Each Wednesday throughout the season we will release our Big Ten power rankings. These are voted on individually by the five members of our staff and then each team’s ranking is averaged to reach our power rankings. As these are simply power rankings, they are based on each team’s performance to date, not what happened last season or what will happen in the future.
*Black dash signifies previous week’s ranking
|Big Ten power rankings – Week 8|
|Team||Up/Dn||Last Week||This Week|
|1. Michigan (7-0, 4-0)||Up 1||Beat Illinois 41-8||Sat. at MSU (2-5, 0-4), 12pm, ESPN|
|2. Ohio State (6-1, 3-1)||Down 1||Lost at PSU 21-24||Sat. vs N’western (4-3, 3-1), 3:30pm, ESPN|
|3. Wisconsin (5-2, 2-2)||Up 1||Beat Iowa 17-9||Sat. vs #7 Nebraska (7-0, 4-0), 7pm, ESPN|
|4. Nebraska (7-0, 4-0)||Down 1||Beat Purdue 27-14||Sat. at #11 Wisconsin (5-2, 2-2), 7pm, ESPN|
|5. Penn State (5-2, 3-1)||Even||Beat #2 OSU 24-21||Sat. at Purdue (3-4, 1-3), 12pm, ABC|
|6. Iowa (5-3, 3-2)||Even||Lost to #10 Wisc. 9-17||Bye|
|7. Northwestern (4-3, 3-1)||Up 2||Beat Indiana 24-14||Sat. at #6 Ohio State (6-1, 3-1), 3:30pm, ESPN|
|8. Maryland (5-2, 2-2)||Up 2||Beat MSU 28-17||Sat. at Indiana (3-4, 1-3), 3:30pm, ESPNU|
|9. Minnesota (5-2, 2-2)||Down 2||Beat Rutgers 34-32||Sat at Illinois (2-5, 1-3), 12pm, BTN|
|10. Indiana (3-4, 1-3)||Down 2||Lost to N’western 14-24||Sat. vs Maryland (5-2, 2-2), 3:30pm, ESPNU|
|11. Michigan State (2-5, 0-4)||Even||Lost to Maryland 17-28||Sat vs #2 Michigan (7-0, 4-0), 12pm, ESPN|
|12. Illinois (2-5, 1-3)||Even||Lost to #3 Michigan 8-41||Sat vs Minnesota (5-2, 2-2), 12pm, BTN|
|13. Purdue (3-4, 1-3)||Even||Lost to #8 Neb. 14-27||Sat. vs #24 Penn State (5-2, 3-2), 12pm, ABC|
|14. Rutgers (2-6, 0-5)||Even||Lost to Minnesota 32-34||Bye|
For the first time this season Michigan has surpassed Ohio State for the No. 1 spot in our power rankings. After Ohio State’s 24-21 loss to Penn State, Michigan gained all five first place votes, while Ohio State slipped to a 2.4 average with just three of the five second place votes. Wisconsin’s quality win at Iowa pulled them over Nebraska, solidly in the third spot, while Nebraska sits at 3.8. Penn State remains fifth, but gained a full point, moving from 5.8 to 4.8.
There’s a big two-point gap after the Nittany Lions, where Iowa and Northwestern are tied for the six and seven spots at 6.8. Maryland is close by at 7.6 after handing Michigan State its fifth straight loss. Minnesota and Indiana both dropped two spots to nine and 10, while Michigan State remains 11th but dropped another 0.8 spots on average to 11.6. The bottom three remain the same with Illinois and Purdue tied at 12.2 and Rutgers still holding all last-place votes.
Week 9 will separate Wisconsin and Nebraska, who have been neck and neck in our power rankings all season. They face each other in Madison on Saturday as Wisconsin tries to hang in the Big Ten West race and Nebraska tries to stay in the College Football Playoff race.