Big Ten power rankings: Week 7

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 (T3)

3. Northwestern (2)

Oh so close. The Wildcats hung with Ohio State the entire game and a late touchdown on a desperation play made the score not look as close as the game was. Northwestern used a two-quarterback system, alternating between Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian throughout the game and both were sharp. Colter didn’t throw a single incompletion and Siemian tossed two touchdowns and 245 yards on only 18 attempts. It wasn’t enough, though, as the Wildcats were only able to stop Ohio State when the Buckeyes stopped themselves. Even with Braxton Miller not looking like himself, Ohio State racked up 451 yards and scored when they needed to late in the game. The schedule doesn’t get easier for Northwestern, though. A trip to Madison next week can be a statement bounce back game or further snowball missed opportunities.

4. Wisconsin (T3)

5. Nebraska (5)

6. Michigan State (6)

7. Indiana (11)

The Hoosiers made history Saturday by earning their first-ever victory against conference foe Penn State. Indiana utilized a strong fourth quarter — outscoring the Nittany Lions 23-7 in the final frame to earn a 44-24 victory. Indiana has never had trouble moving the ball with either Nate Sudfeld under center, but it was the Hoosier defense that registered two fourth-down stops and a safety in the fourth quarter to seal the game. With a 3-2 record, Indiana is still not a lock for a bowl game, but Saturday’s victory was a must-have if the Hoosiers want to be bowling at the end of the year.

8. Illinois (7)

This past Saturday’s game against Nebraska was the first real test for the Illini, and they flunked it. The surprisingly upstart offense stalled in windy conditions and the defense continued to be porous, especially against the run. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase had his worst game of the season with 135 yards passing and no touchdowns. Whenever Nebraska brought pressure with the blitz, the senior couldn’t take advantage of man coverage in the secondary, and it kept the Illini off the board. The conference loss marks the 15th consecutive Big Ten loss for Illinois, and the Orange and Blue have a bye week to regroup before a nighttime showdown with Wisconsin on Oct. 19.

9. Iowa (9)

10. Minnesota (10)

11. Penn State (8)

12. Purdue (12)