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Around the Big Ten & Power Rankings: Week 6

After a tumultuous week in College Football, how does the Big Ten shake out?

Jonathan Ernst

1. Michigan State (4-1)

The Spartans solidified their spot atop the Big Ten by defeating the conference's lone remaining undefeated team, Nebraska. Michigan State held a 27-3 lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Huskers drew to 27-22 and nearly pulled off the upset before Trae Waynes intercepted a Tommy Armstrong Jr. pass with less than a minute to play to seal the win. Tony Lippett caught three passes for 104 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 32-yard-run.

The Spartans play at Purdue next Saturday.

2. Ohio State (4-1)

The Buckeyes are firmly in the top tier of the conference after cruising to a well-documented 52-24 win over Maryland on the road.

Ohio State has off next weekend.

3. Nebraska (5-1)

The Cornhuskers suffered their first defeat of the season on the road in East Lansing. After being shut out for three quarters, Nebraska came to life in the fourth before Armstrong's interception ended the comeback bid. Ameer Abdullah ran for two touchdowns but otherwise was held in check by the Spartan defense, totaling just 45 cards on 24 carries. No one besides Abdullah or Armstrong even had a rushing attempt in the game. Armstrong threw two interceptions and Jordan Westerkamp led all receivers with 158 yards on nine catches.

The Huskers have a bye in Week 7.

4. Minnesota (4-1)

The Golden Gophers were off in Week 6, but their lone defeat of the season, TCU, knocked off Oklahoma and moved up to No. 9 in the AP poll. Minnesota has yet to grab a standout win, but has a favorable schedule over their next few games.

The Gophers host Northwestern Saturday in what is suddenly a much bigger matchup in the B1G West than it appeared to be a few weeks ago.

5. Northwestern (3-2)

The Wildcats continued to surprise and proved they aren't one-hit wonders with a 20-14 home win over then-No. 17 Wisconsin. Justin Jackson rushed for 162 yards on 33 carries and Trevor Siemian threw for 182 and threw a touchdown with no interceptions. Northwestern was outgained on the day but took advantage of four Badgers turnovers without committing one of its own.

Northwestern travels to Minnesota in Week 7.

6. Iowa (4-1)

The Hawkeyes had off this weekend, which could seem like a pretty good deal in such a crazy week. They host Indiana on Saturday.

7. Rutgers (5-1)

The Scarlet Knights officially announced their presence in the Big Ten with a 26-24 win over Michigan. The Wolverines are of course having a down year, but heading into the season not too many people probably felt this one would go to Rutgers, and the fans celebrated their first Big Ten win by storming the field. Michigan may be down, but the win was something Scarlet Knights recruits took note of. As for the game itself, QB Gary Nova led the way by throwing for 404 yards and three touchdowns.

The Scarlet Knights have off in Week 7.

8. Wisconsin (3-2)

The Badgers took an unexpected loss in Evanston, and it appears their offensive struggles are finally catching up to them. Quarterback  Tanner McEvoy started but threw an interception in the first quarter. Joel Stave -- who finally returned after suffering from the yips -- replaced him right before halftime but threw three interceptions the rest of the way. Together, the two combined for a QB rating of just 18.9.

Melvin Gordon continued to shine, running for 259 yards and a score, but he alone isn't enough to carry the Badgers offense. Wisconsin now has just three first half points in their last two games combined.

The Badgers host Illinois on Saturday.

9. Maryland (4-2)

10. Penn State (4-1)

The Nittany Lions were off this week. They play at Michigan on Saturday.

11. Indiana (3-2)

The Hoosiers defeated North Texas in their final non-conference game. After sputtering against Maryland, Indiana's offense got back on track against the Mean Green. Tevin Coleman ran for 150 yards and a score, and D'Angelo Roberts added 102 yards and two TDs on the ground. QB Nate Sudfeld threw for three touchdowns across 230 yards, including two that were caught by Shane Wynn.

The Hoosiers play at Iowa this weekend.

12. Purdue (3-3)

The Boilermakers got their first Big Ten win since 2012 and first under coach Darrell Hazell with a 38-27 road win over Illinois. QB Austin Appleby played the whole game this time and threw for 202 yards and a TD, and added another two scores and 76 yards on the ground. A redshirt freshman, Appleby is giving Purdue fans reason to be hopeful for the future. The Boilermakers dominated the running game against the Illini, 349-65.

Purdue hosts Michigan State on Saturday.

13. Michigan (2-4)

The Wolverines' woes continued with a 26-24 loss to conference newcomer Rutgers. A week that saw students rally on campus calling for AD Dave Brandon's firing culminated in a tough defeat in New Jersey, Michigan's third straight loss. With Shane Morris still recovering from a concussion, Devin Gardner started and was ineffective through the air, throwing for 178 yards and an interception, but rushed for two scores. The Wolverines were also on the losing end of a controversial call that halted a potential game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.

The hits kept coming after the game as well, as Brady Hoke announced yesterday that the team's top running back, Derrick Green, broke his clavicle and is out for the season.

Michigan hosts Penn State on Saturday.

14. Illinois (3-3)

Things went from bad to worse for the Illini against Purdue. Not only did they lose 38-27 to a team that had not won a Big Ten game since 2012, but one of the lone bright spots this season for Illinois -- quarterback Wes Lunt -- broke his leg and is out for 4-6 weeks. Lunt was tied for second in the B1G with 13 touchdown passes and alone in second with 1,569 passing yards despite having already missed a game. Reilly O'Toole replaced Lunt against Purdue and threw for 118 yards and an interception.

The Illini travel to Wisconsin next weekend.