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Power Rankings: Top 5 shakeup follows Northwestern upset

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Can Michigan State retire the neon uniforms? This will surely be their finest moment and they’re awful anyways.

Northwestern v Michigan State
Shakur Brown #29 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates an interception of a pass intended for Berkeley Holman #4 of the Northwestern Wildcats during the fourth quarter at Spartan Stadium on November 28, 2020 in East Lansing, Michigan.
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Big Ten, like the rest of college football, may be on the brink of imploding. Is that good? No. Was it predictable? Of course.

While there’s still football being played, let’s rank some teams:

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0)

Last week: Covid Bye

Up next: Away vs. Michigan State (OSU -23.5)

SP+ Ranking: 3

Previous CQ Ranking: 1

One more cancellation and the Buckeyes won’t be able to play for a Big Ten title, being replaced by Indiana in the championship game. That, of course, means that they’ll plow through their next two games with no issues because life is pain.

2. Indiana Hoosiers (5-1)

Last week: 27-11 win vs. Maryland

Up next: Away vs. Wisconsin (UW -14)

SP+ Ranking: 28

Previous CQ Ranking: 2

3. Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2)

Last week: 26-20 win vs. Nebraska

Up next: Away vs. Illinois (IA -13.5)

SP+ Ranking: 18

Previous CQ Ranking: 4

The Hawkeyes didn’t cover, but probably could’ve if they’d turned some field goals into touchdowns, but nevertheless. Keith Duncan went 4-for-5 on field-goal attempts, hitting from 32, 33, 48 and 37 yards on the day. Also went 2-for-2 on PATs, which gave him 14 points scored of the team’s 26. The Big Ten Brand remains strong.

4. Wisconsin Badgers (2-1)

Last week: Covid Bye

Up next: Home vs. Indiana

SP+ Ranking: 6

Previous CQ Ranking: 5

More like the Wisconsin Badders send tweet

5. Northwestern Wildcats (5-0)

Last week: 29-20 loss at Michigan State

Up next: Covid Bye

SP+ Ranking: 34

Previous CQ Ranking: 3

Last week I wrote about how Northwestern controlled its own destiny with regards to the College Football Playoff. The ‘Cats made the executive decision to trip over their own shoes by losing to Michigan State. Very good.

6. Michigan State Spartans (2-3)

Last week: 29-20 win vs. Northwestern

Up next: Home vs. Ohio State

SP+ Ranking: 74

Previous CQ Ranking: 9

Is Mel Tucker the Troy Williams of coaching? His Spartans have a pair of good wins (@ Michigan, vs. Northwestern) and three double-digit losses, one of which is to rutger. Given their track record, they’re either going to beat Ohio State or lose by 40, no in-between.

7. Maryland Terrapins (2-2)

Last week: 27-11 loss at Indiana

Up next: Covid Bye

SP+ Ranking: 68 (almost nice)

Previous CQ Ranking: 6

Taulia Tagovailoa’s Jameis Winston impression (17-for-36, 241 yards, TD, 3 INT) wasn’t good enough against Indiana’s defense. Somebody check and see if he needs LASIK.

8. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-3)

Last week: Covid Bye

Up next: Home vs. Iowa

SP+ Ranking: 83

Previous CQ Ranking: 8

Illinois beat Nebraska by 18 in Lincoln, y’all remember that?

9. Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-3)

Last week: Covid Bye

Up next: Covid Bye

SP+ Ranking: 46

Previous CQ Ranking: 9

Gophers play a game challenge

10. Rutger Scarlet Knights (2-4)

Last week: 37-30 win at Purdue

Up next: Home vs. Penn State

SP+ Ranking: 103

Previous CQ Ranking: 13

Does Greg Schiano deserve Big Ten Coach of the Year honors for turning Johnny Langan into a useful player or is Purdue’s defense MegaBad? My column here:

11. Purdue Boilermakers (2-3)

Last week: 37-30 loss vs. rutger

Up next: Home vs. Nebraska (PU -2)

SP+ Ranking: 48

Previous CQ Ranking: 7

much to consider

12. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-5)

Last week: 27-17 win at Michigan

Up next: Away vs. rutger (-11)

SP+ Ranking: 27

Previous CQ Ranking: 12

Big win at the Big House for the Nittany Lions. That’ll look good on their CFP resume. for sure, if Ohio State happens to slip up somehow. *puts finger to earpiece* ah well.

13. Michigan Wolverines (2-4)

Last week: 27-17 loss vs. Penn State

Up next: Covid Bye

SP+ Ranking: 41

Previous CQ Ranking: 11

Michigan Football Coach Chris Creighton. Don’t check how many games he’s won this season, just hire him. He beat Illinois and Purdue and rutger, remember?

14. Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-4)

Last week: 26-20 loss at Iowa

Up next: Away vs. Purdue

SP+ Ranking: 58

Previous CQ Ranking: 14

Y’all remember when Adrian Martinez was a Heisman hopeful? Good times.