Big Ten Football: Final Power Rankings Following The Regular Season

The Big Ten regular season is over, with next week's Iowa/Michigan State title game clash basically serving as a play-in game for the College Football Playoff. We're here to look at the regular season that was with our final Big Ten Power Rankings of the year.

14. Purdue Boilermakers (2-10, 1-7)

Purdue has won just six games in three years. The team's recruiting strategy is just one of the myriad of things that need a major rethink.

13. Maryland Terrapins (3-9, 1-7)

Maryland snapped a seven-game losing streak with a season-closing win over Rutgers, notching their first and only Big Ten win this season. We'll see what a new head coach whips up in the first true year of the post-Randy Edsall era.

12. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-8, 1-7)

Goodbye, Kyle Flood. Rutgers' loss to a bad Maryland team was the final nail in his coaching coffin. This marks just the second losing season for the program in 11 years.

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-7, 2-6)

Minnesota finished 2-4 in its final six games and looked deflated after the sudden retirement of coach Jerry Kill. Let's see if an offseason of a work puts some wind in their sails.

10. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-7, 2-6)

Bill Cubit remains the program's coach, but this program isn't going anywhere unless they find a running game.

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-7, 3-5)

Kudos to Nebraska for buckling down in back-to-back wins over Michigan State and Rutgers. The loss to Iowa may not knock the hide-and-go-seek Huskers out of bowl contention after all, with two spots requiring 5-7 teams this year. Our question is -- would you accept an invitation after this year's disappointment.

8. Indiana Hoosiers (6-6, 2-6)

QB Nate Sudfeld and RB Jordan Howard deserved this. Indiana closed the Big Ten schedule with back-to-back wins to make a bowl for the first time since 2007. This offense is going to be fun to watch in the postseason

7. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-5, 4-4)

Penn State is an easy-to-peg squad. They beat the teams they're supposed to and lose to the ones they're not, without variance. The definition of a lower-to-mid tier bowl team.

6. Wisconsin Badgers (9-3, 6-2)

Wisconsin finished the regular season on a high note with a win over Minnesota, but they still didn't beat a Big Ten team with a winning record this year. Close losses to Iowa and Northwestern provide some semblance of a moral victory, but they were still the difference between a legit New Year's Six bid and middle-tier bowl.

5. Northwestern Wildcats (10-2, 6-2)

Congrats to the Wildcats. Knock them all you want for blowout losses to Iowa and Michigan, but this is still just the fourth time in program history that they've hit the double-digit win plateau. They had just ten wins over the past two seasons combined.

4. Michigan Wolverines (9-3, 6-2)

We've seen a lot of reactionary "writing off" of Michigan after their blowout loss to Ohio State, but they still had a fantastic season in Jim Harbaugh's which puts them ahead of schedule on a program rethink. A win in their bowl will secure just the second double-digit win season in nine tries for the Wolverines.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1, 7-1)

The defending champs may be a victim of circumstance when it comes to the College Football Playoff, but they'll be the first team slotted in if either #1 Clemson or #2 Alabama fall in their respective conference title games. If not, the Buckeyes can still be proud of a furious attempt at a title defense.

2. Michigan State Spartans (11-1, 7-1)

Here you go, Michigan State fans. The Spartans didn't win the Big Ten East in the prettiest of fashions, but that doesn't matter. The Big Ten title game is a win-and-in CFP scenario, irregardless of style points.

1. Iowa Hawkeyes (12-0, 8-0)

Iowa is 12-0 for the first time in program history, and they've scored 28 points in each of their past seven games. It's fashionable to write them off as cannon fodder for the Spartans in next week's Big Ten title game, but don't believe the hype. Iowa is the class of the conference until proven otherwise.

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Related Topics: College Football, 2015 College Football, Big Ten Football Power Rankings, NCAA Football, Big Ten Football