Big Ten football power rankings after Week 11

Big Ten football power rankings after Week 11

Believe it or not, there are only two weeks left in the college football regular season. After 11 weeks, we have a pretty good handle on where the power of the Big Ten East lies, but we’re still waiting to see how the jumbled mess that is the Big Ten West shakes out.

Ohio State and Michigan continued to win and remain undefeated on the season, Penn State still looks like the best team not named Ohio State or Michigan, and the rest of the league is more inconsistent than a late fall forecast in the Midwest.

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But, hey, we like a challenge — or torture depending on how you look at it — so we give it our best shot every week at stack ranking all of the Big Ten teams from worst to first in our weekly Big Ten football power rankings.

So, here we are again, with another effort that continues to see the middle of the league beat each other up and make figuring this whole thing out remarkably hard.

Here are our post-Week 11 Big Ten football power rankings.


Northwestern Wildcats (1-9, 1-6)

Nov. 5, 2022; Evanston, Ill.; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald (center) takes the field with his team against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ryan Field. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

last week

Lost at Minnesota, 31-3

Previous week Exchange
14 no change

We are late in the season here, and I’ve run out of creative ways to say that Northwestern lost another game. That’s all I got. Let’s move on shall we?

Next Up

at Purdue


Indiana Hoosiers (3-7, 1-6)

Nov. 12, 2022; Columbus; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Xavier Johnson (10) runs the ball in the second quarter of their NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Brooke LaValley – The Columbus Dispatch

last week

Lost at Ohio State, 56-14

Previous week Exchange
13 no change

Indiana didn’t just get taken behind the woodshed again this week, it got taken behind it and given a super wedgie by Ohio State. I’m not really sure where the program goes from here, but the end of the season probably can’t come soon enough for the Hoosiers.

Next Up

at Ohio State


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

Sep. 10, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Samuel Brown V (27) runs with the ball against the Wagner Seahawks during the second half at SHI Stadium. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

last week

Lost at Michigan State, 27-21

Previous week Exchange
12 no change

The Scarlet Knights really needed to win at Michigan State to have any hopes of making a bowl game. Despite a spirited effort, they didn’t, so it’s back to chopping more wood in the offseason in hopes of making enough kindling to start a fire of momentum for next year.

Next Up

vs. Penn State


Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-7, 2-5)

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

last week

Lost at Michigan, 34-3

Previous week Exchange
11 no change

Any slim shot the Cornhuskers had at waffling their way into Big Ten West contention was likely shucked with the loss to Michigan. Now that a bowl game is out of the picture, all attention will turn to the coaching search.

Next Up

vs. Wisconsin


Wisconsin Badgers (5-5, 3-4)

Nov/ 5, 2022; Madison, Wis.; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) throws a pass during the third quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at Camp Randall Stadium. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

last week

Lost at Iowa, 24-10

Previous week Exchange
8 -2

We keep saying Wisconsin is a much better team at home than on the road and that proved true again as the Badgers were shaved and declawed by the Iowa defense on the road. One more win and Wisconsin at least gets to take part in a bowl game, but that will not be easy.

Next Up

at Nebraska


Maryland Terrapins (6-4, 3-4)

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

last week

Lost at Penn State, 31-0

Previous week Exchange
6 -3

Maryland is headed in the wrong direction with what looks to be another late-season swoon. Not only have the Terps lost two in a row and three of their last five, but wins have been hard to come by against the bottom of the league lately. The season can make a drastic turn if they somehow find a way to knock off Ohio State next week.

Next Up

vs. Ohio State


Purdue Boilermakers (6-4, 4-3)

Purdue Boilermakers tight ends Paul Piferi (89) and Payne Durham (87) celebrate Piferi’s touchdown on the Indiana State Sycamores defensive line during the NCAA football game, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. USA TODAY Sports

last week

won vs. Illinois, 31-24

Previous week Exchange
10 +2

Good Purdue made an appearance in Champaign this past week and upset Illinois, and that probably means the turnover party machine will probably set up shop in vs. Northwestern next week. It might not matter, but this team is just too inconsistent to move too far up the rankings.

