Big Ten power rankings: Week 6

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)

The old saying is, “If you have two quarterbacks, you’ve got no quarterbacks.” That saying does not hold true for Ohio State. After almost three whole games with backup Kenny Guiton at the helm, starter Braxton Miller returned with a strong showing against Wisconsin on Saturday. The junior tossed four touchdowns and rushed for 83 yards in the victory, and while it wasn’t his best game as a Buckeye, it was a good sign moving forward against a solid Wisconsin defense. The Buckeyes have won 17 straight games under head coach Urban Meyer and can feel at ease when either quarterback enters the game.

2. Northwestern (2)

T3. Wisconsin (3)

T3. Michigan (4)

5. Nebraska (5)

6. Michigan State (6)

7. Illinois (9)

8. Penn State (8)

9. Iowa (10)

Maybe all is not lost for the Hawkeyes this season. After losing to Northern Illinois at home to start the year and way-too-close victories over Missouri State and Iowa State, Iowa has quietly put together back to back solid performances. A 59-3 thrashing of Western Michigan and this past Saturday’s 23-7 win on the road at Minnesota showed that Iowa could be a dangerous team in the middle of the Big Ten. The 4-1 Hawkeyes are thinking of clinching a bowl berth, but the upcoming stretch of Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern and Wisconsin will teach us how much Iowa has improved since its shaky start. 10. Minnesota (7)

11. Indiana (11)

12. Purdue (12)

The Boilermakers are in trouble. A season with cautiously high expectations for a rebuilding year have completely bottomed out. A new low point was hit this past weekend when Mid-American Conference opponent Northern Illinois rolled into West Lafayette and stomped the Boilers 55-24. With the benching of incumbent starter Rob Henry in the first half for true freshman Danny Etling, Purdue is in full rebuild mode for the rest of the season. The freshman played like, well, a freshman with 241 yards and two touchdowns, but two interceptions — one returned for a touchdown — showed that Etling has a long way to go.