There wasn't as much movement in the Big Ten power rankings this week as there was in weeks past, mainly because there weren't many upsets.
Ohio State redeemed itself from its excruciating loss to Iowa last weekend, and Wisconsin kept its playoff hopes alive by beating Iowa by more than three touchdowns. The Badgers will represent the Big Ten West in the conference championship game, but the East is still technically up for grabs.
1. Wisconsin (Last week: 1): The Badgers are still the lone undefeated team in the conference after beating Iowa 38-14. Wisconsin sealed its berth in the Big Ten championship game and is a few wins away from potentially making the College Football Playoff. If the team can survive some of the injuries it has faced and get healthier down the stretch, the Badgers might have a shot at being one of the final four teams at the end of the season.
2. Ohio State (2): The Buckeyes redeemed themselves after an abysmal loss the week before by beating Michigan State. It was a convincing 48-3 win against a Spartans team that seemed to be hitting a stride and improving each week. The Buckeyes' staff went back to the basics and ran the ball 42 times for a total of 335 yards and four touchdowns.
3. Penn State (4): Penn State moves back to the No. 3 spot after beating Rutgers 35-6. This is partially because Michigan State lost so badly to Ohio State, but also because the Nittany Lions have Nebraska and Maryland left as their final two games. The team should be able to finish the season 10-2 and make it to a bigger bowl game.
4. Michigan State (3): The Spartans struggled badly against Ohio State, but they were also probably catching them at a terrible time. The Buckeyes had been humiliated at Iowa and weren't going to let Michigan State come into Columbus and do the same. Michigan State's offense looked bad against Ohio State's defense, but the Spartans remain in the No. 4 spot for now.
5. Michigan (5): The Wolverines remain at No. 5 despite beating Maryland 35-10. The game was an interesting one for Michigan, which scored 28 of the 35 points in the first half, then seemed to run out of steam. Normally a strong second-half defense, Michigan gave up 10 points after halftime and 340 yards of offense for the entire game. That was against a Maryland offense that was playing its third- and fourth-string quarterbacks.
6. Northwestern (7): The Wildcats move up after beating Purdue 23-13 and moving to 7-3 on the season, 5-2 in the conference. The Northwestern losses have come to Duke, Wisconsin and Penn State. Wins over Michigan State and Iowa showed that this team has the ability to compete with some of the better teams in the division, but the losses say the Wildcats are just not at the very top of the conference.
7. Iowa (6): After a big, emotional win over Ohio State, the Hawkeyes had the daunting task of taking on Wisconsin on the road. Iowa lost 38-14 in a game that saw the offense gain only 66 total yards. Wisconsin's defense is good, but it's not 66 total yards by a team that just put up 55 points against Ohio State good.
8. Indiana (8): The Hoosiers came out with a victory against Illinois to move to 4-6 on the season. It has been a rough go for head coach Tom Allen, who seemed to be so close to jumping over that hurdle. The team just isn't quite there yet, but you can see improvements.
10. Maryland (13): The Terps took a loss to Michigan but showed some resiliency late in the second half. It's tough to deal with as many injuries as Maryland has had, but this team has kept going. Maryland played quarterback Ryan Brand, who had 136 yards passing and one touchdown, so it only makes you wonder what this offense could do with its two top options, both of whom are injured.
11. Purdue (12): The Boilermakers fell to 4-6 after losing to Northwestern 23-13. Elijah Sindelar had 376 yards passing, but he threw the ball 60 times to do it. Purdue also had only 40 rushing yards, so it was not a very balanced attack.
12. Nebraska (10): The Cornhuskers had a bad loss to Minnesota and seem to be on the way down. They finish the season with Penn State and Iowa, and there is a real shot that this team could finish 4-8. That's hard to fathom, after there was so much excitement stemming from this past offseason.
13. Rutgers (11): The Scarlet Knights suffered their sixth loss of the season, falling to Penn Sate 35-6. Rutgers had three conference wins this season, but this loss puts into perspective where it still needs to go to be more competitive in the Big Ten.
14. Illinois (14): Illinois fell to 2-8 by losing to Indiana. Quarterback Jeff George threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had two interceptions to negate some of the progress. The Illini haven't had much to cheer for this season and need to start filling needs on the recruiting trail.