Its starting to break into tiers pretty strongly. Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin are on the very top. The from 5-12 is a very mushy middle. Then there is Illinois and Rutgers. Wee!
As a reminder I rank the teams both 1-7 in their respective divisions, and then 1-14 overall in the Big Ten.
Here are my Week 5 Big Ten Football Power Rankings;
Big Ten East:
Penn State didn’t even give Indiana a chance to get into the game. The Nittany Lions were up 21-0 less than 9 minutes into the game. Indiana...is not good. 45-14 was the final but it could have been much much worse. Penn State goes to Northwestern this week in what should be another fairly easy win for the Lions.
Ohio State only beat Rutgers 56-0. Slackers. They couldn’t even reach the heights of last year where they won 58-0. Maryland come to the Shoe this week where they should not put up much of a fight for the Buckeyes.
Michigan used their bye week to relax before a big night game tilt this weekend against their suddenly surging “Little Brother”. The first ever night game in the series could be a doozy.
The Spartans bounced back from a blowout loss to Notre Dame and defeated Iowa in East Lansing. Are the Spartans better than we thought or is Iowa worse? We might get an idea this weekend after the Spartans go to the Big House.
It was ugly, but Maryland did enough to defeat the Gophers. Something tells me Ohio State won’t have nearly the issue getting a pass rush that the Gophers did.
Every year I think Indiana is better than I thought. I think they might make a run. I think they might not make me look like an idiot ranking them highly. And then they do. Penn State is not an easy opponent, but the Hoosiers didn’t even get off the bus. They get a makeup game against Charleston Southern this week in what should be a easy blowout even if they stay on the bus again.
You did two points better than 2016 against the Buckeyes...so congrats I guess. Enjoy that big bye week to get ready for the B1G game of the year against Illinois in 2 weeks.
Big Ten West
Northwestern gave the Badgers a bit of a fit early and then late, nut the middle was all Wisconsin all the time. The Badgers aren’t a national power in my opinion, but they are by far the best of the west. They get to go play a night game in Lincoln this week that should be a win, but under the lights weird things happen.
Iowa keeps this spot by default...because the rest of the west is not any better. Two losses in a row can’t make the fans in Iowa City happy. Luckily the medicine gets delivered this week when Illinois comes to town.
Purdue had a bye last week but jumps the Gophers due to their ugly loss last week. So the teams get to play for the #3 spot this week!
Northwestern played the Badgers well enough to move up to this spot this week. Do they deserve it? Probably not. But MInnesota will need to show me something this week to reclaim it.
5. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota did not come to play last week and it showed. That game may end up haunting them if they need one more win to get to a bowl game in December. So might this week. With the major secondary issues the Gophers have, Purdue is not the right team to face this week.
A nice win for Nebraska, but I can;t jump the Huskers up win a win over Illinois. I just can’t Now show up well against the Badgers this Saturday and up you go.
Illinois...is a train wreck. That’s being nice. They get to go face a pissed off Iowa team this week. Good luck with that.
Big Ten Teams Ranked 1-14
- Penn State Nittany Lions (Previously #1)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (#2)
- Wisconsin Badgers (#3)
- Michigan Wolverines (#4)
- Michigan State Spartans (#9)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (#5)
- Purdue Boilermakers (#7)
- Maryland Terrapins (#12)
- Northwestern Wildcats (#10)
- Minnesota Gophers (#6)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (#11)
- Indiana Hoosiers (#8)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (#13)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (#14)
As always, if you disagree, let me know in the comments.