clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Around the Big Ten & Power Rankings: Week 5

Who's rising and falling in the Big Ten?

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

1. Michigan State (3-1)

The Spartans continued to roll against non-conference opponents not named Oregon, taking down Wyoming 56-14. Three different Spartans appeared at quarterback, combining for 16-of-20 passing, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Michigan State had five rushing touchdowns, including one by Jeremy Langford that was part of his 137 yards on the ground.

Michigan State hosts Nebraska this weekend with both teams having a chance to show why they deserve to be called the conference's best team.

2. Wisconsin (3-1)

The Badgers hosted South Florida at home, and like the Terps, found themselves struggling at first. The game was tied 3-3 at halftime before Wisconsin scored 17 points in the third quarter to help open up the game. Melvin Gordon led the way by rushing for two scores and 181 yards, and Tanner McEvoy threw for 160 yards and a TD.

Wisconsin heads to Evanston to take on Northwestern on Saturday.

3. Nebraska (5-0)

The Cornhuskers defeated Illinois 45-14, but it was a Wes Lunt-less Illinois, otherwise I might've moved them up one. Ameer Abdullah had another tremendous game, rushing for 208 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week again. The Huskers outgained the Illini by almost 300 yards, including outgaining them on the ground 458-78. The game also included a 24-point second quarter by Nebraska.

The Huskers head to East Lansing to face Michigan State on Saturday.

4. Ohio State (3-1)

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 30-7 second quarter lead on their way to a 50-28 home win over Cincinnati. J.T. Barrett continued to look good, throwing for 330 yards, four TDs and no interceptions, while Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 182 yards and a score. Barrett was named the Co-B1G Freshman of the Week again.

OSU will be heading to College Park this weekend.

5. Maryland (4-1)

6. Iowa (4-1)

After finding themselves tied at 10 to Purdue at halftime, the Hawkeyes blanked the Boilermakers 14-0 in the second half to pick up a 24-10 victory. New starting quarterback C.J. Beathard threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception and had a QB rating of just 39.6. However, Iowa seems to have a strange good omen: since 2009, when its own QB throws a pick-six, like Beathard did against Purdue, the Hawkeyes are 7-1.

Iowa will have off this weekend.

7. Minnesota (4-1)

The Golden Gophers went into the Big House and continued Michigan's dismal season, leaving with a 30-14 win. Mitch Leidner threw for 167 yards and a TD, and ran for another, while RB David Cobb racked up 183 yards over 32 carries. After holding just a 10-7 lead at halftime, the Gophers kicked a field goal to open the scoring in the third quarter. 14 seconds later, De'Vondre Campbell returned an interception for a touchdown to open up a 20-7 lead that would only grow.

Minnesota has a bye week this weekend.

8. Penn State (4-1)

The bubble finally burst in State College, with the Nittany Lions' mistakes that they had previously overcome in their 4-0 start finally catching up to them. Nothing went right in Penn State's 29-6 loss to Northwestern during Homecoming: they totaled just 50 rushing yards, were 3-for-17 on third downs and Christian Hackenberg threw more incompletions than completions. Hackenberg still leads all Big Ten quarterbacks in passing yards with 1,477, but he has not thrown a touchdown since Sept. 6 and has taken a conference-leading 14 sacks behind PSU's poor offensive line.

Penn State has off this weekend.

9. Rutgers (4-1)

The Scarlet Knights hosted Tulane in one more non-conference game and won easily, 31-6. Gary Nova led the way with 291 passing yards, four TDs and an interception, while Leonte Carroo caught three scores over 140 yards. The Rutgers defense allowed just one scoring play -- an 86-yard run in the second quarter.

The Scarlet Knights will look to get their first Big Ten win by hosting Michigan in Week 6.

10. Indiana (2-2)

As we all know, the Hoosiers came back down to earth last week following their upset of Missouri.

Indiana will play one more non-conference game Saturday by hosting North Texas.

11. Northwestern (2-2)

The Wildcats went to State College and left with an unexpected win. And now only did they win, but they won easily, holding Penn State's offense to just three points per half in a 29-6 win. Through the air, Trevor Siemian threw an interception and had no passing TDs, but he rushed for three scores -- despite totaling negative-8 rushing yards overall. Both teams combined for only 153 yards on the ground.

Northwestern has an even more daunting challenge awaiting on Saturday: a home game against No. 17 Wisconsin.

12. Illinois (3-2)

The Fighting Illini fell to Nebraska 45-14 in Week 5, and were without quarterback Wes Lunt. Lunt, who is second in the B1G with 11 touchdown passes this season, was reportedly a little "banged up" and did not play to prevent further injury. In his place, Reilly O'Toole didn't fair very well, throwing three interceptions and one TD and rushing for negative-26 yards. Geronimo Allison was a bright spot on offense, catching five passes for 118 yards and a score.

The Illini host Purdue on Saturday.

13. Michigan (2-3)

Things went from bad to worse for the Wolverines, as the calls for Brady Hoke's job grow louder and louder. Shane Morris got the start over Devin Gardner, but managed just 49 yards and an interception on 7-of-19 completions in the 30-14 loss to the Gophers. It was Michigan's first loss to Minnesota since 2005.

But the biggest story was when Morris, already with an ankle injury, took a vicious hit from a Minnesota player and could barely stand afterwards, and was kept in the game for another play by Hoke. Morris would later re-enter the game for a play as well after Gardner lost his helmet during a play. For complete coverage of the situation, including an explanation by the AD that reveals Morris was diagnosed with a "probable, mild concussion," here's Maize n Brew's story stream.

Admist everything, the Wolverines are also starting to see the effect on the recruiting trail, losing a four-star commit yesterday.

Michigan travels to New Jersey to face Rutgers this weekend.

14. Purdue (2-3)

The Boilermakers gave Iowa a good run by opening the game 10-0, but it wouldn't be enough at home. It would be all Hawkeyes from there, as Purdue got outscored 24-0 the rest of the way. Danny Etling and Austin Appleby both threw an interception, and no Boilermaker receiver had more than 33 yards. Akeem Hunt rushed for 90, but Purdue finished with just 84 yards on the ground thanks in part to negative-35 rushing yards by Etling.

Purdue will hit the road to face Illinois in Week 6.