1. Ohio State (9-0, 5-0) – 33 points (all first-place votes) (LW: 1)
Ricky: The Buckeyes tackled another step on their road to a possible BCS Title. This time they got a win against the last place Purdue Boilermakers. Braxton Miller stole the show as he threw for 233 yards and four touchdowns. OSU has scored an average of 59.5 points per game in their past two games. After their bye week in Week 10, the Buckeyes will play an Illini squad that has given up big points to both Wisconsin and Michigan State.
2. Michigan State (8-1, 5-0) – 29 points (LW: 3)
Ryan (3rd): The question of whether MSU’s defense was a product of who they had played up to this point in the season was answered with a resounding no because Sparty dominated a solid Wolverines offense this past Saturday. The Spartans sacked Michigan 7 times on the day and held Michigan to -48 yards rushing. Folks, that’s about as dominating a defensive performance as you will ever see in college football. An OSU / MSU B1G Title game sure seems like it’s going to happen.
3. Wisconsin (6-2, 4-1) – 28 points (LW: 2)
Ryan (2nd): The Badgers did what they do best, by going in to Kinnick Stadium, and running the ball down the Hawkeyes throats en route to a 28-9 victory. Overall, Wisconsin rushed for 218 yards with James White (132 yards on 19 carries, 2 TD) doing the heavy lifting this time around.
A Wisconsin / Michigan State matchup would certainly be entertaining, but unfortunately the schedule doesn’t play out that way and Ohio St. is already firmly in control of representing the Leaders Division in this year’s B1G Title game. All signs point to the Badgers finishing the B1G portion of their schedule 7-1, and on the outside looking in when it comes to the B1G Title game.
4. Minnesota (7-2, 3-2) – 23 points (LW: T5)
Ricky (4th): There no one that has been on the Golden Gopher bandwagon more during the past few weeks then I have. Ever since the Northwestern win, the Golden Gophers have been playing with a ton of emotion and that can be a very scary thing for opposing teams. Minnesota will take their three game Big Ten win streak back home against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
5. Nebraska (6-2, 3-1) – 22 points (LW: T5)
Ryan (5th): Prayers were answered in Huskerville this past weekend as Ron Kellogg III’s tipped 49 yard Hail Mary toss bounced into the waiting hands of Jordan Westerkamp for the game winning TD, capping off a career day for the Lombard, Illinois native who finished with 4 catches for 104 yards in addition to the game winning score. The Huskers face Michigan and Michigan State the next 2 weeks, and if they take care of business they will assume full control over the driver’s seat as the Legends Division representative in the B1G Title Game.
6. Michigan (6-2, 2-2) – 18 points (LW: 4)
Ricky (6th): Big Blue is singing the blues after their huge loss to in-state rival Michigan State this past weekend. Due to the MSU loss, it looks like the Wolverines will not be playing for a conference championship in 2013. However, that doesn’t mean they cannot finish strong. As long as Devin Gardner plays well, Michigan will also have a chance to win games.
T7. Penn State (5-3, 2-2) – 13 points (LW: T8)
Ryan (8th): Despite their best efforts, the Nittany Lions were unable to grant Illinois their first Big Ten win under Head Coach Tim Beckman. What should have went down as a loss at home for PSU instead turned into their 2nd OT win of the season when Ryan Keiser intercepted Nathan Scheelhaase’s go-for-the-gusto pass on the Illini’s first play of OT. The most dominating performance of the day for PSU came from RB Bill Belton, who joined a long list of running backs to have a field day against the Illini defense as he rushed for 201 yards on 36 carries in Penn State’s victory.
T7. Iowa (5-4, 2-3) – 13 points (LW: 7)
Ricky (9th): The Hawkeyes might have been able to run with the Buckeyes and beat down the Wildcats, but the Badgers seemed to be too much for them. Iowa is not 1-3 in the Big Ten and will play a Purdue team that sit at the bottom of the conference. If the Hawkeyes cannot win this week against the Boilermakers, then they do not deserve to make it to a bowl game (one win shy).
9. Indiana (3-5, 1-3) – 10 points (LW: T8)
Ricky (8th): Indiana played hard this past week against Minnesota, but fell short in the fourth quarter of the game. Now, the Hoosiers have lost three straight Big Ten games. However, they have a very winnable game coming up this week against the Illinois Fighting Illini. Hoosier Nation can expect to hear about the Illini conference losing streak all game on Saturday. Especially because the last time the Illini won a Big Ten game was in 2011 against Indiana in Bloomington.
10. Northwestern (4-5, 0-5) – 6 points (LW: 10)
Ricky (10th): Oh where, oh where have my Wildcats gone? Oh where, oh where can they be? Those are some of the questions that Northwestern fans are asking themselves as their team continues their slide against conference opponents. I’m not sure, but I would say that this loss hurts a little more than the overtime loss to Iowa because the Cornhuskers beat the Cats on a last second Hail Mary. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wildcats head into Champaign with zero wins in the Big Ten on November 30th. Also, if Northwestern can somehow beat either Michigan or Michigan State, it’d be great for the Illini to shut the door on Northwestern’s bowl game hopes.
11. Illinois (3-5, 0-4) – 3 points (LW: 11)
Ryan (11th): The Illini were knocking on heaven’s door this past weekend in Happy Valley, but victory wouldn’t answer the door. As a result, the Illini left Beaver Stadium a frustrated bunch. Will that translate into highly motivated play this weekend as Illinois hits the bricks again to take on the Hoosiers in Bloomington? My heart says yes, but my gut tells me we are about to see the Hoosiers explode for a whole lot of points. The only question is if the Illinois offense will do the same, and give the Illini a chance at the elusive streak-stopping B1G victory.
12. Purdue (1-7, 0-4) – 0 points (LW: 12)
Ryan (12th): Purdue was Pur-done early on in their matchup with tOSU this past weekend as they trailed 28-0 heading into the 2ndquarter. Things got even worse from there as the Boilermakers only managed to amass 116 yards total for the entire game while surrendering a grand total of 640 yards to the Buckeyes. Clearly, tOSU felt the need to prove a point, and the end result was a 56-0 Boilermaker loss, which probably drove most Purdue fans from Ross-Ade Stadium and directly to Harry’s Chocolate Shop in search of a different type of Boilermaker.
The Writing Illini Big Ten power rankings are a collection of votes from our staff. Commentary is provided by Lead Editor Ricky Widmer and Co-Editor Ryan Kraemer.
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