Big Ten football power rankings: Week 11
November 17, 2015
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) — Urban Meyer’s team looked sloppy for much of its game against Illinois but managed to escape Champaign with a 28-3 win. J.T. Barrett impressed upon his return from a one-game suspension, finishing with 150 passing yards and 74 rushing yards.
2. Iowa (2) — The Hawkeyes continue to plug in successful running backs. LeShun Daniels rushed for a career-high 195 yards and three touchdowns as Iowa held off Minnesota 40-35 — it’s 10-0 for the first time in school history.
3. Michigan (3) — Jim Harbaugh’s squad survived another close game on the road, this time a double-overtime game in Bloomington, Indiana. Jake Rudock threw for 440 yards, six touchdowns and one interception in the Wolverines’ 48-41 win over the Hoosiers.
4. Michigan State (4) — The Spartans made easy work of Maryland in their 24-7 win but lost their quarterback during the game. Connor Cook left the game with a shoulder injury but doesn’t expect to miss Saturday’s game against Ohio State.
5. Wisconsin (5) — The Badgers have an 8-2 record and are 5-1 in the Big Ten but their loss to Iowa will likely ruin their chance of going to the Big Ten Championship. Wisconsin has the second-best total defense in the conference and ranks sixth in total offense.
6. Northwestern (6) — It took a late Justin Jackson touchdown for the Wildcats to get past Purdue in their 21-14 win. Jackson rushed for 116 yards and Clayton Thorson threw for 82 yards and an interception.
7. Penn State (7) — The Nittany Lions have a 7-3 record and 4-2 record in the conference but are fourth in the Big Ten East. Christian Hackenberg ranks ninth in the conference in passing yards per game and eighth in pass efficiency.
8. Illinois (8) — Illini defenders made all the right plays for their team to pull off an upset over Ohio State but the offense and special teams struggled in the team’s 28-3 loss. Lunt threw for 241 yards and Josh Ferguson rushed for 49 in the team’s final home game.
9. Nebraska (10) — Mike Riley’s Cornhuskers have bounced back after a tough start to their season. Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for 188 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in Nebraska’s 31-14 win over Rutgers — the Cornhuskers need one more win to become bowl eligible.
10. Minnesota (9) — The Golden Gophers almost handed Iowa its first loss of the season but Minnesota couldn’t finish the job on the road, losing 40-35. Mitch Leidner threw for 259 yards and one touchdown and Minnesota needs to win its remaining two game to become bowl eligible.
11. Indiana (11) — Mitchell Paige almost caught a touchdown that would’ve forced a third overtime against Michigan, but the receiver bobbled the ball and the Hoosiers couldn’t pull off the upset, losing 48-41. Nate Sudfeld threw for 220 yards and one touchdown while Jordan Howard rushed for 238 and two touchdowns.
12. Maryland (12) — The Terrapins lead the bottom dwellers of the conference after a solid performance in their 24-7 loss to Michigan State. Perry Hills threw for 140 yards and an interception and Anthony Nixon had two interceptions on defense.
13. Purdue (13) — The Boilermakers almost bounced back after their blowout loss to Illinois but fell short against Northwestern. David Blough threw for 287 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the 21-14 loss.
14. Rutgers (14) — A tough year for the Scarlet Knights continues after their 31-14 loss to Nebraska. Chris Laviano threw for 165 yards and two interceptions as Rutgers enters the final two weeks of the season at 3-7.