Next Up

vs. Northwestern


Michigan State Spartans (5-5, 3-4)

Oct. 8, 2022; East Lansing; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Payton Thorne (10) scrambles and tries to evade Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Denzel Burke (10) at Spartan Stadium. Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

last week

Win vs. Rutgers, 27-21

Previous week Exchange
7 no change

After two straight wins and a victory in three of the last four, the Spartans seem to have turned things around. It helps that the team has gotten healthier on defense, but before we pat Mel Tucker on the back, it’s time to realize Michigan State only beat Rutgers by seven points. At home. One more win and Sparty heads to a bowl party.

Next Up

vs. Indiana


Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3)

Ohio State vs.  Iowa: Complete preview and prediction

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, left, and Hawkeyes players wait to take to the field at the start of the second half during an NCAA football game against Nevada, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. USA TODAY Sports

last week

Won at Purdue, 24-3

Previous week Exchange
9 +3

Yeah, maybe I’m being too kind to Iowa here, but there are real signs of improvement — most notably by not scoring safeties and field goals — and instead turning some of those into touchdowns. The defense is still throttling people and now the offense is coming around a bit. Don’t be surprised if the Hawkeyes find their way to Indy if the trend continues. There’s a huge one on tap next week that will have a ripple effect in the West.

Next Up

at Minnesota


Illinois Fighting Illini (7-3, 4-3)

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

last week

Lost vs. Purdue, 31-24

Previous week Exchange
4 -1

Suddenly, after being in the driver’s seat for the West crown just a couple of weeks ago, Illinois finds itself in a four-way lead in a division that is going to be wilder than a frathouse weekend party. The Illini still look like the most complete team among the West contenders, but losing close games might end up costing them a trip to Indy. There’s an intriguing matchup in Ann Arbor next week.

Next Up

at Michigan


Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-3, 4-3)

Nov. 12, 2022; Minneapolis; Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach PJ Fleck leads his team out onto the field before the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Huntington Bank Stadium. Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

last week

won vs. Northwestern, 31-3

Previous week Exchange
5 +1

After some midseason injuries and issues finding consistency, the Golden Gophers seem to have found things again and are right in the mix for the West Division title. Then again, every team aside from Nebraska and Northwestern is still right there. Minnesota has feasted on three of the worst teams in the league over the last three weeks, but this Saturday will tell us a lot.

Next Up

vs. Iowa


Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2)

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford walks on the field after the Nittany Lions fell, 44-31, to Ohio State at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in State College. USA TODAY Sports

last week

won vs. Maryland, 30-0

Previous week Exchange
3 no change

Penn State is locked in as the third-best team in the East which means it is the third-best team in the Big Ten. We don’t have to tell James Franklin that it all means the program still isn’t “elite” yet. But, hey, the Nittany Lions have a good chance of messing around and finding their way into the top 10 and into a New Year’s Six bowl.

Next Up

at Rutgers


Michigan Wolverines (10-0, 7-0)

Quinten Johnson #28 and Joe Taylor #39 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrate a turnover on downs against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth quarter at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Nic Antaya/Getty Images

last week

Won at vs. Nebraska, 34-3

Previous week Exchange
2 -1

Yes, I moved Michigan up to the No. 1 spot last week and the Wolverines dominated Nebraska this past weekend. I’m not the only one that’s gone back and forth with the Buckeyes and Wolverines as the top team in the conference, but looking at the body of work and common opponents, Ohio State has looked a tad better more often than not. So, back on top goes OSU with the titanic collision coming in just two weeks.

Next Up

vs. Illinois


Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0, 7-0)

Nov. 12, 2022; Columbus; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Kamryn Babb (0) celebrates scoring a touchdown with quarterback CJ Stroud (7) during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Adam Cairns – The Columbus Dispatch

last week

won vs. Indiana, 56-14

Previous week Exchange
1 +1

Ohio State looked awfully impressive against Indiana on Saturday. The offense was balanced and the defense came to play yet again. Every team has its flaws, but the body of work the Buckeyes have put together has me a believer they are the most complete team in the league. Back atop the power rankings OSU goes. Get through one more road game and the big one awaits.

Next Up

at Maryland

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