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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 8

The East has gotten a bit clearer, the West not as much

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

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.

The eighth week of the 2023 season is in the books, and one half of the conference has started to clarify itself while the other half is as muddy as ever. Let’s get to it!

1. Michigan

The Wolverines regain the top spot in these rankings for the first time since the preseason with their 49-0 win over Michigan State. The Wolverines should continue to cruise until mid-November.

2. Ohio State

OSU stymied Penn State’s offense and got just enough production from Marvin Harrison to beat the Lions 20-12. The Game will once again decide the B1G East.

3. Penn State

The defense played well, the offense played horrifically. And that’s all I have to say about that.

4. Rutgers

Don’t look now but the Scarlet Knights are creeping up the board. A 31-14 win over Indiana has them bowl eligible and it’s not even November yet!

5. Maryland


6. Wisconsin

In a redux of last year’s B1G West, no one appears to want to take the title for themselves. Wisconsin beat Illinois 25-21, but really any of the next three teams could make it to Indianapolis.

7. Minnesota

A 12-10 win over Iowa is a statement victory, never mind that this was one of the most sicko ends to a game I’ve seen.

8. Iowa

I saw a stat that the Hawkeyes gained 12 yards in the second half of a game where they needed just a field goal to win. Big yikes.

9. Illinois

The Illini fought but ultimately came up short against the Badgers.

10. Purdue


11. Nebraska

A 17-9 win over Northwestern isn’t really anything to get excited about, but I suppose a win is a win.

12. Indiana

The Hoosiers are in free fall right now.

13. Northwestern

The Wildcats were competitive, but couldn’t pull off the win over Nebraska.

14. Michigan State

The Spartans were NOT competitive, and couldn’t pull off the win over Michigan.

I don’t like it when that dark blue squiggle dips down.

Michigan takes over the top spot with Ohio State right behind them. Penn State drops for the first time all season. Rutgers, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all jump up at the expense of Iowa. Illinois and Purdue stay steady, while Nebraska and Indiana flip flop. Northwestern and Michigan State hang out together in the basement.

On to week 9!