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Big Ten Week 10 Power Rankings: Three unbeatens and an unfortunate name at the bottom

Let’s just ignore the 14th slot, okay?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

As we near the end of Big Ten play, Week 9 brought us blowouts, upsets (kinda?), and most importantly, no byes! For a more in-depth recap of the weekend’s action, click here. But for now, here are the rankings for the week.

1. Ohio State

Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Wisconsin 38-7

Next Week: Bye

The Buckeyes continue to be unstoppable this season, rolling over Wisconsin with ease this past Saturday. Both Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins gave the Badgers’ defense fits all day long. The star running back ran for two touchdowns while Fields threw for two and ran for another. On the defensive end of things, Chase Young put on quite the performance, sacking Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan four times.

Ohio State’s continued dominance makes them the obvious leader of the Big Ten. As of yet, no team has been able to come close to beating the Buckeyes. The only two matchups left that might cause them any trouble are Penn State and Michigan, but based on how the year is going, the Buckeyes might easily be looking at an undefeated regular season.

2. Penn State

Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: Win at Michigan State 28-7

Next Week: Bye

Penn State cruised to another win to remain undefeated this season after quarterback Sean Clifford threw for all four of the team’s touchdowns. The Nittany Lions are shaping up to be Ohio State’s main competition in the East with wins over both Michigan and Michigan State under their belt. A matchup with Minnesota, the third and final undefeated team in the Big Ten, in two weeks will be a good test for the Nittany Lions to prove that they are at the top of the conference.

3. Minnesota

Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Maryland 52-10

Next Week: Bye

Minnesota officially leads the Big Ten West, jumping Wisconsin after another easy win put them at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference. The Gophers showed their depth as a team, utilizing seven different ball carriers this past Saturday to run the ball for a total of 371 yards.

The next two games against Penn State and Iowa will be crucial tests for the Gophers as try to prove that they belong at the top.

4. Wisconsin

Last Week’s Ranking: 3

Last Week’s Result: Loss at Ohio State 7-38

Next Week: Bye

The Badgers have had a rough two weeks. After being upset by Illinois, they turned around to face their toughest competition yet in Ohio State. And it showed. The normally-dominant Badgers — who have more often than not been ranked in the top two of our power rankings — did not perform well on either side of the field. Even Heisman candidate Jonathan Taylor was held to just 52 yards, less than half of his average of 137 per game coming in.

5. Michigan

Last Week’s Ranking: 5

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Notre Dame 45-14

Next Week: at Maryland

Michigan bounced back after a tough Week 8 to upset No. 8 Notre Dame this past Saturday. Though another week went by without an important conference win for the Wolverines, this dominance over a top-ranked team proves that they are a force to be reckoned with. Behind 303 total rushing yards and 28 unanswered points in the third quarter, Michigan’s offense was explosive, and the defense held Notre Dame to just 47 yards on the ground.

6. Indiana

Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Last Week’s Result: Win at Nebraska 38-31

Next Week: vs Northwestern

Even without starting quarterback Michael Penix, Jr., Indiana came out on top against Nebraska to secure bowl eligibility. They beat the Cornhuskers for the first time since 1959, and at 6-2 overall and 3-2 B1G, Indiana has shown it can keep up with the top half of the Big Ten.

7. Iowa

Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Last Week’s Result: Win at Northwestern 20-0

Next Week: Bye

At this point, Northwestern is not a hard team to beat, but the Iowa defense came out ready, limiting the Wildcats to just 70 total yards in the first half and recording five sacks throughout the game. Nate Stanley led the Iowa offense to a solid performance and another conference win to put the Hawkeyes at 3-2 B1G. However, the next two weeks with matchups against Wisconsin and Minnesota will certainly be a challenge,

8. Michigan State

Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Last Week’s Result: Loss vs. Penn State 7-28

Next Week: Bye

Michigan State suffered another tough loss to Penn State this past weekend, the team’s third straight defeat after falling to both Ohio State and Wisconsin earlier this month. The Spartans started off the season strong with wins over Northwestern and Indiana, but the last three matchups against top 10 opponents have made their lives a lot more difficult.

9. Illinois

Last Week’s Ranking: 10

Last Week’s Result: Win at Purdue 24-6

Next Week: vs. Nebraska

The Fighting Illini kept the momentum going from their upset over Wisconsin to roll over Purdue on Saturday, using their running game to gain 242 yards on the ground compared to Purdue’s 135. The next few weeks, full of intriguing conference matchups, will prove whether Illinois can continue to compete with other Big Ten teams, and potentially reach the bowl that seems to finally be in their sights.

10. Nebraska

Last Week’s Ranking: 9

Last Week’s Result: Loss vs. Indiana 31-38

Next Week: at Illinois

Still without Adrian Martinez, the Huskers were unable to finish the game against Indiana despite moving for over 500 offensive yards. The moral of the story is that Nebraska remains one of the most overhyped teams in the Big Ten. Sorry.

11. Purdue

Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Last Week’s Result: Loss vs. Illinois 6-24

Next Week: vs. Nebraska

An injury-ridden Purdue couldn’t bounce back from their loss against Iowa, falling to Illinois and slipping to 1-4 in the conference. With the exception of maybe Northwestern, Purdue looks like it will suffer three more losses (to Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana) towards the end of the season if the injury situation does not improve in a hurry.

12. Maryland

Last Week’s Ranking: 12

Last Week’s Result: Loss at Minnesota 52-10

Next Week: vs. Michigan

Maryland fell to undefeated Minnesota without their starting quarterback, enduring a tough game before the team gears up to face Michigan next week. Nonetheless, the Terps still scored 10 more points than ‘Cats did this weekend.

13. Rutgers

Last Week’s Ranking: 14

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Liberty 44-34

Next Week: at Illinois

The Scarlet Knights jumped two spots this week after coming out on top over Liberty. With 23 points in the second half, Rutgers secured a win in one of the two non-conference games this past weekend. Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Langan led the effort, throwing for 192 passing yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 118 rushing yards and one touchdown.

14. Northwestern

Last Week’s Ranking: 13

Last Week’s Result: Loss vs.Iowa 0-20

Next Week: at Indiana

It’s official. The ‘Cats, as the only one-win team in the conference, are dead last in the Big Ten. They can only go up from here!