1) Ohio State (12-0, 8-0) – 33 points (all first-place votes) (LW: 1)
Ricky: After a very “eventful” rivalry game against Michigan, the Buckeyes escapes the Big House with a twelfth win in 2013. OSU will now they their show to Lucas Oil Stadium for a Big Ten title showdown with MSU. All Urban needs is one more win in order to go back to the National Title game.
2) Michigan State (11-1, 8-0) – 30 points (LW: 3)
Ricky (2nd): I’ll be honest, I never saw 8-0 coming from the Spartans this year. Now, they will get their shot at knocking off the Ohio State Buckeyes and getting to play in the 100th Rose Bowl. OSU might be the favorite, but I wouldn’t count Sparty out just yet.
3) Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2) – 27 points (LW: 2)
Ricky (3rd): After losing their head coach to Arkansas and being in Gary Anderson from Utah State, the Badgers have played very well this season. However, they ended the regular season with a complete flop against Penn State. The Badgers turned the ball over three times on Saturday. The Badgers will get their chance to redeem this game in a bowl, but believe they this left a BAD taste in their mouth.
4) Iowa (8-4, 5-3) – 24 points (LW: T5)
Ricky (4th): Really, there is no reason why the Hawkeyes shouldn’t be considered the fourth best team in the Big Ten. There only three conference losses came to the teams ahead of them in the rankings (OSU, MSU, and Wisconsin). The Hawkeyes proved this season that they should not be over looked and because of that they will be going to a bowl game.
5) Minnesota (8-4, 4-4) – 21 points (LW: 4)
Ricky (5th): Shocking. That’s all I can say to describe the GOphers 2013 season. The way that this team fought all season is something to be admired. Minnesota might have only scored 3 points in their last game, but they went up against arguably the best defense in the conference (MSU). Minnesota will be bowl bound this season and they deserve it.
6) Penn State (7-5, 4-4) – 17 points (LW: 8)
Ricky (6th): After losing a tough overtime game to Nebraska last week, the Nittany Lions shocked the conference by walking into Madison and defeating the Badgers. Christian Hackenberg went off on Wisconsin and threw four touchdowns. PSU might not be bowl bound this season, but they ended their season on a SUPER high note.
7) Nebraska (8-4, 5-3) – 15 points (LW: T5)
Ricky (8th): I said it before and I’ll say it again. Nebraska has been a complete disappointment to Husker Nation in 2013. Yes, you heard me right. An 8-4 disappointment. This team was talked to be a Big Ten title contender with Taylor Martinez, but has been a team that has news about the team possibly firing their head coach (Bo safe…for now).
T8) Indiana (5-7, 3-5) – 11 points (LW: 9)
Ricky (7th): After a rocking 2013 season, the Hoosiers got a nice win over in-state rival Purdue. Indiana will not play in a bowl game this year and will look to 2014.
T8) Michigan (7-5, 3-5) – 11 points (LW: 7)
Ricky (9th): The Wolverines had a chance to pull off the upset against Ohio State, but couldn’t convert on a big 2-point conversion. Really, the blame could be put on Brady Hoke. They didn’t “need” to go for two. Should of kicked the XP.
10) Northwestern (5-7, 1-7) – 6 points (LW: 10)
Ricky (10th): The Wildcats might have flopped in 2013, but avoided a winless conference schedule against the Fighting Illini. Despite winning the last game of the season, Northwestern shouldn’t feel so “high and mighty.” They still lost seven Big Ten games since losing to the Buckeyes to start every off.
11) Illinois (4-8, 1-7) – 3 points (LW: 11)
Ricky (11th): You don’t need to fire Tim Beckman. That’s all I need to say about the Fighting Illini. This year was an improvement from last year and that good enough for me. At least Beckman was at the last game of the year. Where were you Illinois student section?
12) Purdue (1-11, 0-8) – 0 points (LW: 12)
Ricky (12th): Yes, there was a Big Ten team worse than Illinois in 2013. That would be Purdue. Zero Big Ten wins and ten straight losses to end the year. Better luck next year Purdue.
The Writing Illini Big Ten power rankings are a collection of votes from our staff. Commentary is provided by Lead Editor Ricky Widmer.