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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 11


Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / 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 eleventh week of the 2023 season is in the books, and the West is just as messy as ever. Let’s get to it!

1. Michigan

The Wolverines proved their position in these rankings, beating Penn State 24-15. The beating was so sound that the Nittany Lions went and fired their offensive coordinator over it.

2. Ohio State

A 38-3 beating of Michigan State is fine, but once again The Game will decide the Big Ten.

3. Penn State

The Nittany Lions were competitive in their loss to the Wolverines, but never really felt like they were going to actually pull off the upset. Still, the top 3 are a full head above the rest.

4. Iowa

A 22-0 shutout of Rutgers is actually pretty good, though still below the mythical 25 points per game threshold for the 2023 season (not that it matters).

5. Illinois

Quite the resurgence by the Illini, who just a month or so ago were basement-adjacent in these rankings. A 48-45 overtime win over Indiana continues their rise.

6. Rutgers

The Scarlet Knights are still a solid team, but getting shut out by Iowa is a bad look.

7. Maryland

The Terps bounced back with a hard fought 13-10 win over Nebraska, their first win since September.

8. Indiana

The Hoosiers fell to the Illini in a shootout, but stand pat in these rankings thanks to chaos around them.

9. Northwestern

Speaking of chaos, the lowly Wildcats defeated Wisconsin 24-10. Who had Luke Fickell losing to Northwestern on their 2023 bingo card?

10. Purdue

More chaos! The Boilermakers, upset at their position in the basement, beat Minnesota 49-30 somehow, catapulting up the board.

11. Minnesota

Needing a win to stay within reach of the Hawkeyes, the Gophers instead got blown out by Purdue, all but shutting off any chance of making it to Indianapolis.

12. Wisconsin

Again, Indianapolis is not out of the question, but stumbling against Northwestern does not help things.

13. Michigan State

Resurgence over, MSU is once again eying the basement.

14. Nebraska

Well hello again, Cornhuskers, we haven’t seen you down here since Week 4!

The middle of the pack is stabilizing a bit, but the bottom is just horrific.

Top 3 remain the same, with Iowa, Illinois, and Rutgers hanging out in the second tier. Maryland bounces back, and Indiana chills out. Northwestern and Purdue move up with upset wins, while Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Nebraska all fall.

On to week 12!