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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 9

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Things could be worse

Penn State v Ohio State Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Well, the Lions dropped another game, but for the first time in a long time actually didn’t look bad in doing so. How will they be rewarded for their valiant efforts?


1. Ohio State

Ohio State took down feisty Penn State 33-24, pulling away in the fourth quarter. However, this still feels like the weakest OSU has been since at least 2018, and I’d like to hope that SOMEone can take down the Buckeyes once more before bowl season.

2. Michigan State

The Spartans overcame several double-digit leads to beat Michigan 37-33, in what could have been the biggest win of the weekend. I still don’t have a ton of faith in MSU as true contenders, but undefeated is undefeated.

3. Wisconsin

Ah yes, just like we all predicted in the middle of September, it appears that Paul Bunyan’s axe will decide the West winner. The Badgers put a hurting on Iowa, 27-7, and staked their claim as the best team in the West.

4. Michigan

Every time I think Michigan has regained some of its past swagger, they get tripped up. This time they had their throat on the Spartans’ necks, but couldn’t close the game out.

5. Minnesota

A decisive 41-14 win for the Gophers has them moving up the charts. The loss to Bowling Green will sting for the rest of the season, but a B1G West championship could help soothe things a bit.

6. Iowa

Since eking out their win over Penn State, Iowa has mustered just 14 points. Really seems like they spent everything they had to defeat the Lions, and are in a flat out tailspin at this point.

7. Purdue

The #chaos continues! Purdue got back in the win column with a 28-23 win over the Cornhuskers. The win itself may not have been that chaotic, but if it wasn’t warm already, the Boilermaker win certainly heated up Scott Frost’s seat.

8. Maryland

Well wouldja look at that - Maryland can win games in October! The Terrapins beat Indiana 38-35 to keep their bowl hopes alive.

9. Indiana

On the other side of the coin, Indiana is one loss away from losing bowl eligibility. They do say it’s better to burn out (2020) than fade away (2021).

10. Rutgers

Quietly, the Scarlet Knights are .500 at the end of October, and need just 2 wins to secure a bowl berth of their own. The 20-14 win over Illinois wasn’t pretty, but it was a win (cough PSU cough).

11. Penn State

Yes, Penn State lost to Ohio State. Yes, the Lions are on a 3-game losing streak. But I have my doubts that anyone else in the conference can play OSU as closely as the Lions did, including either of the Michigan schools. After bottoming out against Illinois, here’s hoping the Lions can pull a Wisconsin-like resurgence in November.

12. Northwestern

Every time I think the Wildcats may start to make some noise this year, they are promptly silenced. I wonder if Pat Fitzgerald’s seat is getting warm? Probably not, but one can hope.

13. Nebraska

It appears that Nebraska is going to finish below .500 again, which has to make some (most) people question whether this is it for Scott Frost. It makes me personally wonder if we’ll ever see Nebraska being truly competitive again.

14. Illinois

Well, sorry Illini. You did the thing against Penn State, then lost to Rutgers. Back into the basement you go.


Love me some squiggly lines, but I need the dark blue one to be less squiggly and more straight up to the top.

Ohio State chills at the top, while Michigan State and Wisconsin move up. Michigan takes a dip and meets a surging Minnesota. Iowa can’t get right, while Purdue and Maryland are on the upswing. Indiana is flailing, while Rutgers and Penn State are movin’ on up. Northwestern, Nebraska, and Illinois all head south for the week.