$5 for 3 months. Save 83%.
$5 for 3 months. Save 83%.

Detroit News final Big Ten Power Rankings

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

1. Ohio State (11-1, 8-0) – The Buckeyes overcame a spirited effort from Michigan and an injury to J.T. Barrett to finish a third straight Big Ten season unbeaten. The bigger issue is the loss of Barrett, which will come in to play vs. Wisconsin in the championship game. Last week: 1.

2. Michigan State (10-2, 7-1) – The Spartans closed the regular season in fine fashion with a road win over Penn State. They responded well with three straight wins after the loss to Ohio State and likely will be rewarded with a spot in one of the New Year's Six bowl games. Last week: 2.

3. Wisconsin (10-2, 7-1) – The Badgers overcame an early two-touchdown deficit to knock off Minnesota behind 151 yards and two touchdowns from Melvin Gordon. The victory secured a spot in the conference championship game for the third time in four years. Last week: 3.

4. Minnesota (8-4, 5-3) – The Gophers jumped out early on Wisconsin behind some solid running from David Cobb and looked to be headed to the conference title game for the first time. They couldn't hold off Wisconsin, however, but will be headed to their third straight bowl. Last week: 4.

5. Nebraska (9-3, 5-3) – The Cornhuskers were down 17 and on the verge of their third straight loss in their rivalry matchup with Iowa, but quarterback Tommy Armstrong led a furious rally as the Huskers pulled off their largest road comeback in school history. Last week: 7.

6. Iowa (7-5, 4-4) – Quarterback Jake Rudock had another solid game but the Hawkeyes blew a lead against Nebraska and closed the regular season with a trip to another bowl game -- but without a victory over an FBS team with a record better than .500. Last week: 5.

7. Rutgers (7-5, 3-5) – It was a day for comebacks in the Big Ten and the Scarlet Knights joined the party by erasing a 25-point deficit to win -- the largest comeback in school history. They closed the season with two wins in three weeks and head to a bowl four the fourth straight year. Last week: 9.

8. Maryland (7-5, 4-4) – The Terrapins closed an inconsistent debut in the Big Ten with another loss, finishing .500 without winning or losing two straight. The consolation prize is a second straight trip to a bowl game. Last week: 6.

9. Penn State (6-6, 2-6) – The Nittany Lions are at least bowl eligible, and that alone is a big step for the program. But they were far from impressive, winning only twice in conference play and losing six of their final conference games despite an outstanding defense. Last week: 8.

10. Illinois (6-6, 3-5) – In one of the more improbable closes to the season, the Illini won their last two over Penn State then at Northwestern to become bowl eligible. It is the first bowl game since 2011 for Illinois, but it remains to be seen if it's enough to save Tim Beckman's job. Last week: 11.

11. Michigan (5-7, 3-5) – The Wolverines fought hard against Ohio State, but in the end it was more turnovers and poor defense that did them in. It was a lot of the same issues that plagued the Wolverines all season and likely spelled the last stand for Brady Hoke and his staff. Last week: 12.

12. Northwestern (5-7, 3-5) – The Wildcats had a chance to become bowl eligible by knocking off Illinois at home. Instead they allowed Illinois quarterback Reilly O'Toole to throw for three TDs and run for 147 yards, and missed a bowl for the second straight year. Last week: 10.

13. Indiana (4-8, 1-7) – The Hoosiers avoided a winless Big Ten season by knocking off Purdue. It was a far cry from non-conference play when Indiana beat Missouri, but an injury to QB Nate Sudfeld early in the season gave the Hoosiers little hope and might have spelled the end for coach Kevin Wilson. Last week: 14.

14. Purdue (3-9, 1-7) – The Boilermakers held a lead in the fourth quarter against Indiana but couldn't find a way to get a second Big Ten victory. Purdue was a tougher team in Darrell Hazell's second season, but consistent wins are still far off for the Boilermakers. Last week: 13.