Big Ten power rankings after Week 13: Championship Game is set

Now that Week 13 is in the books, only two Big Ten teams will play next week and those who are bowl eligible will have to wait another week to find out where they’re playing.

That means you, Ohio State.

Michigan football went into the Horseshoe and ultimately dismantled the Buckeyes, 45-23, while Penn State handled Michigan State, Maryland blanked Rutgers,

Illinois throttled Northwestern, Purdue pulled away from Indiana, Minnesota got another win over Wisconsin,

 and Iowa was upset by Nebraska. As a result of this week’s contests, the Wolverines will meet the Boilermakers in Indianapolis on Saturday.

That means this is our final Big Ten power rankings of the season. Here is where each team stands.

14. Northwestern Wildcats (1-11) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 14 9/14 – What a debacle of a season. After winning the first game vs. Nebraska, the Wildcats went winless, and lost to Illinois this week. Pat Fitzgerald, if given the opportunity, has a lot of work to do.

13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-8) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 13 6/13 – Rutgers whimpered to the finish line after another strong start to the season. It needs to figure out its offense after being shut out by Maryland, but the defense can keep it in games not against Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State.

12. Michigan State Spartans (5-7) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 12 4/13 – It was an unexpectedly tough season for the Spartans, further marred by controversy. Mel Tucker will need to figure out how to rebound, especially after losing to Penn State.

11. Indiana Hoosiers (4-8) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 10 10/14 -1 Well, it was an improvement over last year, but it didn’t go as well as it started. After losing to Purdue, Tom Allen will need to make some tough decisions if he stays on as head coach.

10. Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-8) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 12 8/14 +2 The Mickey Joseph era is over and the Matt Rhule era will begin. The Huskers will not be bowling, but they have something to look forward to. And they can celebrate a win over rival Iowa.

9. Wisconsin Badgers (6-6) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 9 3/11 – After losing to Minnesota for the second-consecutive year, we’ll see what the Badgers do in terms of Jim Leonhard and their head coaching situation. They’ve been trading wins and losses his entire interim tenure.

8. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 4 4/11 -4 Iowa had no business losing to Nebraska, and thus is put out of its misery for awhile. It’s bowl eligible, but it will be playing in a lesser bowl.

7. Illinois Fighting Illini (8-4) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 7 3/13 – Illinois blew out rival Northwestern, and it had controlled its own destiny weeks ago, but lost games it really shouldn’t have. Still, a commendable year by Bret Bielema in his second year at the helm.

6. Maryland Terrapins (7-5) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 6 4/10 – Maryland shut out Rutgers and took a big step forward this year. Next would be to add another win or two to their yearly resume, but at least they’ll get to go to a bowl game.

5. Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 5 2/7 – After beating Wisconsin for the second-straight year, Minnesota should get a solid bowl game just below the New Year’s Six tier, such as the Citrus Bowl.

4. Purdue Boilermakers (8-4) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 8 4/12 +4 After backing into the Big Ten Championship game, Purdue moves up as the top team in the West. It took a minute, but the Boilermakers handled rival Indiana to secure the berth.

3. Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 3 3/6 – The Nittany Lions’ only losses were to the two top teams in the conference, and should be headed to a New Year’s Six bowl after beating Michigan State.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 2 1/2 – Still not physical, Ohio State tapped out at home in 22-point drubbing. C.J. Stroud still had over 300-yards passing and the Buckeyes ran at a 4.9-yard per carry clip, but they’ll be Pasadena-bound, unless USC slips up in the Pac-12 Championship game.

1. Michigan Wolverines (12-0) Pvs Rnk Hi/Lo Chg 1 1/3 – Michigan beat Ohio State and will face Purdue in the Big Ten Championship game and is likely in the College Football Playoff. 

The pass game kept the Wolverines alive while the run game sealed the deal against OSU in Columbus — the first win for the maize and blue in the Horseshoe in 22 years.

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