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Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 8: Who is the top dog?

With Iowa’s loss to Purdue last weekend, it’s still uncertain who the top dog in the Big Ten is this season. 

Is it Ohio State? Penn State? Maybe the two teams from Michigan?

Well it’s safe to say everyone agrees that one of those teams will find itself in the College Football Playoff. 

1. Ohio State

Last week: Bye week

The Buckeyes got a week to improve and refine themselves after a relatively easy first six weeks. It’s going to get real for them very soon. Especially in November. 

Next up: At Indiana

2. Iowa

Last week: 24-7 loss vs Purdue 

Iowa lost the turnover battle last weekend. It’s as simple as that. Spencer Petras threw four interceptions and David Bell is obviously really good. I still expect Iowa to perform well and end up in Indianapolis in December. 

Next up: Bye week

3.  Penn State

Last week: Bye week

It was a needed break for the Nittany Lions after a tough loss in Iowa City, but all in all the Big Ten East is shaping up to be an absolute slugfest in November. 

Next up: Vs Illinois

4. Michigan

Last week: Bye week 

Michigan plays clean football and is setting itself up to be in a very good position. The schedule will test the Wolverines, especially in East Lansing on Halloween weekend. 

Next up: Vs Northwestern

5. Michigan State 

Last week: 20-15 win at Indiana 

I still feel like we haven’t gotten a real gauge of who this Spartans team is. Yes, the schedule up to this point has been favorable, but IU really did shut down Kenneth Walker and the run game. A better Indiana offense wins that game for the Hoosiers. 

Next up: Bye week

6. Purdue 

Last week: 24-7 win at No. 2 Iowa 

Purdue makes the biggest jump in this week’s Power Rankings. That defense is legit and David Bell is a baller. The Boilermakers find themselves ranked in the AP poll, No. 25, for the first time since 2007. 

Next up: Vs Wisconsin

7. Wisconsin

Last week: 20-14 win vs Army 

Graham Mertz once again didn’t prove much and the pass game is still very much an issue for the Badgers. But hey, that’s the grind-it-out kind of football they like, right?

Next up: At No. 25 Purdue

(Max Wood/HN)

8. Minnesota

Last week: 30-23 win vs Nebraska 

No matter who is running the ball for the Gophers they move the ball. Credit the o-line. Minnesota is a sneaky good bowl-contending team. No. 11 Iowa better watch out on Nov. 13. 

Next up: Vs Maryland 

9. Maryland

Last week: Bye week

After two blowout losses, the Terps needed that bye week very desperately. By the way, their first three weeks of November consist of No. 7 Penn State, No. 6 Michigan and No. 9 Michigan State. 

Next up: At Minnesota 

10. Nebraska 

Last week: 30-23 loss at Minnesota 

This Nebraska team just can’t stop shooting itself in the foot. That’s all. 

Next up: Bye week

11. Indiana 

Last week: 20-15 loss vs No. 10 Michigan State

The Hoosiers schedule has been brutal so far, it really has. But that’s not an excuse for a preseason top-25 team to be this behind on the offensive end. Whether it’s scheme or injury it really seems like not many things go right for them on that side of the ball. Also, is Michael Penix Jr. really the problem?

Next up: Vs No. 5 Ohio State

12. Northwestern 

Last week: 21-7 win vs Northwestern

The Wildcats defense stood very strong against a struggling Rutgers team but this team is far away from where it was last year. 

Next up: At No. 6 Michigan

13. Rutgers

Last week: 21-7 loss at Northwestern

The Scarlet Knights have plummeted since their 3-0 start and are 0-4 since. They haven’t scored more than 13 points since as well. 

Next up: Bye week 

14. Illinois 

Last week: Bye week 

Illinois remains the worst team in the Big Ten, for them. It’s really just about the future. 

Next up: At No. 7 Penn State

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