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 12|
|Team||Up/Dn||Last Week||This Week|
|1. Ohio State (10-1, 7-1)||Even||Beat MSU 17-16||Sat. vs #3 Michigan (10-1, 7-1), 12pm, ABC|
|2. Michigan (10-1, 7-1)||Even||Beat Indiana 20-10||Sat. at #2 OSU (10-1, 7-1), 12pm, ABC|
|3. Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2)||Even||Beat Purdue 49-20||Sat. vs Minn. (8-3, 5-3), 3:30pm, BTN|
|4. Penn State (9-2, 7-1)||Even||Beat Rutgers 39-0||Sat. vs MSU (3-8, 1-7), 3:30pm, ESPN|
|5. Nebraska (9-2, 6-2)||Even||Beat Maryland 28-7||Fri. at Iowa (7-4, 5-3), 3:30pm, ABC|
|6. Iowa (7-4, 5-3)||Even||Beat Illinois 28-0||Fri. vs #16 Neb. (9-2, 6-2), 3:30pm, ABC|
|7. Minnesota (8-3, 5-3)||Even||Beat N’western 29-12||Sat. at #6 Wisc. (9-2, 6-2), 3:30pm, ESPN|
|8. Indiana (5-6, 3-5)||Even||Lost at #3 Mich. 10-20||Sat. vs Purdue (3-8, 1-7), 12pm, ESPNU|
|9. Northwestern (5-6, 4-4)||Even||Lost at Minn. 12-29||Sat vs Illinois (3-8, 2-6), 12pm, BTN|
|10. Maryland (5-6, 2-6)||Even||Lost at #18 Neb. 7-28||Sat. vs Rutgers (2-9, 0-8), 12pm, ESPNN|
|11. Michigan State (3-8, 1-7)||Even||Lost to #2 OSU 16-17||Sat at #7 PSU (9-2, 7-1), 3:30pm, ESPN|
|12. Illinois (3-8, 2-6)||Even||Lost to Iowa 0-28||Sat at N’western (3-8, 2-6), 12pm, BTN|
|13. Purdue (3-8, 1-7)||Even||Lost to #7 Wisc. 20-49||Sat. at Indiana (5-6, 3-5), 12pm, ESPNU|
|14. Rutgers (2-9, 0-8)||Even||Lost to #8 PSU 0-39||Sat. at Maryland (5-6, 2-6), 12pm, ESPNN|
As college football heads into the last weekend of the regular season, our Big Ten power rankings remained exactly the same as last week. Interestingly, the top seven teams all won while the bottom seven teams all lost in Week 12.
The top four — Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Penn State — remained exactly the same with OSU gaining all five first place votes, Michigan garnering four of five second place votes, Wisconsin getting four of five third place votes, and Penn State securing four of five fourth place votes. Nebraska remained fifth, but slipped slightly from 5.0 to 5.2, while Iowa gained one of their fifth place votes, going from 6.2 to 6.0. Minnesota and Indiana remained at 7.2 and 8.0, respectively, despite the Hoosiers losing to Michigan.
Northwestern retained the ninth spot, but fell from 8.6 to 9.2 after losing to Minnesota, 29-12. There’s a large leap between the Wildcats and the 10-14 spots. Maryland comes in just ahead of Michigan State at 10.8, whereas the Spartans are 11.0 after nearly knocking off Ohio State. Illinois is also 11.0. Purdue and Rutgers round out the rankings.
As we head into this weekend, a lot is still at stake. Michigan and Ohio State face off to determine the Big Ten East division winner. If the Wolverines win, they head to the Big Ten championship game next weekend. If Ohio State wins they’ll have to wait for the outcome of the afternoon matchup between Penn State and Michigan State. A Penn State win would send the Nittany Lions to Indianapolis, while a MSU win would send the Buckeyes to Indy.
In the West division, Wisconsin has the inside track, needing just a win over Minnesota. The Badgers can also go to Indy with a loss and an Iowa win over Nebraska. Nebraska needs to beat Iowa on Friday and have Wisconsin lose the next day to advance.
So sit back and enjoy an exciting weekend of Big Ten football with nearly half the conference still in the title hunt. Unless Michigan loses. Then you can drown your sorrows.