Week Nine Big Ten Power Rankings

The week eight slate was loaded with many essential games, especially with two important matchups for the Big Ten West. And, of course, how could I forget of then-ranked No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 3 Ohio State?

Now, moving onto this weekend, conference play will commence and there are a few teams to watch to establish themselves in the running for their division.

Here is the week nine Big Ten Power Rankings!

Week Nine Big Ten Power Rankings

14. Indiana Hoosiers

Record: 2-5 (0-4)

Last Week: Rutgers 14-31

Last Week’s Power Ranking: 14

This Week: @ No. 10 Penn State

The Indiana Hoosiers had another rough weekend, losing to Rutgers at home. They have had a rough season overall, and they are now losing three straight going into a matchup against Penn State.

Indiana has a rough schedule for the rest of the season, with games against Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue. If they want to get close to bowl eligibility, they will need to turn things around immediately.

13. Michigan State Spartans

Record: 2-5 (0-4)

Last Week: No. 2 Michigan 0-49

Last Week Power Ranking: 12 

This Week: @ Minnesota

The Michigan State Spartans are coming off a pitiful performance at home against No. 2 Michigan. The Spartans couldn’t get anything against the Wolverines, only gaining 182 total yards while allowing 447 yards to Michigan.

Now, it doesn’t get any easier this week as Michigan State has to go on the road against Minnesota, which is coming off an upset victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes on the road. Like the Hoosiers, the Spartans’ remaining schedule isn’t going to get easier as they host Nebraska before going on the road to Ohio State and Indiana. Michigan State finishes the season against No. 10 Penn State at Ford Field in Detroit.

12. Purdue Boilermakers

Record: 2-5 (1-3)

Last Week: BYE

Last Week Power Ranking: 13 

This Week: @ Nebraska

The Purdue Boilermakers got a much-needed break before their final stretch of games. First-year head coach Ryan Walters still has a chance to turn around the season, starting on the road at Nebraska.

After going on the road to Nebraska, the Boilermakers must go into the Big House to take on No. 2 Michigan before spending the final two of three weeks at home. Purdue still can make a bowl game in 2023 but have little room for mistakes.

11. Illinois Fighting Illini

Record: 3-5 (1-4)

Last Week: Wisconsin 21-25

Last Week Power Ranking: 11

This Week: BYE

The Illinois Fighting Illini were close to an upset victory over Wisconsin last weekend. They had a 21-7 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Illini would later blow their lead and lose on a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown from Nolan Rucci.

Illinois has finally made it to their much-needed bye week. It allows them to get healthier and prepare for their final four-game stretch. After the bye, the Illini go on the road to Minnesota for a Big Ten West showdown.

10. Northwestern Wildcats

Record: 3-4 (1-3)

Last Week Nebraska 9-17

Last Week Power Ranking: 10

This Week: Maryland

Northwestern had a chance to improve to 4-3 last week against Nebraska, but they would fall short 17-9. Junior Brandan Sullivan started again last week and played right, but the Wildcat offense couldn’t overcome the Blackshirts.

Now Northwestern gets another chance for a possible run to end the season against Maryland at home. If the Wildcats can pull off the upset, Northwestern has a chance at making a run for bowl game eligibility.

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Record: 4-3 (2-2)

Last Week: Northwestern 17-9

Last Week Power Ranking: 9

This Week: Purdue

Nebraska Cornhuskers’ defense, led by Tony White, has been the saving grace for this team. They got eight sacks in their victory over the Wildcats. The defense getting multiple big stops allowed Heinrich Haarberg and Nebraska’s offense to score.

The win over Northwestern seriously put the Huskers into the running for the Big Ten West Division title race. They need some things to go their way, but have a chance to continue their quest this weekend against Purdue.

8. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Record: 4-3 (2-2)

Last Week: Iowa 12-10

Last Week Power Ranking: 8

This Week: Michigan State

The Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the then-No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium. The Gophers did so without scoring a touchdown, kicking four field goals. The win propels them back into the Big Ten West title race, and they could make a run through the final four weeks.

Minnesota gets Michigan State before going on the road to Purdue and No. 3 Ohio State before heading back home to take on Wisconsin to end the season. If the Gophers can make a run to end the season, they have a shot to make it to Indianapolis.

7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Record: 6-2 (3-2)

Last Week: Indiana 31-14

Last Week Power Ranking: 7

This Week: BYE

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are now bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014, when they finished 8-5. They can make this season even better with the remaining schedule. After the bye, the Scarlet Knights get the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes at home before going on the road to Iowa and No. 10 Penn State. Being bowl-eligible is a vast improvement for head coach Greg Schiano’s staff, which has shown improvement during his time at Rutgers.

6. Maryland Terrapins

Record: 5-2 (2-2)

Last Week: BYE

Last Week Power Ranking: 6

This Week: @ Northwestern

The Maryland Terrapins got a much-needed break this past week after losing two straight going into it. The bye week allows them to get healthier and prepare for a brutal final five games to end the season.

They start on Saturday against Northwestern, then face No. 10 Penn State. The Terrapins must travel to Nebraska before playing No. 2 Michigan at home, finally finishing on the road at Rutgers.

5. Iowa Hawkeyes

Record: 6-2 (3-2)

Last Week: Minnesota 10-12

Last Week Power Ranking: 4

This Week: BYE

The Iowa Hawkeyes lost to the Gophers last week, changing the outlook of the Big Ten West. The bye week comes at a good time, with three more Big Ten West opponents left on the schedule. An excellent final stretch can put the Hawkeyes in the driver’s seat for a Big Ten Championship spot. 

4. Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 5-2 (3-1)

Last Week: Illinois 25-21

Last Week Power Ranking: 5

This Week: No. 3 Ohio State

The Wisconsin Badgers moved to the top of the West Division standings this past weekend after a loss to Iowa and a win over Illinois. The Badgers fought against the Illini, returning from a 21-7 deficit going into the fourth quarter.

Now Wisconsin gets the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes at home this weekend. This could be a signature win for first-year head coach Luke Fickell and show what he is building in Madison is heading in the right direction. 

3. No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions

Record: 6-1 (3-1)

Last Week: No. 3 Ohio State 12-20

Last Week Power Ranking: 3

This Week: Indiana

Penn State had a rough showing against the Buckeyes on Saturday, failing to pull off the win. The loss on Saturday will make things difficult in their quest for the Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions now have the Hoosiers in town before facing Maryland on the road, getting No. 2 Michigan at home.

No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 7-0 (4-0)

Last Week: Penn State 20-12

Last Week Power Ranking: 2

This Week: @ Wisconsin

The Ohio State Buckeyes had a massive victory over Penn State on Saturday. The win puts them just behind Michigan, and it looks like it will come down to their matchup at the end of the season. However, Ohio State has to make it through Wisconsin this weekend. Going on the road to Madison is now an easy task and we will learn more about this team in that matchup.

No. 1 Michigan Wolverines

Record: 8-0 (5-0)

Last Week: Michigan State 49-0

Last Week Power Ranking: 1

This week: BYE

Michigan Wolverines had a dominating showing against their rival Michigan State last weekend, putting up 49 points without giving up any. The Wolverines have been a force to be reckoned with during conference play. 

However, the Wolverines have an interesting bye week with the ongoing investigation of a Michigan staffer. There isn’t much information, but it could affect the rest of the season. But right now, Michigan looks like they are heading to a third-straight Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff. 

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