskiness. That’s somewhat admirable, I think.

11. Indiana

Bye week for the Hoosiers.

12. Purdue

The Boilermakers managed to make a 35-7 game look close (ish) for the middle two quarters of the game - but that doesn’t help when you lose the other quarters 35-0.

13. Illinois

A 40-17 loss to Minnesota would be basement worthy in many conferences, but not the Big Ten!

14. Rutgers

And that’s because Rutgers.

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

OSU, Wisconsin, PSU as your unchanged top 3. Michigan and Iowa flip-flop after a close game between the two. Minnesota and Maryland climb the rankings, while Michigan State tumbles. Nebraska sneaks past Northwestern after sneaking past them on the field. Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, and Rutgers are unchanged at the bottom.

Let’s see what week seven brings us!