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Big Ten Week 10 power rankings

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Row the f*cking boat

NCAA Football: Penn State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ohio State

Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Last Week’s Result: 73-14 win vs. Maryland

Next Week: @Rutgers

Maryland v Ohio State

Ohio State dropped 73 on the lowly Terps to improve to 9-0 on the season. Justin Fields and company are yet to be tested, and after a sure win against Rutgers next week, the Buckeyes should have legitimate games against Penn State and Michigan. Nonetheless, Fields has played really well; Master Teague and J.K. Dobbins are a phenomenal running back combination, and the receiving corps of K.J. Hill, Chris Olave and Binjimen Victor have helped the offense average 51.0 points per game.

To add to the Buckeyes’ good news, Chase Young will be available after serving a two-game suspension that extends through the Rutgers game this week.

2. Minnesota

Last Week’s Ranking: 3

Last Week’s Result: 31-26 win vs. Penn State

Next Week: @Iowa

The Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions Photo by Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota finally has a signature win to its name. The Gophers notched their first win over a top-five team since 1999 and moved to 9-0 on the season. Quarterback Tanner Morgan, Tyler Johnson and Tyler Bateman rowed the boat to victory on the offensive side of the ball. Morgan’s impressive performance (18-20 for 339 yards) reinforces his status as the best vertical passer in the country. He averaged 18.8 yards per completion and on the defensive side of the ball, P.J. Fleck’s defense forced three Penn State turnovers, including one in the waning moments to secure the victory.

With two tough games in Iowa and Wisconsin and a cupcake in Northwestern coming up, the Big Ten West is Minnesota’s to lose.

3. Penn State

Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: 26-31 loss @Minnesota

Next Week: vs. Indiana

Penn State v Minnesota Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Despite outgunning the aforementioned Gophers 518 to 468 in yards, Penn State turned the ball over, including on its first and last possessions of the ballgame. The Nittany Lions also failed to capitalize on other opportunities, including a fourth-and-goal corner route targeting K.J. Hamler. These mistakes were the downfall for a Penn State team which faces a hot Indiana team this upcoming week and the Buckeyes in Columbus in two weeks. Its College Football Playoff and Big Ten Championship hopes are on extremely thin ice.

4. Wisconsin

Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Last Week’s Result: 24-22 win vs. Iowa

Next Week: @Nebraska

Iowa v Wisconsin Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Despite a late Iowa comeback, the Badgers held off the Hawkeyes for a close win at Camp Randall. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 250 yards and Jack Coan was decent from behind center with 2 touchdowns, despite throwing an interception. Wisconsin’s Big Ten West title goals are not out of reach, but they must defeat Minnesota and get some help from either Iowa or Northwestern (don’t get your hopes up, Bucky).

5. Michigan

Last Week’s Ranking: 5

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Next Week: vs. Michigan State

Michigan v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Michigan had a bye this week and hosts a struggling Michigan State team this upcoming weekend. Wisconsin gets the nod over Michigan for the number four slot in these rankings. Nonetheless, since the Badgers’ demolition of Jim Harbaugh’s squad, the Wolverines have won five of six games, their only loss being a close one in Happy Valley.

6. Indiana

Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Next Week: @Penn State

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Northwestern at Indiana Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Hoosiers also had a bye this weekend and have a tough test upcoming with a visit to Happy Valley this upcoming weekend. More importantly, the 7-2 Hoosiers need to win two of their next three games for #9WINDIANA to happen in the regular season.

7. Iowa

Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Last Week’s Result: 22-24 loss @Wisconsin

Next Week: vs. Minnesota

Iowa v Wisconsin Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Hawkeyes mounted a furious 4th-quarter comeback in Madison but ultimately fell a two-point conversion short. Iowa’s run defense failed to stop Jonathan Taylor, canceling out an adequate performance from quarterback Nate Stanley. This loss all but eliminates the Hawkeyes from Big Ten West Contention.

8. Illinois

Last Week’s Ranking: 9

Last Week’s Result: 37-34 win @Michigan State

Next Week: Bye

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Illinois at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lovie is going bowling. The Illini won their fourth straight game, outscoring Sparty 27-3 in the fourth quarter, assisted by a pick-six and phenomenal play from quarterback Brandon Peters, who threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Illinois had relatively low expectations to begin the season, so a huge congrats to the Illini for the strong season they are having. Unfortunately for the faithful Northwestern fanbase, November 30 in Champaign will likely be a tough one.

9. Michigan State

Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Last Week’s Result: 34-37 loss vs. Illinois

Next Week: @Michigan

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Illinois at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sporting the ugliest jerseys known to mankind, Michigan State blew a 25-point lead against the Illini to fall to 4-5. Brian Lewerke threw three interceptions while the vaunted defense which dominated Northwestern a few months ago failed to stop Brandon Peters and Lovie Smith’s offense. They haven’t won a game since late September, when they squeaked by Indiana. A trip to Ann Arbor awaits Sparty, who are now in danger of failing to reach a bowl game again.

10. Purdue

Last Week’s Ranking: 10

Last Week’s Result: 24-22 win @ Northwestern

Next Week: Bye

Purdue v Northwestern Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Purdue rode a big third quarter and some heroics from third-string quarterback Aidan O’Connell and kicker J.D. Dellinger to squeak by Northwestern, 24-22. Despite no Rondale Moore, the Boilermakers’ offense did just enough to score on a good NU defense. Can Purdue reach bowl eligibility? It will be tough without some of their best players while facing the likes of Wisconsin and Indiana, but crazier things have happened. Nonetheless, this team has showed a lot of resiliency in the face of these injuries.

11. Nebraska

Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Next Week: vs. Wisconsin

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Nebraska at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Huskers had a bye week in the face of a big test against Wisconsin. It’s been a disappointing season for Scott Frost and company, but a few wins down the stretch and a bowl berth could give them some momentum going into Adrian Martinez’s junior season. Wisconsin has struggled at times on the road, so perhaps this is a winnable game for them.

12. Maryland

Last Week’s Ranking: 12

Last Week’s Result: 14-73 loss @ Ohio State

Next Week: Bye

Michigan v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

A season which started with promise went downhill fast for the Terps, who are now 3-7 on the season. Mike Locksley’s team were woefully overmatched by Ohio State in a game that was over before it even started. Quarterbacks Josh Jackson and Tyrrell Pigrome combined for eight completions and 77 yards. Good lord.

13. Rutgers

Last Week’s Ranking: 13

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Next Week: vs. Ohio State

Rutgers v Illinois Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The 2-win Scarlet Knights had a bye last week before their matchup with Ohio State. It’ll be ugly. They get the nod over the ‘Cats for having one more win.

14. Northwestern

Last Week’s Ranking: 14

Last Week’s Result: 22-24 loss vs. Purdue

Next Week: vs. UMass

Purdue v Northwestern Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The ‘Cats looked to be well on their way to their first conference win at home against Purdue last Saturday. Alas, a Charlie Kuhbander missed field goal and a Cam Ruiz pass interference call led to a Purdue game-winning field goal. Aidan Smith looked much more confident in throwing the ball downfield — a much better sign for the offense. A win over UMass should get the ‘Cats back to the number thirteen slot.