Big Ten power rankings: Week 12

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)

2. Michigan State (2)

The Spartans had a week off last week. And it came at just the right time to prepare for what might be their biggest game of the season. Michigan State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) will face off against Nebraska (7-2, 4-1) in Lincoln, Neb., with the top of the Legends division on the line. The winner will be in firm control of the division title, as both teams have winnable games the final two weeks of the regular season.

3. Wisconsin (3)

4. Nebraska (T5)

5. Minnesota (T5)

With a win against Penn State, the Gophers have reached eight wins in a season for the first time in 10 years and have won four straight conference games in a single season for the first time since 1973. Now comes the test to see if this is a good Minnesota team or a great one. After a week off this week, the Gophers (8-2, 4-2) have back-to-back games with Wisconsin and Michigan State.

6. Michigan (4) 

7. Iowa (7)

The Hawkeyes took care of business at Purdue, handily winning a 38-14 contest. Jordan Canzeri ran for 165 yards and a touchdown in the win. Iowa (6-4, 3-3) is now bowl eligible after missing out on bowl season a year ago. Kirk Ferentz’s squad gets a home game with Michigan next, before ending the regular season in a battle with Nebraska for the Heroes Trophy the day after Thanksgiving. 

8. Penn State (8)

T9. Indiana (T9)

T9. Northwestern (T9)

11. Illinois (11)

The Illini are reeling as their losing streak reaches five games. With Ohio State paying a visit to Memorial Stadium, it’s likely that streak will reach six. Illini fans and Boilermakers fans alike have circled the Nov. 23 matchup between Illinois (3-6, 0-5) and Purdue (1-8, 0-5) as a winnable game for both teams. Unless the Illini pull off what would be the nation’s biggest upset this season, it’s likely that game will decide which team is the worst in the Big Ten and which team is the second worst.

12. Purdue (12)