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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 13

The king is dead. Long live the king.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Hello there and welcome to the Big Ten Power Rankings! Each week we’ll rank how the teams across the conference are playing, in the hopes of seeing just who is a contender, and who is a pretender over the course of the season.

The rules are few, but resolute:

  • Teams are ranked by how they’re playing at that time. Not body of work, not rankings in the polls, but simply how each team is playing at that point in the season.
  • The approach to the rankings is not necessarily on the field results (though those do count, as an obvious, tangible data point), but more generally if the two teams played at a neutral site 100 times, which team would win 51 times (or more).
  • These rankings are subjective. As the author I get to follow the rules as closely or loosely as I want to, and if you don’t like the rankings, you’re wrong.

Week 13 is in the books and we’re all set for a showdown in Indianapolis. Let’s get to it!

1. Michigan

For the second straight year, Michigan has toppled its foe to the south, upending Ohio State 45-23. Similar to their game against Penn State, a pair of explosive rushing touchdowns put Michigan up for good in the second half. One last game against Purdue stands between Michigan and back-to-back playoff appearances.

Next up, neutral site vs. Purdue (SPOILERMAKERS).

2. Ohio State

Missing their top two running backs, the Buckeyes leaned on CJ Stroud, who was unable to deliver the win. Sitting at 11-1, the Buckeyes are hoping for chaos in the Big 12 and Pac-12 to get back to the playoffs.

Next up, idle.

3. Penn State

Penn State played a fairly complete game against Michigan State, minus about 10 minutes in the second half. The Lions finish the season at 10-2, and await their postseason destination.

Next up, idle.

4. Purdue

The Boilermakers upended rival Indiana 30-16, and with Iowa’s loss on Friday, secure the Big Ten West crown. They’ll head up the road to Indianapolis to take on Michigan in the B1G CCG.

Next up, neutral site vs. Michigan.

5. Minnesota

It took a decisive fourth quarter, but Minnesota vanquished Wisconsin 23-16. They, too, await their postseason locale.

Next up, idle.

6. Maryland

Bowl berth secured, Maryland was only playing for bragging rights, but put an emphatic 37-0 drubbing on Rutgers to end the season.

Next up, idle.

7. Illinois

A 41-3 beatdown of Northwestern was not enough to salvage a B1G West crown, and the Illini will wait to see which sunny clime will welcome them.

Next up, idle.

8. Iowa

You were so close Iowa. All you had to do was beat 3-win Nebraska and you’d get a rematch of last year’s conference championship game against Michigan. Instead, you once again forgot how to offense, and now will be sitting at home watching Purdue instead.

Next up, idle.

9. Wisconsin

The Badgers fought hard against Minnesota, but ultimately came up a bit short. They’ll wait to see where they’ll be bowling.

Next up, idle.

10. Michigan State

There isn’t a Nittany Lion fan in the world who wasn’t at least a little bit worried when the Spartans made it 21-16 in the second half. But the upset bid fell short, and with it, MSU’s postseason dreams.

Next up, off season.

11. Nebraska

The 24-17 win over Iowa was low key one of the bigger upsets of the weekend, and kept the Hawkeyes out of the conference championship game.

Next up, off season.

12. Indiana

A two-touchdown loss to rival Purdue puts the 2022 season to bed for the Hoosiers.

Next up, off season.

13. Rutgers

Not much to say about a 37-0 loss to Maryland. Better luck next year.

Next up, off season.

14. Northwestern

The Wildcats lost 31-3 to Minnesota 17-9 to Purdue 41-3 to Illinois, and I don’t have anything snide to say about it.

Next up, off season.

Squiggling through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh . . . .

Michigan claims the top spot, and OSU and PSU round out the top three. Purdue, Minnesota, Maryland, and Illinois all climb, while Iowa plummets. Wisconsin is the lowest rated of the bowl-eligible teams. Michigan State falls off, while Nebraska gets a small bump to end the season. Indiana, Rutgers, and Northwestern finish their season in the basement.

On to Conference Championship Week!