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B1G Power Rankings: Minnesota now ahead of Michigan
November 19, 2013 - Andy Heintz
Last week’s slate of college football games were as good as it gets. The Big Ten had two really good games to watch and other leagues delivered major entertainment as well.
It was fun to not have to focus on the Iowa football team and just take in some other games.
Unfortunately, the results from Saturday didn’t change much from a rankings standpoint. I did switch around Penn State and Indiana and I moved now nationally ranked Minnesota ahead of Michigan after the Wolverines’ just barely got by Northwestern.
Here is my rundown for the week. Things will likely move around this weekend with key matchups taking place around the league.
12. Purdue -- 1-9, 0-6
Purdue remains at the bottom this week. Penn State is not that good and has a freshman QB but still made easy work on the Boilermakers. Purdue did score a Big-Ten high 21 points though and should be competitive in a home matchup with fellow bottom feeder Illinois.
11. Illinois -- 3-7, 0-6
Back-to-back 35 point offensive performances haven’t done anything to save the Illini’s season. Illinois’ defense just can’t stop anybody. Ohio State got to 60 on them this past weekend and they will take six straight losses into a road game with also Big Ten winless Purdue.
10. Northwestern -- 4-6, 0-6
The Wildcats are truly snake bitten. If you didn’t think so after Iowa’s 17-10 overtime win or Nebraska’s win on a hail marry, then you probably do after the Wildcats blew a 9-3 lead late to Michigan and eventually lost in triple OT. Northwesten had ample chances to win, including dropping several picks on defense, but the Wildcats just don’t know how to win.
9. Indiana -- 4-6, 2-4
I know Penn State lost to Indiana but I can’t jump the Hoosiers past the Nittany Lions this week because Indiana has a losing record and simply didn’t show up against nationally ranked Wisconsin. The Badgers piled up a ridiculous 676 total yards and 554 of those came on the ground. The Hoosiers likely finish 5-7 on the year after another loss at Ohio State this weekend and then a home win over Purdue in the finale.
8. Penn State -- 6-4, 3-3
It is always easy to right a sinking ship when you play Purdue but credit the Nittany Lions for coming out and dominating from the start. Penn State put up 501 yards of offense and ran for 289 in the easy win. The Lions finish with a home game against Nebraska and a road matchup with 19th ranked Wisconsin. Good luck.
7. Michigan -- 7-3, 3-3
I credit the Wolverines for buckling down and finding a way to win at Northwestern last weekend. It was an epic triple overtime game but Michigan should have been dead in the water. Brady Hoke and his staff saved his job for now. The Wolverines though have two tough games to end the year, starting Saturday at Iowa.
6. Minnesota -- 8-2, 4-2
The Gophers are coming off a bye and will take a four-game win streak into their home game with 19th ranked Wisconsin. Minnesota hit the national rankings this week but I am still not fully on board. The Gophers are 0-0 against the top three teams in the league, 1-2 against the next tier and 3-0 against the bottom tier. Show me something Gophers.
5. Iowa -- 6-4, 3-3
The Hawkeyes still have plenty to play for. The fan base wants to see how far Kirk Ferentz can rebound after a 4-8 year. Can the Hawkeyes win out and get back to a very respectable bowl game or is 6-6 the ceiling? Iowa is favored against the Wolverines at home Saturday. The Hawkeyes must deliver and secure them a spot for a warm-weather bowl destination.
4. Nebraska -- 7-3, 4-2
The Huskers were essentially eliminated from the Legends Division title last weekend when Michigan State came into Lincoln and delivered a big knockout punch. I think Husker fans ultimately can accept those losses to ranked teams in UCLA and Michigan State. It’s that loss to Minnesota that still stings. Bo Pelini may need to update his resume soon. The road game this Saturday at Penn State is a must-win for he and his staff.
3. Wisconsin -- 8-2, 5-1
I am one who feels like the Badgers are underrated. You could rank them in the top 10 and I would be OK with it. They have tons of weapons on offense and that running game is simply dominant. The Badgers will take five straight wins into Saturday’s showdown at 25th ranked Minnesota. Win that one, and they should go 10-2 with a trip to Happy Valley scheduled to end the year.
2. Michigan State -- 9-1, 6-0
Michigan State, from what I saw, dominated their game with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers got a few big plays in on the Spartans’ dominant defense but I never felt that the game was in doubt. The Spartans have an outside shot at a BCS. The schedule sets up nicely for MSU to hand out an 11-1 record to BCS bowl reps at the end of the year.
1. Ohio State -- 10-0, 6-0
Urban Meyer has a problem with the BCS and I can’t say I blame. I am not sure he needed to say anything, but he just said what every other college football fan in the world thinks – the system is flawed. The Buckeyes could go unbeaten in two straight seasons and not play for a national title. And Baylor could be in line to take over the No.3 spot in the Bears keep winning. I can’t wait for that OSU-MSU Big Ten title game though. It should be fun.
This week’s schedule
Michigan at Iowa
Illinois at Purdue
(13) Michigan State at Northwestern
Nebraska at Penn State
(19) Wisconsin at (25) Minnesota
Indiana at (3) Ohio State
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