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Around the Big Ten & Power Rankings: Week 7

Who's rising and falling in the Big Ten?

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Michigan State (5-1)

For the second straight week the Spartans flirted with losing a big lead, but a Darien Harris pick six when Purdue was attempting to tie the game late put the game out of reach and MSU won, 45-31. Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns and an interception and Tony Lippett caught seven catches for 138 yards and a score. Michigan State was also 5-for-11 on third downs.

The Spartans play at Indiana next Saturday.

2. Ohio State (4-1)

The Buckeyes had off last weekend, but moved up two spots in both the AP and Coaches Poll to No. 13.

Ohio State host Rutgers in Week 8.

3. Nebraska (5-1)

The Cornhuskers also had a bye in Week 7, and also moved up two spots in both polls, to No. 19.

Nebraska will head to Evanston to play Northwestern on Saturday.

4. Minnesota (5-1)

The Golden Gophers continued their impressive start to the season by holding off upstart Northwestern, 24-17. Minnesota only had 274 total yards and QB Mitch Leidner threw an interception, but he ran for two touchdowns. And after the Wildcats tied the game at 17 with seven and a half minutes to play, Jalen Myrick ran back a kickoff return for 100 yards 13 seconds later to put Minnesota back ahead for good.

The Gophers host Purdue this weekend.

5. Iowa (5-1)

The Hawkeyes lit up Indiana 45-29 and quarterback Jake Rudock played well, throwing for 210 yards, two TDs and no interceptions. Iowa was actually outgained by six yards, but used three interceptions (including a pick six) to control the game. Mark Weisman ran for two touchdowns and Damond Powell had 89 yards on three catches.

Iowa will take on Maryland in College Park on Saturday.

6. Rutgers (5-1)

The Scarlet Knights had off in Week 7.

Rutgers will travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State this weekend.

7. Northwestern (3-3)

The Wildcats came back down to earth with a 24-17 loss to Minnesota. Northwestern stayed in the game, but couldn't convert on a 4th-and-3 at the Minnesota 33 when attempting a game-tying drive late in the final quarter. They would get one final shot in the closing minute, but Trevor Siemian had his throw picked off at midfield, ending the drive and the game. Justin Jackson was the leader on offense, rushing for 106 yards and catching 50 more and a TD.

Northwestern will host Nebraska in Week 8.

8. Wisconsin (4-2)

The Badgers beat Illinois 38-28, but their quarterback situation continues to be a question mark. Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy combined for just 97 passing yards, with neither throwing a touchdown. Melvin Gordon was the star as usual, running for 175 yards and four of the Badgers' six touchdowns, and Wisconsin ran for 401 total yards on the ground. Wisconsin did not commit a turnover either, which was also key to making up for their lack of a passing game against Illinois.

Wisconsin has a bye this weekend.

9. Maryland (4-2)

10. Michigan (3-4)

The Wolverines finally got something to go right in an 18-13 Saturday night home victory over Penn State. Devin Gardner wasn't great -- he threw 192 yards, a TD and an interception and appeared to be playing on a leg injury in the fourth quarter -- and the rushing game totaled just 64 yards without Derrick Green, but Michigan held the Nittany Lions scoreless in the second half. After going down 13-7 in the second quarter, the Wolverines scored three field goals and a safety (that James Franklin gave up to set up an onside kick) the rest of the way. Despite the win, plenty of questions still remain for Michigan.

Michigan has off in Week 8.

11. Penn State (4-2)

The Nittany Lions did not rebound well from their first loss of the season, dropping an 18-13 decision to a Michigan team that's been struggling and was without its best running back. Christian Hackenberg finally threw a touchdown again, but had just 160 passing yards and threw an extremely poor interception in the third quarter that set up a game-tying field goal for the Wolverines. PSU totaled even fewer rushing yards than Michigan with just 54, and its offensive line continued to struggle mightily.

PSU has its second bye in three weeks this weekend.

12. Indiana (3-3)

The Hoosiers found themselves in an early 21-0 hole to Iowa and would never close the gap in a 45-29 loss. But the worst news for Indiana came Monday, when they learned a separated shoulder that forced QB Nate Sudfeld out of the game will require surgery, meaning he's out for the rest of the season. Chris Covington replaced Sudfeld against Iowa, and threw two interceptions while completing just 3-of-12 passes for 31 yards. Tevin Coleman was a bright spot as usual, running for three scores across 219 yards.

Indiana hosts Michigan State on Saturday.

13. Purdue (3-4)

The Boilermakers put up a good fight against Michigan State -- cutting the deficit to a touchdown with six minutes left in the game -- but their bid for a game-tying drive ended after Austin Appleby threw a pick six to seal the win for the Spartans.  Overall, Appleby threw for 211 yards, a TD and the interception, but Purdue was outgained 294-129 on the ground. The Boilermakers were three of four on fourth down conversions.

Purdue plays at Minnesota in Week 8.

14. Ilinois (3-4)

The Fighting Illini used two quarterbacks with Wes Lunt out with a broken leg, though Reilly O'Toole took the majority of the snaps. O'Toole threw for two scores, while Aaron Bailey threw an interception in one of his five pass attempts. Together, the two combined for just 135 passing yards.

The Illini have a bye this weekend.