Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 6

Story posted October 5, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Kaplan

A couple close games provided the most entertainment in what was otherwise a fairly quiet week across the Big Ten slate. Here are the power rankings heading into Week 6:

14. Rutgers (1-4, 0-2 B1G)
13. Illinois (2-2, 0-1)
12. Northwestern (2-2, 0-1)
11. Indiana (2-2, 0-2)
10. Minnesota (3-1, 0-1)
9. Nebraska (3-2, 2-0)
8. Iowa (3-2, 0-2)
7. Maryland (3-1, 1-0)
6. Purdue (2-2, 0-1)

5. Michigan State (3-1, 1-0)

Sparty had a good win over Iowa after getting crushed by Notre Dame last week. Brian Lewerke continues to be one of the best quarterbacks in the conference. They have their work cut out for them, heading to the Big House to try and take down their biggest rivals in No. 7 Michigan. While it doesn’t look good for Mark Dantonio and his team, everybody knows what happened the last time these teams met in Ann Arbor.

4. Michigan (4-0, 1-0)

The No. 7 Wolverines had a bye last week but still have to figure out their quarterback situation. Does John O’Korn remain under center even after Wilton Speight returns from injury? Most pundits would think so, as the offense finally looked functional once O’Korn came under center against Purdue. Michigan is 3-0 in night games all-time in Ann Arbor, but the ghosts of the 2015 game still haunt Michigan fans to this day.

3. Ohio State (4-1, 2-0)

No. 10 Ohio State is starting to roll after their early loss to Oklahoma, completely throttling Rutgers in a 56-0 bashing. With very winnable games against Maryland and Nebraska the next two weeks, the Buckeyes look like a pretty confident bet to be undefeated in B1G play when they host No. 4 Penn State on Oct. 28. While J.K. Dobbins has been one of the best running backs in the Big Ten this year, it remains to be seen what he can do against good teams.

2. Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0)

Paul Chryst has the No. 9 Badgers playing dominant football thus far, although Northwestern nearly gave them a scare last week. With the luxury of playing in the Big Ten West, Wisconsin has the luxury of a pretty easy schedule, as No. 7 Michigan is the only ranked team on their slate. A night game in Lincoln this week should give the Badgers a good litmus test, as a upset loss to the Cornhuskers would leave the division wide open.


1. Penn State (5-0, 2-0)

The No. 4 Nittany Lions continue to dominate, and Saquon Barkley continues to impress, throwing for one touchdown, and bringing a kick return to the house for another this past week against Indiana. His Heisman campaign seems to build on itself with each game. But the Penn State defense has also been impressive, allowing less than 10 points a game. They will travel to Northwestern and then have a bye week before hosting Michigan on Oct. 21.

Zach Kaplan is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. Reach him via email at zachkaplan5@gmail.com.