Just about the only good news the Big Ten got this week was that Penn State, if they win the East, can now go to the Big Ten Championship Game. Once already the conference has faced with the indignity of having a division champion be ineligible for the title game. That would suck to have it happen again.
Other than that, it was a brutal week for the league, making the Power Rankings even more difficult.
1. Michigan State - Last Week: 1 - Even with a 19 point loss to Oregon I think Michigan is still the best team in the league. Winning in Autzen, especially during a GameDay game, is incredibly difficult. The Spartans played more than good enough to win in the first half but couldn't finish. They may not lose again.
2. Penn State - Last Week: 8 - Penn State makes the jump mostly because they found a way to win last week and didn't look as ugly as everyone else. Christian Hackenberg is already looking like a QB that could dominate the league for awhile.
3. Minnesota - Last Week: 6 - Sure, they don't have a passing game, but they have a dominant running game that allows them to build a big early lead. Their season gets a lot more difficult with a trip to TCU this week, but a win might make them the favorite in the West with how everyone looks.
4. Wisconsin - Last Week: 5 - The Badgers finally woke up around halftime and realized what they were supposed to do against Western Illinois. After the trouble that Nebraska had with McNeese State I'd have to pick the Badgers to come out of the West.
5. Nebraska - Last Week: 2 - What was that, Nebraska? No, seriously, what was that?
6. Ohio State - Last Week: 4 - I think the Buckeyes might be in a little trouble. They did not look good at all in each of the last two weeks. Couldn't Cincinnati go into the ‘shoe and win now, breaking the Ohio-and-0 streak they have going there?
7. Maryland - Last Week: 7 - I think Maryland just felt like they had to do what everyone else in the league last week: either win ugly or lose in awful fashion.
8. Rutgers - Last Week: 9 - Shhhhhhhhh, be very quiet. The Scarlet Knights have a decent offense and really are not that bad.
9. Indiana - Last Week: 10 - IU didn't play last week and has to suffer the indignity of facing a MAC team on the road this week. It won't be much of a test after Bowling Green lost its best player.
10. Michigan - Last Week: 3 - Well, at least if Purdue scores this week we did better than Michigan did against Notre Dame.
11. Northern Illinois - Last Week: NR - Tell me the Huskies aren't better than the four teams below them here? They are 3-0 in their last three games against the B1G, which is more B1G wins than Purdue, Northwestern and Illinois have had combined in that time.
12. Iowa - Last Week 11: - If Illinois is a shaky 2-0 then Iowa is in a freaking earthquake zone. Holy crap, they should have lost to Ball State. The Cards just played not to lose at the end and lost.
13. Illinois - Last Week: 14 - Hey, 2-0 is 2-0. That's a third of the way to a bowl game even if they could easily be 0-2.
14. Northwestern - Last Week: 13 - The only thing keeping NW above Purdue right now is the fact that NIU is far better than Central Michigan and they played them closer.
15. Purdue - Last Week: 14 - So will Purdue get out of the basement at any other time this year?