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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 8

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Wire to wire makes things less interesting

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

1. Ohio State

OSU had its game against Michigan canceled, and while I highly doubt the Wolverines would have won, it would have been nice for one more team to TRY to knock off the Buckeyes from their perch. Maybe Northwestern will be up for it next week?

2. Indiana

Also canceled. Yay COVID.

3. Iowa

A thorough pummeling of Wisconsin, 28-7, and it makes me a bit sad that we don’t get an OSU-Iowa championship game, as I think it would be a good one.

4. Northwestern

The Wildcats took care of business against Illinois, winning 28-10. Kind of a shrug game, leading into the championship game. We’ll see if Northwestern can pull Ohio State down into the mud, and a low-scoring affair.

5. Minnesota

So the top four teams combine for 22 wins between them. The bottom 10 teams combine for 22 wins between them. That’s... not great for power rankings, Bob. Minnesota benefits by being one of the higher teams on this list last week, so they move up, but really anyone from here to #14 could go pretty much anywhere. Kind of a “flavor of the weak” thing we got going on here. Anyway, Minnesota did pull off a 24-17 win over Nebraska, so sure, why not.

6. Penn State

Welcome back to the top half of these rankings Penn State! A rough first half turned into a rout in the second against Michigan State, ending in a 39-24 score. Let’s see how the game against Illinois goes.

7. Maryland

A 27-24 loss, albeit in overtime, to Rutgers is not how you want to maintain top 5 status in this conference. Top 7? Yes. Top 5? No sirree, not here.

8. Wisconsin

Did someone forget to tell Wisconsin that they’re still allowed to do the offense? Because it seems like they forgot that they’re allowed to do that.

9. Michigan

I almost considered moving Michigan up the list, as they managed to not lose to OSU for once. But then I thought about COVID and thought making light of a pandemic would be bad, so I didn’t. But I thought about it, so does that make me a bad person? The existentialist in me wants to know, but the nihilist doesn’t care.

10. Nebraska

The Cornhuskers were competitive against a “top 5” Minnesota team, so I won’t push them down the list even with a loss.

11. Purdue

Purdue had its game against Indiana canceled this past week, only to be rescheduled for this coming week - what a fun year 2020 is!

12. Rutgers

Am I the only one who doesn’t actively dislike Rutgers? Like, I want to beat them, and I want to steal all of the New Jersey recruits, but otherwise I actually like it when RU does well. Them being a pain for others is just kind of fun to me.

13. Michigan State

You ever playfully wrestle with an older sibling, and manage to pull off some crazy stunts and look like you might even win for a while (I’m talking WWE here by the way, get your actual real wrestling out of here)? Maybe you caught ‘em with a clothesline they weren’t expecting, then you dropped the people’s elbow on ‘em, and then you get ‘em in a headlock and yell at them to call uncle?

Then they slowly stand up, lifting you bodily, and you know what’s coming but you can’t do anything to stop it as they loosen your arm from around their neck, and full on piledrive you into next week? I feel like that’s what happened to MSU.

14. Illinois

The Illini showed some fight against Northwestern, but ultimately just couldn’t overcome the NW defense. What’s next on the docket for Illinois? A matchup with B1G East bottom-dweller Michigan State? No! A showdown with Penn State of course!

And here are your happy little lines:

OSU, Indiana, Iowa, and Northwestern remain unchanged at the top. Minnesota and Penn State are on the rise while Maryland and Wisconsin tumble. Michigan, Nebraska, and Purdue all stay put, while Rutgers and Michigan State flip flop.


On to Champions Week!