- Ohio State
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
Last Week’s Result: Win at Rutgers 56-21
Next Week: vs. Penn State
Ohio State continues to roll through Big Ten play, as Justin Fields threw for a career-high 305 yards in yet another rout. Five different Buckeye receivers scored touchdowns, including two from Binjimen Victor. The Buckeyes are loaded at every position and will also be getting star Chase Young back from suspension this week – just in time for their biggest game of the season. Ohio State should finally be tested as they play Penn State who just got bumped up to number eight in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
Last Week’s Result: Loss at Iowa 23-19
Next Week: at Northwestern
Minnesota’s dream season took a huge hit after a crushing loss at Iowa. While the Gophers still control their destiny in the Big Ten West, they now must beat Wisconsin, who they’ve beaten just once since 2003, in order to win the division. Tanner Morgan and the passing attack were able to find some success, but the ground game found little room against a stout Hawkeyes front.
The Gophers visit Ryan Field this week and need to avoid looking ahead to the Wisconsin game, especially with the possibility that Morgan can’t play due to a concussion. Despite the loss, the Gophers hold onto the number two slot in the rankings due to the head-to-head win over Penn State.
3. Penn State
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
Last Week’s Result: Win vs Indiana 34-27
Next Week: at Ohio State
Penn State was able to outlast Indiana this week thanks to a backbreaking 18 play, nine minute drive in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t the Nittany Lions’ best performance, but it was enough to get the job done. With an enormous trip to Ohio State this week, Penn State could vault themselves right back into the national title discussion with a win. However, they’ll need to fix up some holes on defense if they hope to contain the Buckeyes’ explosive offense after giving up 462 yards to the Hoosiers.
Last Week’s Ranking: 4
Last Week’s Result: Win at Nebraska 37-21
Next Week: vs. Purdue
Jonathan Taylor did it again, rushing for 204 yards and two touchdowns against Nebraska. This was Taylor’s eleventh game with over 200 yards gained on the ground and he now has the NCAA record for the most rushing yards through a junior season. The Badgers can still win the Big Ten West if they win out, which starts with avoiding overlooking Purdue this week. The Boilermakers should be more than beatable, but if the Badgers start looking too far ahead to Minnesota they could be in trouble.
Last Week’s Ranking: 5
Last Week’s Result: Win vs Michigan State 44-10
Next Week: at Indiana
Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines are getting hot at the right time, winning their third straight game by more than 30 points. Shea Patterson picked apart the Spartan defense all day, throwing for 384 yards and four touchdowns. Now after stomping rival Michigan State the Wolverines visit a tough Indiana team before closing out the season against Ohio State.
Last Week’s Ranking: 7
Last Week’s Result: Win vs Minnesota 23-19
Next Week: vs. Illinois
The Hawkeyes got their biggest win of the season, beating previously undefeated Minnesota at home to keep the Floyd of Rosedale trophy in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes defense shut down the Gophers offense while Nate Stanley did just enough to pull off the upset. Iowa has no chance of making the Big Ten Championship, but the win sent the Hawkeyes from unranked to 17 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.
Last Week’s Ranking: 6
Last Week’s Result: Loss at Penn State 34-27
Next Week: vs. Michigan
While the loss to Penn State certainly stings for Indiana, this was a valiant effort on the road from an Indiana team that has played some pretty good football this year. With seven wins already, this has been one of the better seasons for Indiana in recent memory. The schedule, however, doesn’t get any easier as the Hoosiers now must host a red-hot Michigan team.
Last Week’s Ranking: 8
Last Week’s Result: Bye
Next Week: at Iowa
After a rough start to the season, the Illini have turned things around, winning four straight games heading into their matchup at Iowa. The Hawkeyes may be the better team, but coach Lovie Smith has already pulled off one massive upset this year, who’s to say he can’t do it again.
9. Michigan State
Last Week’s Ranking: 9
Last Week’s Result: Loss 44-10 at Michigan
Next Week: at Rutgers
Things are really starting to spiral out of control for the once-ranked Spartans. Mark Dantonio’s team has now lost five straight and a blowout loss at rival Michigan really hurts. With Rutgers up next week, the Spartans should be able to right the ship a little bit and show a little more offensive firepower than during this losing streak.
Last Week’s Ranking: 10
Last Week’s Result: Bye
Next Week: at Wisconsin
After pulling out the win on a last second field goal against Northwestern, Purdue had the week off. The Boilermakers now travel to Madison for a must-win game if they hope to reach bowl eligibility this year.
Last Week’s Ranking: 11
Last Week’s Result: Loss vs. Wisconsin 37-21
Next Week: at Maryland
Nebraska has had a very similar season to Michigan State this year. High hopes coming into the season, a solid start and then a miserable losing streak. Jonathan Taylor ran all over the ‘Husker defense as they fell for the fifth time in six games. Scott Frost’s team now visits Maryland in a game that absolutely no one will be watching.
Last Week’s Ranking: 12
Last Week’s Result: Bye
Next Week: vs. Nebraska
Maryland got a much needed bye week after giving up 73 points to Ohio State in their third straight blowout loss the week before. Hopefully they put in some defensive work over the bye week because this Maryland team can’t seem to stop anyone, giving up over 34 points per game
Last Week’s Ranking: 14
Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Umass 45-6
Next Week: vs. Minnesota
The ‘Cats finally got that elusive second win against an absolutely pitiful Umass team. Freshman running back Evan Hull had a monster game, running for 220 yards and four touchdowns. While the ‘Cats scored some points this week, the passing attack is still a major issue for this team. The win against Umass was enough to move the ‘Cats over Rutgers into the 13 spot due to the margin of victory in each team’s game against Umass.
Last Week’s Ranking: 13
Last Week’s Result: Loss vs. Ohio State 56-21
Next Week: vs. Michigan State
Rutgers actually fared better against Ohio State than many teams this year in losing by just 35. The Knights could potentially pick up a win this week against a Michigan State team that is mired in a terrible losing streak. Regardless of the game’s outcome, it should be a special night as Rutgers is hosting it’s We bELieve game in honor of Eric Legrand.