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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 10

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The Hoosiers put Nebraska in a dumpster, Illinois might be a bowl team and more from around the conference

Indiana v Nebraska
(whispers) bowl-eligible hoosiers
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

More Big Ten football is coming up this weekend, but it’s not a very good slate. Especially when compared to last week’s games that featured some pretty solid games. Let’s check in on everybody heading into week 10 action:

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

Last Week: 38-7 win vs. Wisconsin (8-0)

SP+ Rankings: 1

Ohio State takes down a good opponent at home. Shocking. Next up is a bye week. Chase Young is the best player in the upcoming NFL Draft no ifs, ands or buts.

2. Penn State Nittany Lions

Last Week: 28-7 win @ Michigan State (8-0)

SP+ Rankings: 7

The Nittany Lions aced a tough road test. Tight end Pat Freiermuth had a huge game, making five catches for 60 yards and three touchdowns. PSU gets a bye week now. Here’s your weekly KJ Hamler highlight:

3. Wisconsin Badgers

Last Week: 38-7 loss @ Ohio State (6-2)

SP+ Rankings: 8

I refuse to fault a team for losing to Ohio State. The Buckeyes just so happen to be the worst matchup possible for the Badgers in terms of strengths and weaknesses. OSU’s front seven was able to limit Johnathan Taylor to 52 yards on 20 carries and without the running game working the Badgers just couldn’t keep up. Now they, like both teams ahead of them, get a bye week.

4. Michigan Wolverines

Last Week: 45-14 win vs. Notre Dame (45-14)

SP+ Rankings: 11

Shockingly the Fighting Irish are pretenders. Their best win coming into the weekend was...uh...a close loss to Georgia? A three-point win over other famous pretender USC? This will obviously be looked upon as a good win either way for the Wolverines, but if you strip away the (possibly unjustified) fanfare around Notre Dame it should be less so. The Fighting Irish had little business being ranked eighth in the AP poll. Coming into the this game they were 19th in the SP+ rankings which felt more apt. All of that being said, the Wolverine defense was stout, holding Ian Book to 8/25 passing and 73 yards and the Irish only picked up 47 yards on the ground. Pair that with Shea Patterons being fine and the Wolverine rushing attack performing well and it was a pretty good week for Michigan. Next up the Wolverines get to wreck Maryland on the road. They’re 21-point favorites as of Tuesday.

5. Iowa Hawkeyes

Last Week: 20-0 win @ Northwestern (6-2)

SP+ Rankings: 20

They went to Evanston and took care of business against a bad Northwestern team. If you watched this game, I’m sorry. Iowa gets a bye this weekend.

6. Indiana Hoosiers

Last Week: 38-31 win @ Nebraska (6-2)

SP+ Rankings: 23

The Hoosiers gave Nebraska what they wanted. Now IU is bowl eligible in October for the first time since 1993 and this season just might be a special one. This weekend they host Northwestern in one of their final home games of the season, feel free to show up to Memorial Stadium because this is a team that truly deserves it.

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Last Week: 52-10 win vs. Maryland (8-0)

SP+ Rankings: 12

The Gophers beat another cupcake. They’re still undefeated. I still don’t quite believe in them, though I’m getting closer to becoming a believer. They’re on a bye this week but next week they’ll finally take on a legitimately good opponent as they’ll host Penn State in a matchup between two undefeated teams. That’s definitely one to look forward to.

8. Michigan State Spartans

Last Week: 28-7 loss vs. Penn State (4-4)

SP+ Rankings: 29

They lost to a better team. Their offense still isn’t good and their defense couldn’t save them. Nothing new to report here necessarily. They also get a bye before the home stretch of the season and they’re in good position to become bowl eligible with Illinois, rutger and Maryland still on the schedule.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini

Last Week: 24-6 win @ Purdue (4-4)

SP+ Rankings: 59

Is Illinois improving? Over the last two weeks the Illini have gone from dead in the water to a potential bowl team after their big win over Wisconsin and now a big road win over Purdue. It was the running game that powered the Illini over the Boilermakers as they had just 17 yards through the air. They’ll go for win five on the season against rutger this weekend.

10. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Last Week: 38-31 loss vs. Indiana (4-4)

SP+ Rankings: 44

Scott Frost:

11. Maryland Terrapins

Last Week: 52-10 loss @ Minnesota (3-5)

SP+ Rankings: 56

They got schooled by the Gophers. Plain and simple. Despite whatever hype they may have had earlier this year they seemingly aren’t going bowling now given that they need three wins and their last four games are against Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State. They play the Wolverines this weekend.

12. Purdue Boilermakers

Last Week: 24-6 loss vs. Illinois (2-6)

SP+ Rankings: 55

I’m not going to pretend that the Hazell years never happened and say that this is a new low, but...yikes. Losing at home to Illinois, or losing to Illinois at all for that matter, is never a good thing. Yeah the Boilermakers are still dealing with loads of injuries and sure the Illini were coming off an enormous win against Wisconsin, but to be a 10-point home favorite and then lose by 18 is brutal. Next up is a home tilt with Nebraska. The Huskers are three-point favorites.

13. Northwestern Wildcats

Last Week: 20-0 loss vs. Iowa (1-6)

SP+ Rankings: 76

Hashtag I don’t care.