Detroit News Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 13
Here are The Detroit News' Big Ten Power Rankings, by Matt Charboneau, after 12 weeks of the regular season.
1. Ohio State (9-1, 6-0) – The Buckeyes did their best to hurt themselves against Minnesota, turning the ball over three times. But in the end, quarterback J.T. Barrett was outstanding running the ball on a day he wasn't as sharp through the air to help OSU avoid the upset. Last week: 1.
2. Michigan State (8-2, 5-1) – The offense was out of sync at times but the defense bounced back in a big way in a victory over Maryland, holding the Terrapins to just six yards rushing as the Spartans continued to play for a spot in one of the College Football Playoff bowls. Last week: 2.
3. Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1) – The Badgers put themselves in a good shape in the West with a resounding win over Nebraska and might have vaulted Melvin Gordon into the Heisman lead after a record 408 yards rushing. Two tough games remain at Iowa and against Minnesota. Last week: 4.
4. Iowa (7-3, 4-2) – The Hawkeyes kept their hopes alive in the West with a win over Illinois. Their final two games are both at home against Wisconsin and Nebraska, and victories in both would put the Hawkeyes into the Big Ten championship game. Last week: 7.
5. Nebraska (8-2, 4-2) – The Cornhuskers are now in a tough spot in the West after a blowout loss at the hands of Wisconsin. They'll need wins over Minnesota and Iowa, along with Wisconsin to drop its final two games, to capture the division title. Last week: 4.
6. Minnesota (7-3, 4-2) – The Gophers gave it a good run against Ohio State and benefited from three Buckeyes turnovers. The bright side for Minnesota is that it controls its fate with games against Nebraska and Wisconsin. However, both are on the road. Last week: 5.
7. Penn State (6-4, 3-4) – The Nittany Lions have now won two straight and are bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. They'll have a good shot to improve on their standing next week at Illinois before closing the season at home against Michigan State. Last week: 9.
8. Rutgers (6-4, 2-4) – The Scarlet Knights ended a three-game skid and became bowl eligible with a victory over Indiana. The goal now will be to see if they can improve on that standing and pull off an upset or two with road games against Michigan State and Maryland. Last week: 10.
9. Maryland (6-4, 3-3) – The Terrapins' up-and-down season continued in a loss to Michigan State as they managed to gain only six yards on the ground. They haven't won back-to-back games since September and travel to Michigan before finishing at home against Rutgers. Last week: 6.
10. Michigan (5-5, 3-3) – The Wolverines had the week off but still managed to lose as defensive end Frank Clark was arrested following allegations of domestic violence. It was just the latest in a tumultuous season, though Michigan can become bowl eligible with one more win. Last week: 8.
11. Northwestern (4-6, 2-4) – The Wildcats went out of conference to end a four-game losing streak by upsetting Notre Dame in overtime. As difficult as the season has been for Northwestern, it can reach a bowl game by beating Purdue and Illinois in the final two weeks. Last week: 12.
12. Purdue (3-7, 1-5) – The Boilermakers took the week off and look to end a four-game skid next week at home against Northwestern. They'll then close with a trip to Indiana and a chance to make a four-game improvement over last season's one victory. Last week: 11.
13. Illinois (4-6, 1-5) – The Illini got QB Wes Lunt back last week but it did little to help in a loss to Iowa. Remarkably, Illinois still has a shot to become bowl eligible but must win its final two games – at home this week vs. Penn State and at Northwestern. Last week: 13.
14. Indiana (3-7, 0-6) – The Hoosiers got better than 300 yards rushing from Tevin Coleman but, once again, it wasn't near enough in a loss to Rutgers. It will likely get uglier this week at Ohio State before the Hoosiers finish the string at home against Purdue. Last week: 14.