Big Ten Football Power Rankings After Week 8

We're getting into the meat of the Big Ten Football schedule, which means every game from here on out will take on added significance in both in the polls and in the conference title chase. Who's the class of the conference right now? Who's lagging behind? Here's our Big Ten Football Power Rankings After Week 8.


1. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0)

JT Barrett blew up the spot in his first game as Ohio State's unquestioned #1 quarterback, scoring five combined touchdowns (3 passing, 2 rushing) in #1 Ohio State' 49-7 thrashing of Rutgers. Still the champs. Still the best.

2. Michigan State Spartans (8-0, 4-0)

#6 Michigan State let Indiana hang around early before QB Connor Cook unleashed a rain of fire on the Hoosiers late in a 52-26 win. On the edge of the College Football Playoff chase and headed into a bye, MSU's big "prove it" game in Columbus is just about four weeks away.

3. Michigan Wolverines (5-2, 2-1)

We're anxious to see how the Wolverines respond with two weeks between last week's stunning loss to MSU and this coming Saturday's showdown at Minnesota.

4. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-2, 3-1)

Christian Hackenberg became PSU's all-time leader in career completions (608) and passing yards (7,453) in a 31-30 nail-biter of a win at Maryland. PSU is now bowl eligible heading into next week's home game against Illinois.

5. Indiana Hoosiers (4-4, 0-4)

Indiana is 0-4 in the conference, but they move up to #5 on our list this week due to a solid early showing against Michigan State and basic attrition. Yes, they lost to our #6 team in stunning fashion. But...

6. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-4, 1-4)

...did you see what Ohio State did to the Scarlet Knights?!? Indiana took OSU to the limit in a 34-27 home loss earlier this season. Rutgers was blown into subatomic particles in all facets of Saturday's brutal loss.

7. Maryland Terrapins (2-5, 0-3)

The Terps almost picked up their first win of the post-Randy Edsall era, but the season remains lost despite a "moral victory" against Penn State.


1. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-0, 3-0)

Iowa is sitting pretty on its bye, watching itself move into the Top Ten of the AP Poll due to losses ahead to make the third undefeated Big Ten team at #10 or above.

2. Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 3-1)

Don't look now, but Wisconsin is only 1/2 game behind Iowa after a 24-13 win at Illnois. Iowa holds the tiebreaker, though, after October 3rd's 10-6 win.

3. Northwestern Wildcats (6-2, 2-2)

Northwestern put two miserable weeks behind them and pushed their way into bowl elgibility by virtue of a thrilling 30-28 win over Nebraska in Lincoln.

4. Illinois Fighting Illini (4-3, 1-2)

Illinois sits #4 in our rankings for one reason and one reason only -- NO ONE below them is doing anything of note to challenge an Illini team that may just squeak into a bowl with six wins.

5. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-5, 1-3)

So, about Nebraska's bowl hopes. The Huskers have lost five games by a combined 13 points, opening Mike Riley's tenure in Lincoln with a level of frustration the program hasn't experienced in a long time.

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-3, 1-2)

Power rankings rule -- Team A on a bye can't jump Team B based on record if Team A's last loss was by 23 to Team B. That may be convoluted, but last week's beatdown at the hands of the Huskers still stings

7. Purdue Boilermakers (1-6, 0-3)

Good news for Purdue! They didn't play this week! They could be sitting ducks against a steaming-mad Nebraska team this coming Saturday.

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Related Topics: Connor Cook, Big Ten Football News, JT Barrett, Randy Edsall