Big Ten Football power rankings: Week 6


Austin Yattoni

A flag gets called for unsportsmanlike conduct during the game against Purdue at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 8. The Illini lost 34-31.

By The Daily Illini sports 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 (1) — The No. 2 Buckeyes remain atop the Big Ten summit with a convincing win over an up-and-coming Indiana team. J.T. Barrett couldn’t get it going through the air, but with the type of ground attack Ohio State has in its arsenal — 290 total yards between three rushers Saturday — the nation’s No. 1 spot doesn’t seem too far off.

2. Michigan (2) — Sure, it was against Rutgers, but a 78-0 win over anyone deserves a double take. The Wolverines scored at least 14 points in each quarter and tied a school record with nine rushing touchdowns, two of which belonged to Jabril Peppers in his return to his native New Jersey.

3. Wisconsin (4) — With a Week Six bye, they enjoyed an extra week to prepare for Ohio State’s visit to Madison this week.

4. Nebraska (3) — The undefeated Cornhuskers also saw their bye week roll around, giving the banged-up Tommy Armstrong some time to heal up before what should prove to be a tough test against Indiana this week.

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5. Penn State (5) — The Nittany Lions took down the previously undefeated Terrapins on Saturday and have now won two-straight conference games. Saquon Barkley did his thing, piling up 202 yards on the ground to nearly match Maryland’s 270 total offensive yards.

6. Iowa (10) — The defending West Division champs have had a wildly inconsistent season thus far, but two straight road wins keep them in the conversation to repeat. Heightened play from quarterback CJ Beathard (two interceptions on Saturday) will certainly help.

7. Indiana (6) — Kevin Wilson’s crew kept it respectable in its loss to Ohio State and was even able to exploit the Buckeye’s thin receiving corps. A second back needs to emerge behind Devine Redding in order for the Hoosiers to continue their upwards climb in the East.

8. Maryland (8) — DJ Durkin has plenty to be concerned about after his team’s first loss, especially with the mid-game exit of quarterback Perry Hills. The Terps allowed 372 rushing yards and will face a must-win contest against the Gophers this week.

9. Minnesota (11) — The offense has been on life support in the Gophers’ two straight conference losses, especially on third down — they’re 12 for 35 over the past two weeks. Quarterback Mitch Leidner has one touchdown and four interceptions in his past three games.

10. Northwestern (9) — The team up north seems close to righting the ship after last week’s upset win over Iowa and had Week Six off to gameplan for the reeling Spartans.

11. Michigan State (7) — Before the season, the thought of placing a double-digit ranking on the Spartans seemed like a joke, but after three-straight losses, no one in East Lansing is laughing. The three-game losing streak is the first of Mark Dantanio’s squad since 2009.

12. Purdue (13) — Just five games into the season, Darrell Hazell has more wins than he’s totaled in any season since arriving at Purdue in 2013. The Boilermakers’ overtime win lowers the temperature on Hazell’s seat just a bit, but the schedule doesn’t get any easier.

13. Illinois (11) — After hanging around on the road against Nebraska, all signs pointed to a big conference win at home, but the Boilermakers had none of that. Lovie Smith doesn’t like to dwell on a loss, but that one had to hurt a little more than usual.

14. Rutgers (14) — The Scarlet Knights have been outscored 136-0 over the past two weeks. It’s safe to say there’s no vacancy in the cellar of the Big Ten.

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