Big Ten football power rankings: Week 8

1. OHIO STATE (LAST WEEK: 1) — J.T. Barrett showed that Urban Meyer’s decision to start him was the right one. The quarterback threw three touchdowns and ran in two more in Ohio State’s 49-7 win over Rutgers.

2. MICHIGAN STATE (2) — Connor Cook boosted his NFL Draft stock in the Spartans’ 52-26 win over Indiana. He threw for 398 yards and four touchdowns while Aaron Burbridge finished with 128 receiving yards and one touchdown.

3. MICHIGAN (3) — The Wolverines had a bye week after their shocking, last-minute lost to Michigan State. Michigan has a 5-2 overall record and 2-1 in the Big Ten and has the best total defense and No. 9 total offense in the conference.

4. IOWA (4) — The Hawkeyes sit at 7-0 during the bye week and control their path to the Big Ten Championship game. Iowa has already defeated Illinois, Northwestern and Wisconsin and has a chance to finish the regular season undefeated.

5. WISCONSIN (5) — Backups stole the show for the Badgers against Illinois. Bart Houston came into the game after starter Joel Stave suffered a head injury in the first quarter and threw for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in Wisconsin’s 24-13.

6. PENN STATE (6) — Christian Hackenberg threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns in the Nittany Lions’ 31-30 win over Maryland. Hackenberg completed the feat on 13 passes and became the school’s leader in completions and yards passing.

7. NORTHWESTERN (8) — The Wildcats managed to survive another close game against Nebraska. Clayton Thorson threw for 177 yards, one touchdown and ran for 126 yards and a touchdown in Northwestern’s 30-28 win. The Wildcats are bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012.

8. ILLINOIS (7) — Wes Lunt and the Illini offense failed to make big plays in the team’s 24-13 loss to Wisconsin. Lunt threw for 278 yards and one interception and completed 22 of his 43 attempts while Ke’Shawn Vaughn ran for 55 yards.

9. MINNESOTA (10) — The Golden Gophers are 4-3 and 1-2 in the Big Ten during their bye week. Mitch Leidner has thrown for 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns while Rodney Smith has rushed for 467 yards and one touchdown.

10. NEBRASKA (9) — The Mike Riley era has started with a thud that has Cornhusker fans upset after Nebraska lost its fifth game of the season against Northwestern 30-28. Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for 291 yards, one touchdown and one interception — Nebraska has lost five games for the first time since 2007.

11. MARYLAND (13) — The Terrpains lead the bottom dwellers of the Big Ten after their 31-30 loss to Penn State. Perry Hills threw for 225 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in interim coach Mike Locksley’s debut.

12. RUTGERS (11) — The Scarlet Knights hosted the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time since 2002 and it didn’t go well. Rutgers allowed 247 passing yards and 281 rushing yards in its 49-7 loss to Ohio State.

13. INDIANA (12) — Nate Sudfeld and the Hoosiers trailed by one against Michigan State at the half but the Spartans scored 31 points in the second half to win 52-26. Sudfeld threw for 308 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while Jordan Howard ran for 78 yards.

14. PURDUE (14) — It hasn’t been easy being a Boilermakers fan for the past few seasons. There are few wins as Purdue is 1-6 during its bye week as the Boilermakers ranks 12th in the Big Ten in total offense and 11th in total defense.