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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 7

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NCAA Football: Illinois at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 1

LW: 1

Move: —

Saquon Barkley, the most likely Heisman hopeful in the Big Ten, once again proved his worth helping the Nittany Lions continue their Big Ten dominance.

Next Week: BYE

Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 2

LW: 2

Move: —

Nine different Buckeyes scored touchdowns (8 offensivee, 1 defensive) as Ohio State crushed Maryland 62-14. The Buckeyes are heating up at the right time for the heart of the Big Ten season.

Next Week: at Nebraska

Wisconsin Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 3

LW: 4

Move: UP 1

After a slow start, the Badgers scored 21 unanswered to end the game with a 21-point victory over Nebraska. Wisconsin looks to be the team to beat in its division.

Next Week: vs. Purdue

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

Ranking: 4

LW: 3

Move: DOWN 1

The Wolverines and their stout defense looked pedestrian at best this weekend as they lost at home to rival Michigan State. The Wolverines now may be on the outside looking in for the Big Ten Championship.

Next Week: at Indiana

Maryland Terrapins (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 5

LW: 5

Move: —

Nobody will fault the Terrapins for getting slaughtered by the Buckeyes, as most teams in the Big Ten may well have the same result. Expect better results next week from Maryland.

Next Week: vs. Northwestern

Michigan State Spartans (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten)

Ranking: 6

LW: 8

Move: UP 2

Two straight weeks, two straight upsets. The Spartans took down Big Ten powerhouse and rival Michigan Saturday, likely dashing any hope their big brother had to reach the Big Ten Championship.

Next Week: at Minnesota

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 7

LW: 6

Move: DOWN 1

The Golden Gophers took a bad loss to Purdue on Saturday, and open the Big Ten season at 0-2. Minnesota will need to dig down to fix its problems on offense and defense.

Next Week: vs. Michigan State

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 8

LW: 9

Move: UP 1

Iowa looked beatable in its first half against Illinois. Then the second half happened and everything was fixed for the Hawkeyes. A 29-point victory will help to build the confidence of Iowa.

Next Week: Bye

Northwestern Wildcats (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 9

LW: 7

Move: DOWN 2

Northwestern started off poorly and never recovered against Penn State on Saturday. Now sitting under .500, the Wildcats will need to find ways to win if they hope to see the postseason in 2017.

Next Week: at Maryland

Indiana Hoosiers (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 10

LW: 10

Move: —

The Hoosiers hosted Charleston Southern on Saturday and only won by 27 points. Indiana should have been able to win handily. Could this be a sign of things to come?

Next Week: vs. Michigan

Purdue Boilermakers (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 11

LW: 11

Move: —

Purdue gained a nice 14-point win over Minnesota, keeping the Boilermakers above .500. The PJ Fleck-led squad looks to be better than most expected at this point in the rebuild project.

Next Week: at Wisconsin

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten)

Ranking: 12

LW: 12

Move: —

Nebraska looked lost against Wisconsin and the job of Mike Riley is in serious jeopardy. Nebraska will need a strong finish if Riley is to return in 2018.

Next Week: vs. Ohio State

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten)

Ranking: 13

LW: 13

Move: —

Illinois looked promising in the first half against a good Iowa squad, but fell apart in the second half, which has been their mantra this season. A game against basement buddy Rutgers may be the Illini’s last hope for a conference win in 2017.

Next Week: vs. Rutgers

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

Ranking: 14

LW: 14

Move: —

Rutgers had this past weekend off before a matchup with Illinois on Saturday.

Next Week: at Illinois