A quiet weekend in the Big Ten featured only four games and No. 14 Michigan was the only ranked team in action. Because of that, there is very little shake-up from last week’s rankings.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten)
The Buckeyes were idle last week. They host Maryland in Columbus, Ohio for an 11 a.m. Central kickoff this week. Ohio State has beat Maryland all five times they have played, including four wins by 21 or more points. Last year’s game in College Park, Maryland, was a thriller in which OSU squeaked out a 52-51 win in overtime.
2. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten)
The Nittany Lions were on a bye last week. This week, they travel to Minneapolis for a top-15 showdown between two 8-0 teams against No. 13 Minnesota. This will be the teams’ first matchup since 2016, a 29-26 Penn State victory.
3. Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
Wisconsin was idle last week. The Badgers received an extra week to gameplan for Iowa in a top-20 matchup at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. The series has tilted toward Wisconsin recently as the Badgers have won their last three matchups and six of the last seven.
4. Michigan Wolverines (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten)
The No. 14 Wolverines took care of business against Maryland, winning 38-7 in College Park, Maryland. The Michigan offense posted 331 total yards in balanced fashion, passing for 176 and rushing for 155. The Wolverines will have a bye week this week to prepare for Michigan State on Nov. 16.
5. Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten)
Minnesota comes off a bye week to host No. 5 Penn State. Despite the pleadings of head coach P.J. Fleck, “College GameDay” will not come to Minneapolis for this game, choosing instead to visit LSU-Alabama, a No. 1 vs No. 2 matchup.
6. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
Iowa comes out of a bye week looking to keep pace with Wisconsin and Minnesota in the race for the Big Ten West with a matchup against the Badgers. The Hawkeyes haven’t broken 20 points against the Badgers since a 26-24 loss in 2014.
7. Indiana Hoosiers (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten)
After securing bowl eligibility against Nebraska two weekends ago, the Hoosiers moved up in bowl position by earning their seventh win, a 34-3 victory over Northwestern. Indiana has now scored 31 points or more in all but one game this year, and is averaging 34 points per game. The Hoosiers get a bye this week to prepare for a trip to Penn State in two weeks.
8. Michigan State Spartans (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten)
The Spartans face Illinois after using the bye week to work on their offense. MSU, which overhauled its offensive staff over the offseason, averages only 21.8 points and has scored 10 points or fewer in half of its games this year. In 2016, MSU fell to Illinois 31-27 in Champaign, Illinois, despite gaining 490 yards because of a fumble and 10 penalties.
9. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten)
Illinois got back to .500 in conference and is now one win away from bowl eligibility with a 38-10 trouncing of Rutgers. The Fighting Illini rushed for 204 yards, recovered two fumbles and recorded 10 tackles for loss. Head coach Lovie Smith’s crew will look to earn a win over Michigan State next week to become bowl eligible.
10. Nebraska (4-5, 2-4 Big Ten)
Nebraska lost its third straight game on Saturday, falling 31-27 to Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. Quarterback Adrian Martinez returned from a left knee injury and looked rusty, going 22-39 passing with an interception and rushing 12 times for 58 yards. The Nebraska defense played a stellar first half but allowed 14 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the game. The Huskers will have their second bye of the season this week.