clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Big Ten power rankings, week 7: Can Michigan or Iowa challenge the Buckeyes?

New, comments

A wild weekend in the conference results in some big changes in the rankings.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Michigan Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, after a wild Saturday in college football, CrimsonCast tweeted this:

It’s a tough question, but hey, we try to do this every week at crimson quarry dot com, so without further ado, here’s how your B1G teams stack up after week 7:

14. [redacted]

13. Nebraska (0-6)

Yikes. Northwestern scored twice in the closing minutes on Saturday’s game to leave Huskers fans scratching their heads once again after the Wildcats won in overtime. Even though Nebraska is still winless, it did snow in the state yesterday, so you could say that Frost finally got his first victory.

12. Illinois (3-3)

I know that Illinois has started from scratch and that it’s still a long rebuilding project for the Lovie Smith era, but it’s hard to find any good signs from a 46-7 home loss to Purdue on Saturday. I don’t think Lovie is in danger of losing his job yet, but I wonder how much more patience Illinois AD Josh Whitman has for a guy who the school is paying $5M a year for, especially at a public university in a state with well-known fiscal problems.

11. Indiana (4-3)

You’ll hear some more about the Hoosiers this week from this site I’m sure, but this was another Homecoming debacle on Saturday. For the second weekend in a row, IU’s secondary got lit up, giving up 6 passing touchdowns to Nate Stanley. A defense that once was a bright spot is now showing its youth, and the offense looked completely outclassed as well, gaining only 63 yards on the ground while Peyton Ramsey averaged 6.3 yards per pass. But it’s the coaching that also was frustrating — there were 30 total yards of penalties on Tom Allen and the coaching staff, while again they made some questionable challenges and situational decisions, such as a 2-point conversion try down 19 points in the third quarter.

10. Minnesota (3-3)

Kept things close in the Horseshoe for a while, as OSU sleepwalked through another conference game. Next weekend, the Gophers play Nebraska for the most coveted prize in college football — the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy.

9. Purdue (3-3)

David Blough and company lit up the Illini on Saturday for 611 total yards of offense. Purdue can make a statement under the lights at Ross-Ade next Saturday against an Ohio State team with a shaky defense.

8. Northwestern (3-3)

Pat Fitzgerald found a way yet again on Saturday, as the Wildcats are now 4-0 in overtime games since the beginning of last season. rutger is next week, which should be a nice warmup for a brutal upcoming Wisconsin/Notre Dame/Iowa stretch.

7. Maryland (4-2)

Destroyed rutger 34-7, as the Scarlet Knights only scored in the final seconds to prevent a shutout. But now the schedule really starts to get tough for the Terps, as they head out to Iowa City next weekend. Regardless, the Terps should be playing for bowl eligibility when they head to Indiana on November 10.

6. Wisconsin (4-2)

An ugly 38-13 loss in Ann Arbor confirmed a lot of my suspicions about the Badgers and their offense. Thanks to the Iowa win, this team is still in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten West, but any CFP dreams this team had at the beginning of the season are now kaput.

5. Michigan State (4-2)

A classic ugly, Cro-Magnon, grind-it-out victory for Mark Dantonio in Happy Valley over the weekend, with Michigan State doing what they do best and getting a last-second touchdown to beat Penn State 21-17. Next weekend, the rivalry with Michigan resumes, and the Spartans are 8-2 in the past 10 games with the Wolverines.

4. Penn State (4-2)

The Nittany Lions had two weeks to respond from the Ohio State debacle, got to stay at home, and yet came out completely flat. The Nittany Lions’ last 5 losses have all been blown 4th-quarter leads, and what was a playoff contender two weeks ago will have to now fight for a New Years Six bowl game.

3. Iowa (5-1)

Demolished Indiana in Bloomington, and Nate Stanley is quietly putting together a terrific year and getting the most press for an Iowa QB since Ricky Stanzi.

2. Michigan (6-1)

The Wolverines looked awesome under the lights of the Big House, continuing a trend of great games at home under Jim Harbaugh. Even if their in-state rival isn’t as strong as in previous seasons, the Wolverines have been shaky on the road, so getting a victory in East Lansing on Saturday would be a huge step forward for this team. As of now though, they’re clearly the second-best team in the B1G.

1. Ohio State (7-0)

Let Minnesota hang around for a while before calmly putting them away in the 4th quarter. Next up is under the lights in West Lafayette, a place that has given OSU some trouble in the past (and Purdue fans will never let you forget it).

College Football Playoff:

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Notre Dame

I’m adding CFP predictions each week to power rankings. This week, I like the top 4 undefeated teams, especially after UGA’s loss to LSU. I don’t know if Notre Dame can remain undefeated throughout the season, but even when most of their traditional rivals are having down seasons, the Irish can probably make the playoff if they go 12-0. Clemson was on bye last week, but with Trevor Lawrence back and the rest of the ACC a dumpster fire, the Tigers have a great path toward a CFP berth. Ohio State has a great chance of going 11-0 before Michigan comes to town, but the defense is still a little worrisome, especially against big plays. Finally, Alabama looks invincible, as Tua Tagovailoa is a Heisman shoo-in at this point in the season.