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Power Rankings: Northwestern’s big win, Michigan-Rutger fallout and Nebrasklol

This weekend may have been the peak of Big Ten Comedy

Michigan v Rutgers
Pictured: Jim Harbaugh just seconds before attempting to impress recruits by attempting to “do the dab.” He’d go on to coach in one of the funniest football games in recorded history.
Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Plenty to review in this week’s power rankings. Risers, fallers, and more Jim Harbaugh replacements.

Let’s do it:

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0)

Last week: 42-35 win vs. Indiana

Up next: Away vs. Illinois (OSU -28)

SP+ Ranking: 2

Previous CQ Ranking: 1

Shockingly, Ohio State is still very good. Should be a pretty straight-forward run to the College Football Playoff now unless we see something weird in the Big Ten title game.

2. Indiana Hoosiers (4-1)

Last week: 42-35 loss at Ohio State

Up next: Home vs. Maryland (IU -11)

SP+ Ranking: 27

Previous CQ Ranking: 2

If you think that losing by a touchdown to Ohio State in the Horseshoe despite not playing your best after they had a bye week to prepare for you is something to be ashamed of, kindly buzz off. IU is good, IU is real, IU should be a top 10 team in the country.

3. Northwestern Wildcats (5-0)

Last week: 17-7 win vs. Wisconsin

Up next: Away vs. Michigan State (NW -13.5)

SP+ Ranking: 28

Previous CQ Ranking: 4

The Cats control their own destiny! They’re a few wins away from the CFP somehow! Granted, they’ll have to beat Ohio State in the title game, but still!

4. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-2)

Last week: 41-21 win at Penn State

Up next: Home vs. Nebraska (IA -13.5)

SP+ Ranking: 15

Previous CQ Ranking: 5

Iowa’s good. I suspected it last week, but I’m pretty sure now. This, of course, means that they’ll lose to Nebraska this weekend.

5. Wisconsin Badgers (2-1)

Last week: 17-7 loss at Northwestern

Up next: Covid Bye

SP+ Ranking: 4

Previous CQ Ranking: 3

You could be worried about Wisconsin not being able to compete for a conference title or a CFP berth after that loss. I, for one, am more worried about whether they’re going to be able to make it to five games played this season because good Lord it feels like them hitting the field is more of a treat than something that’s supposed to happen every week.

6. Maryland Terrapins (2-1)

Last week: Covid Bye

Up next: Away vs. Indiana

SP+ Ranking: 71

Previous CQ Ranking: 7

If I had to pick one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to be “the best” out of the group, I’d probably go with Michelangelo. He’s pretty relaxed, he rips off C+ riffs and nunchucks are cool as hell. He probably has the biggest Dudes Rock energy of the bunch.

After that I’ll go with Leonardo. He’s the Chad of the group and longswords are kinda cool. Donatello comes in third because he invents cool stuff for everybody else to use and Raphael brings up the rear because he’s just too damn mad all the time. Seriously dude, chill the hell out.

7. Purdue Boilermakers (2-2)

Last week: 34-31 loss at Minnesota

Up next: Home vs. rutger (PU -11.5)

SP+ Ranking: 46

Previous CQ Ranking: 6

I’m not moving the Trains down too far because that PI call was ~bad~ y’all. Really, really bad. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, or if you’d like to watch again, here’s the tape:

8. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-3)

Last week: 41-23 win at Nebraska

Up next: Away vs. Ohio State

SP+ Ranking: 87

Previous CQ Ranking: 12



9. Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-3)

Last week: 34-31 win vs. Purdue

Up next: Covid Bye

SP+ Ranking: 51

Previous CQ Ranking: 13

Good win for the Gophers, even if it wasn’t the cleanest win. Unfortunately, they won’t get a chance to build on it right away because they’re the latest team to have a COVID-19 situation pop up.

10. Michigan State Spartans (1-3)

Last week: Covid Bye

Up next: Home vs. Northwestern

SP+ Ranking: 79

Previous CQ Ranking: 9

Are the Spartans the most “meh” team in the conference? Is there any reason to care about them? Maybe it’s because they didn’t play last weekend, but I just can’t bring myself to think about them for more than a minute or two at the time.

11. Michigan Wolverines (2-3)

Last week: 48-42 3OT win at rutger

Up next: Home vs. Penn State (UM -2)

SP+ Ranking: 40

Previous CQ Ranking: 10

Michigan Football Coach Les Miles

12. Penn State Nittany Lions (0-5)

Last week: 41-21 loss vs. Iowa

Up next: Away vs. Michigan

SP+ Ranking: 29

Previous CQ Ranking: 11

13. Rutger Scarlet Knights (1-4)

Last week: 48-42 3OT loss vs. Michigan

Up next: Away vs. Purdue

SP+ Ranking: 104

Previous CQ Ranking: 14

14. Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-3)

Last week: 41-23 loss vs. Illinois

Up next: Away vs. Iowa

SP+ Ranking: 56

Previous CQ Ranking: 8

15.5-point favorites at home against a team in the running for worst in the conference and you lose by 18 in your special uniforms? And then the opponent’s athletic department dunks you through the earth’s crust on Twitter? And then you drop 23 spots in SP+? You hate to see it happen on what should’ve been another glorious Scott Frost Day.