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Big Ten Power Rankings, Week Seven: Half of the AP Top-10 is Big Ten teams

A few weeks ago I compared this season to the 2015 season where a one-loss Michigan State team met an undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten championship game.

Every week that goes by is another piece of evidence as to why that’s the case. Last week’s win for No. 2 Iowa is proof that the Big Ten might not have an undefeated team heading into December.

1. Iowa  

Last week: 23-20 win vs No. 4 Penn State

It was the biggest game of the Big Ten so far last weekend in Iowa City. It was also a game that Penn State controlled most of the way. Oh, and the Hawkeyes added four more interceptions to their already ridiculous total, 16. It really is smooth sailing from here on out for Iowa. 

Next up: Vs. Purdue 

2. Ohio State

Last week: 66-17 win vs Maryland

C.J. Stroud is finally coming into form and the defense the past two weeks has looked much improved. We may be starting to see the Buckeyes we all thought we would see this season. Although, the conference schedule is about to get pretty rough. 

Next up: Bye week

3. Penn State

Last week: 23-20 loss at No. 3 Iowa 

If Sean Clifford hadn’t gotten injured would Penn State have won? That’s something we’ll never know the answer to but things looked good before he went down. 

Next up: Bye week

4. Michigan

Last week: 32-29 win at Nebraska 

Nebraska is a tough place to play at night, but the Wolverines escaped with a much-earned win. Cade McNamara, even while throwing one interception and zero touchdowns, showed leadership and composure — something Michigan hasn’t had at quarterback in a very long time. 

Next up: Bye week

5. Michigan State

Last week: 31-13 win at Rutgers

The Spartans and Kenneth Walker III torched Rutgers on the ground. Walker has solidified himself in the Heisman race and if Sparty keeps winning, it might be headed that way. On 129 carries, Walker has 912 yards and nine touchdowns. He averages an astounding 7.1 yards a carry. 

Next up: At Indiana 

6. Wisconsin 

Last week: 24-0 win at Illinois

The Badgers got a much-needed, bounce-back win and defensively wore down the Illini. Although, I think fans were more concerned over the Jalen Berger drama and dismissal.

Next up: Vs Army

7. Nebraska 

Last week: 32-29 loss vs No. 9 Michigan 

OK, Nebraska makes the biggest jump of any team in this week’s power rankings. The Cornhuskers hung in there with a very good Michigan team and really ever since the game at Oklahoma has looked competitive. An easier schedule awaits for the next two weeks. 

Next up: At Minnesota 

Graphic: Max Wood (HN)

 8. Maryland

Last week: 66-17 loss at No. 7 Ohio State

It’s been a rough past two weeks for the Terps, on both sides of the ball. But this is still a bowl-caliber team and over everyone else below them in the power rankings, I see a lot more upside. 

Next up: Bye week 

9. Indiana

Last week: Bye week

Not much to discuss with the Hoosiers, but the bye week was much-needed. If the Hoosiers can steal one in the next few weeks it will be very critical for their chances at a bowl. Also, the Michael Penix Jr. injury is forever up in the air. 

Next up: Vs. No. 10 Michigan State

10. Minnesota

Last week: Bye week

The biggest news for the Gophers is the season-ending injury to running back Trey Potts. Potts was in the hospital after the Purdue game and the injury is still undisclosed.

Next Up: Vs Nebraska

11. Rutgers

Last week: 31-13 loss vs No. 11 Michigan State 

Rutgers has faced a harsh reality check after facing three ranked opponents in a row. But luckily for the Scarlet Knights, things will get A LOT easier on the schedule. 

Next up: At Northwestern

12. Purdue

Last week: Bye week

The Boilermakers can finish 6-6 and contend for a bowl, especially in the Big Ten West. 

Next up: At No. 2 Iowa 

13. Northwestern

Last week: Bye Week 

I will be honest, it’s hard to find things to say about Northwestern, especially coming off a bye. My biggest question is, what happened? A team who was in the Big Ten title game a year ago to now struggling mightily to beat a Power Five team. 

Next up: Vs Rutgers 

14. Illinois

Last week: 24-0 loss vs Wisconsin

Illinois is bad offensively. That’s pretty evident by looking at the box score of last weekend’s game. Recruiting is Bret Bielma’s only hope. Give the Illini a few years. 

Next up: Bye week

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