After Bye Week, Does Michigan Remain Atop Big Ten Power Rankings?

After Bye Week, Does Michigan Remain Atop Big Ten Power Rankings?

Football

After Bye Week, Does Michigan Remain Atop Big Ten Power Rankings?

After a relaxing bye week, Michigan football is back on its revenge tour with its big game against Penn State this week. The Big Ten had two big games last week, besides that it was a quiet week with byes and not much action.

An interesting note to bring up as well is that the College Football Playoff rankings will be released tonight at 7 p.m. EST and now these games will matter even more as every team wants to be in the final four at the end of the year. Quality wins are important, and now that the CFP rankings will overtake the AP polls, those are something to watch for as well. For now, though, we take a look at the Big Ten Power Rankings and see where everyone is ranked after last weeks games.

1. Michigan (7-1) (5-0)

Michigan is coming off a bye and has a big game with Penn State. Michigan is finishing its three-game gauntlet and another team on the revenge tour. Tarik Black could be back, along with Rashan Gary, but head coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t provide any updates for them so far.

2. Ohio State (7-1) (4-1)

Ohio State had a bye week as well and I wouldn’t want to be Nebraska right now. Coming off a big loss to Purdue two weeks ago, OSU head coach Urban Meyer is going to have his team ready for this weeks game and Nebraska just happens to be the next team in their way.

3. Penn State (6-2) (3-2)

Penn State got a big win against Iowa last week and while they are fourth in the Big Ten East race right now, a win against Michigan this week could throw themselves in the mix. If Penn State loses this game though, those conference championship hopes are dashed completely.

4. Northwestern (5-3) (5-1)

Taking down Wisconsin wasn’t easy, but Northwestern did it and their mindset changes this week as they take on Notre Dame. If they lose this game, it won’t hurt their conference championship hopes, but getting a big win over Notre Dame would do even more for the Wildcats confidence as they are close to clinching the division.

5. Iowa (6-2) (3-2)

Iowa took a step back against Penn State last week in that loss, but their season isn’t done just yet. A win over Purdue this week would be a big help for them in the Big Ten West race, as it is a four-team race right now and Iowa knocking down Purdue this week could make it a three-team race.

6. Wisconsin (5-3) (3-2)

Wisconsin hurt their conference championship chances with the loss to Northwestern last week, but a way to have a rebound game is to play Rutgers and that is who is next for the Badgers. Wisconsin should be able to get a win this week, but Rutgers might have some motivation to hurt Wisconsin’s conference hopes so keep an eye on that game in case anything crazy happens.

7. Michigan State (5-3) (3-2)

Michigan State got a big win over Purdue last week and their conference championship hopes stay alive once again. This week their attention turns to Maryland, the most inconsistent team in the Big Ten. Will MSU have troubles or will they have their way with Maryland? Only one way to find out.

8. Maryland (5-3) (3-2)

Maryland had its way with Illinois last week and they are quietly still in the Big Ten East race. With only Michigan owning a tiebreaker over them, Maryland could still jump over Penn State, MSU, and OSU, but first, they have to take on MSU in what will be either a blowout for MSU or a close game.

9. Purdue (4-4) (3-2)

Purdue saw a hit taken to their conference championship hopes with a loss to MSU last week and now they have to take on Iowa, a team in their way. Purdue needs this win to even have a shot at playing in Indianapolis in December. Both teams are coming off a loss and looking to keep their season alive as this game, after Michigan/Penn State, could be the biggest conference game of the week.

10. Minnesota (4-4) (1-4)

Minnesota finally got its first Big Ten win of the season and it was almost blown away after Indiana came back down 31-9 to lose 38-31. That isn’t good for Minnesota to blow a 22 point lead, but they held on and won and that is what matters in the end here. Minnesota plays Illinois this week in what could be another victory in the conference for them.

11. Indiana (4-5) (1-5)

Indiana has some fight in them, but they have been on the downward slope once the Big Ten play started. They were 3-0 to start the season, but are 1-5 since conference play has begun. They give everyone a good fight, but they just can’t close games. Coming back down 22 is impressive, but they couldn’t close it with Minnesota last week. Indiana has a bye week this week as they can prepare for Maryland in next week’s game.

12. Illinois (3-5) (1-4)

Illinois got embarrassed by Maryland last week and now they take on Minnesota who almost let Indiana come back down by 22 so Illinois might have a chance if Minnesota lets off the gas.

13. Nebraska (2-6) (1-4)

A win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats from the FCS was expected, but now the actual games come back. Nebraska plays Ohio State this week in what should be the final nail the coffin for Frost’s first season in Nebraska as a loss makes them bow ineligible, but Nebraska could be playing to ruin OSU’s season, but coming off their loss to Purdue and a bye week to prepare, good luck.

14. Rutgers (1-8) (0-6)

After a week of not losing a football game, Rutgers has to get back to work as they play Wisconsin. Rutgers could maybe try and ruin the Badgers chances at appearing in the conference championship game, but odds are in Wisconsin’s favor to win this game.

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