Big Ten power rankings: Week 14

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Editor’s note: Every week, The Daily Illini football staff ranks the football teams in the Big Ten 1-12 and compiles the lists into its own Big Ten power rankings.

1. Ohio State (Last week: 1)

Thanks to Auburn’s last-second miracle against Alabama and the Buckeyes’ 42-41 victory over Michigan, Ohio State is in prime position for a national title berth. The Buckeyes sit at No. 2 in the latest BCS poll and will face Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game. If Ohio State can beat the Spartans, and assuming the Buckeyes don’t get jumped by the winner of the SEC Championship game, Ohio State would take a 25-game winning streak under Urban Meyer to the National Championship game.

2. Michigan State (T2)

3. Wisconsin (T2)

4. Michigan (6)

5. Iowa (7)

6. Minnesota (4)

7. Nebraska (5)

Preseason dreams of a return to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship are a distant memory as Nebraska lost its final regular season game at home to Iowa 38-17. Speculation now surrounds the program and the Cornhuskers’ head coach Bo Pelini. The head coach lashed out in his postgame press conference: “If they want to fire me, go ahead,” he said. While Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst offered a statement to back up Pelini’s job security, the combination of a disappointing season and off-field issues puts Pelini on a very short leash in the near future. 

8. Penn State (8)

9. Indiana (9)

10. Northwestern (10)

11. Illinois (11)

12. Purdue (12)

The Boilermakers finished the season 1-11, with their lone win coming against FCS foe Indiana State. This is not how first-year head coach Darrell Hazell envisioned his first season at the helm of the program, and the Boilermakers will have a lot of work to do in the offseason. Ten of Purdue’s 11 losses came by double-digits, and the combination of the 119th-ranked scoring offense and 111th-ranked scoring defense made Purdue one of the worst statistical teams in the FBS.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Wisconsin defeated Northwestern last week and that it was going to play Illinois on Saturday. The article should have stated that Ohio State defeated Michigan and will play Michigan State in the Big Ten Football Championship game on Saturday. The Daily Illini regrets the error.