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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 6

After 5 weeks of action in the Big Ten, where do things shake out?

Nebraska v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 1

LW: 1

Move: —

Indiana was the Penn State’s latest victim, and the Nittany Lions wasted little time dispatching the Hoosiers. With a 45-14 victory, Penn State has a secure hold on the top spot in the Big Ten.

Ohio State Buckeyes (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 2

LW: 2

Move: —

With a stout 56-0 victory, the Buckeyes are returning to dominance in the Big Ten, showing what many analysts expected out of Ohio State from the beginning of the season. Ohio State looks like they may be on a collision course with Penn State on Oct. 28th.

Michigan Wolverines (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 3

LW: 3

Move: —

Michigan had the week off before a showdown with in-state rival Michigan State.

Wisconsin Badgers (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 4

LW: 4

Move: —

Wisconsin continues to be the class of the division after a 33-24 victory over Northwestern. Riding the legs of Jonathan Taylor and his two touchdowns, the Badgers travel to inner divisional foe Nebraska next weekend.

Maryland Terrapins (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 5

LW: 6

Move: UP 1

The Terrapins were able to continue their strong season in the Big Ten with a seven-point victory over Minnesota. Featuring 130 yards on 18 carries from Ty Johnson, Maryland continues to be one of the more surprising teams in the Big Ten in 2017.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 6

LW: 5

Move: DOWN 1

Minnesota had a hard time getting anything going Saturday, both in the air and on the ground. Averaging just 2.6 yards per carry, the Golden Gophers struggled to show life against a good Maryland team.

Northwestern Wildcats (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 7

LW: 7

Move: —

Northwestern got off to a slow start in Big Ten play, and who could blame them? Its first matchup came against division-favorite Wisconsin, and the Wildcats came up short in their quest for an upset. Thorson threw four touchdowns, but that was not enough as Northwestern lost by nine.

Michigan State Spartans (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 8

LW: 10

Move: UP 2

In the upset of the weekend, the Spartans took down the Iowa Hawkeyes 17-10. The Michigan State defense kept playing as well as most others in the Big Ten, holding the Hawkeyes to just 19 yards on 25 carries and a season-low 10 points.

Iowa Hawkeyes (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 9

LW: 8

Move: DOWN 1

Close losses in Big Ten play are becoming a trend for the Iowa Hawkeyes. After losing to Penn State on the last play of the game, Iowa loses to Michigan State by a single possession. If the Hawkeyes have any hope of making it to the Big Ten Championship, they will need a lot of help from the rest of the Big Ten.

Indiana Hoosiers (2-2, 0-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 10

LW: 9

Move: DOWN 1

Indiana got hammered by Penn State 45-14, but may have beaten themselves. The Hoosiers gave up a kickoff for a touchdown on the first play of the game and never quite recovered. One bright spot for the Hoosiers is the fact that they held Saquon Barkley in check most of the game, only allowing 56 yards to the current Big Ten MVP.

Purdue Boilermakers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 11

LW: 11

Move: —

Purdue had the week off before facing Minnesota on Saturday.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-2, 2-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 12

LW: 13

Move: UP 1

Nebraska silenced some doubters and may have saved Mike Riley’s job this week with a 28-6 victory over Illinois. Tanner Lee looked like a completely different quarterback and the Illini had no answer for the Nebraska passing attack.

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 13

LW: 12

Move: DOWN 1

The Illini needed a win under the lights and were far from delivering. The passing game, running game and defense never found footing in the 2017 Big Ten opener, and the Illini failed to get anything going on offense for most of the night. If the Illini hope to win any games this season in the Big Ten, they are going to need to do better than 10 completions, including only two to star receiver Mike Dudek.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-4, 0-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 14

LW: 14

Move: —

Rutgers, after a decent first Big Ten game, had to face Ohio State this past weekend and made the Buckeyes look other-worldly. Losing 56-0 and gaining just over 200 yards combined, the Scarlet Knights look to continue their inhabitance in the Big Ten basement.