Big Ten football power rankings: Week 9

By Daily Illini Football Staff

Editor’s note: Every week, The Daily Illini football staff ranks the football teams in the Big Ten 1-14 and compiles the lists into its own Big Ten power rankings.

1. Ohio State (Last week: 1) — It wasn’t a quiet week for the Buckeyes during their bye week. Quarterback J.T. Barrett was arrested early Saturday morning for operating a vehicle while intoxicated near campus. Barrett will be suspended for one game and will return against Illinois on Nov. 14.

2. Michigan State (2) — The Spartans have made a good case to be in the College Football Playoff’s Top Four. Quarterback Connor Cook ranks second in the Big Ten in passing average per game and pass efficiency while Michigan State has the No. 4 total offense and No. 9 total defense in the conference.

3. Iowa (4) — Desmond King and the Hawkeyes had little trouble with Maryland in their 31-15 win. King returned an interception for a 88-yard touchdown while C.J. Beathard threw for 183 yards, and three different rushers scored touchdowns.

4. Michigan (3) — Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines were lucky to escape Minneapolis with a 29-26 win over Minnesota. Wilton Speight came off the bench and threw for 29 yards and a touchdown with under five minutes to play after start Jake Rudock injured his torso.

5. Wisconsin (5) — Corey Clement ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns in his first game back from injury in the Badgers’ 48-10 win over Rutgers. Joel Stave threw for 217 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

6. Penn State (6) — Christian Hackenberg not only threw two touchdowns in the Nittany Lions’ 39-0 win over Illinois, he caught one in the rout. The junior threw for 266 yards and Saquon Barkley ran for 84 yards and one touchdown.

7. Northwestern (7) — The Wildcats sit at 6-2 and 2-2 in the Big Ten during their bye week. Northwestern is last in the conference in total offense but ranks sixth in the conference in total defense.

8. Minnesota (9) — A wild week for the Golden Gophers ended with a crazy finish against Michigan. Minnesota elected to go for the win instead of the tie in the final two seconds of the game and missed to lose 29-26 against the Wolverines in the first game since Jerry Kill resigned in the middle of the week.

9. Illinois (8) — The Illini offense didn’t make the trip to State College, Pennsylvania. Quarterback Wes Lunt threw for 129 yards on 37 attempts as Illinois was shut out for the first time since 2012 in its 39-0 loss to Penn State.

10. Indiana (13) — The Hoosiers lead the state of Indiana’s part of the power rankings. Indiana won its first four games of the season but lost its next four, all conference games. Nate Sudfeld leads the league in passing average per game and pass efficiency.

11. Purdue (14) — David Blough had himself a game against Nebraska, throwing four touchdowns and also running in one in the Boilermakers’ 55-45 win over the Cornhuskers. He threw for 274 yards and ran for 82 yards.

12. Nebraska (10) — Backup Ryker Fyfe threw for 407 yards and four touchdowns as he tried to lead a fourth-quarter comeback, but his four interceptions were too many to overcome in the Cornhuskers’ 55-45 loss to Purdue. Jordan Westerkamp caught nine passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.

13. Maryland (11) — The Terrapins waited too long to score its points as it scored all 15 in the fourth quarter in their 31-15 loss to Iowa. Perry Hills threw for 74 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions and ran for 104 yards.

14. Rutgers (12) — The Scarlet Knights fall to worst in the Big Ten after their 48-10 loss to Wisconsin. Chris Laviano threw for 31 yards and an interception while Hayden Rettig threw for 51 yards.

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