Covering the Land of Lincoln

Big Ten football power rankings after Week 11

Every week we look at all of the games that are being played in the heartland and try to understand the insane world of Big Ten football by ranking all teams from fourteen to number one from the start of the season to now, but the further we get into the As the season progresses, the Big Ten universe looks more like we imagined it to be at the start of the season.

After another week in the books there seems to be a clear separation of three teams in the East Division, and we are now getting a little more clarity in the wide open West Division as well.

But what does it all look like if you take the two divisions and simply rank all fourteen teams from worst to first place? We’ll try again, take a step back, and listen to the fans of certain teams unleash the mean tweets.

Here are the Big Ten soccer power rankings after week 11.

14th

Indiana Hoosiers (2-8, 0-7)

Indiana manager Tom Allen speaks to Indiana players before running onto the field against Michigan State on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

After an all-out loss to Rutgers, things have plummeted for the Hoosiers this season. Surprisingly, it feels like the team has given up even playing for a coach like Tom Allen.

Previous rank Change
14th

Next up: vs. Minnesota

13th

Northwestern Wildcats (3-7, 1-6)

September 3, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald reacts after a game against the Michigan State Spartans in the fourth quarter at Ryan Field. Photo credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

No one would have been surprised if Pat Fitzgerald found a way to steer his team in the right direction after a miserable start. After a pretty thorough loss to Wisconsin for their fourth straight loss, it is clear this is going to be a season to turn to the page quickly. The talent just isn’t there at Evanston this season.

Previous rank Change
13th

Next up: vs. Purdue

12th

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-7, 1-6)

What Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said about Ohio State after the game

11/6/2021; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost (right) looks on to the field in the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium. Photo credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

I got a lot of headwinds from fans for Nebraska ranking so low last week, but you can’t keep competing against each other and keep finding ways to lose to every level of competition. The bottom line is that Nebraska has only one conference win. There is only one team in the league that has a worse record, and so you can’t get any kind of power rankings up in any universe.

Previous rank Change
12th

Next up: in Wisconsin

11

Maryland turtles (5-5, 2-5)

Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Teradja Mitchell (3) and Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste (8) come together to tackle the Maryland Terrapins who challenged Faamatau (29) in the second quarter of their NCAA college football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on October 9, 2021. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

The terps are moving in the wrong direction and you have to wonder if they will ever qualify for a bowl. Maryland has now lost five of the last six after beating the state of Michigan, with the only three-point win over the stretch against Indiana. The end-of-season game at Piscataway looks like a potential bowl elimination game.

Previous rank Change
9 – 2

Next up: vs. Michigan

10

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-5, 2-5)

Rutgers’ Olakunle Fatukasi celebrates after Michigan State’s Jayden Reed took a fumble at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing during the second quarter on Saturday, October 24, 2020. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

We’re pretty sure what to expect from the Scarlet Knights from week to week, but the team is a competitive group that may become bowl-ready before all is said and done. Greg Schiano’s side celebrated an impressive 38-3 win over Indiana.

Previous rank Change
11 + 1

Next up: Penn State

9

Illinois fighting Illinois

09/04/2021; Champagne, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illinois head coach Bret Bielema steps onto the field with his team before the start of Saturday’s game with the UTSA Roadrunners at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Illinois has some impressive wins this season, but also some pretty insane losses. There’s still a lot of room for this program to grow, and it won’t bowl this season, but there’s no denying that the Illinois have gotten better as the season has gone on.

Previous rank Change
10 – 1

Next up: in Iowa

8th

Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-4, 4-3)

WATCH: What Minnesota's manager PJ Fleck said about Ohio State stoppage time

09/02/2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Gophers head coach PJ Fleck looks on before the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Huntington Bank Stadium. Photo credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Two weeks ago we thought the Golden Gophers might be the team to beat in the West. Now we are wondering which team will show up next week. There are limits to this team, but the competitive spirit is there when they play flawless football. The heavy loss to Iowa continues the slide for Minnesota.

Previous rank Change
7th – 1

Next up: in Indiana

7th

Iowa Hawkeyes (8-2, 5-2)

Big Ten Football Week 7 Tv Program, Key Facts |  Horse chestnut wire

Iowa freshman wide receiver Keagan Johnson (# 6, left) celebrates with his teammates after a touchdown in the second quarter against Colorado State at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa on Saturday, September 25, 2021. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

It’s been a fine week of rebound for the Hawkeyes with a narrow win over Minnesota to keep the West Division on the hunt. Surprisingly, the Hawkeyes found a minor insult this past weekend. The team is still very challenged but difficult to play when they can take attacks on the offensive.

Previous rank Change
8th + 1

Next up: vs. Illinois

6th

Purdue Boilermakers (6-4, 4-3)

Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver Milton Wright (0) sits in the back of the end zone after throwing a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the NCAA football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, November 13, 2021 Has. Ohio State won 59-31. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Purdue can’t handle success. It knocks Iowa from the undefeated ranks and is punished by Wisconsin the following week. It gives Michigan State its first loss and then gets knocked off the field against Ohio State. The Boilermakers have been largely inconsistent but still have two of the highest quality wins in the conference.

Previous rank Change
4th – 2

Next up: vs. Northwestern

5

Penn State Nittany Lions (6-4, 3-4)

10/23/2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions offensive lineman Rasheed Walker (53) and linebacker Jesse Luketa (40) and Safety Jaquan Brisker (1) and Safety Jonathan Sutherland (0) run onto the pitch for the coin toss before the Illinois Fighting Illinois game at Beaver Stadium. Source: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

It was actually a pretty good performance against Michigan on Saturday, but the Nittany Lions figured out a way to lose a game that could have been in the Victory Column. Just slightly lacking in Penn State’s ability to finish games, and now it relies on trying to win the final two just to position itself in a warm spot for the postseason rather than a cooler climate bowl -Game.

Previous rank Change
5

Next up: vs. Rutgers

4th

Wisconsin Badgers (7-3, 5-2)

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) scores a touchdown in the second quarter against Army Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin Samantha Madar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The reason for the ranking

All of the problems we’ve seen with Wisconsin spinning the ball and fighting mightily on the offensive earlier this year seem to be a thing of the past. The Badgers now look like the team to beat in the west. The defense is still fantastic, but the offense comes in to make this a more rounded and dangerous roster. Is this the team that could pose the greatest risk to the state of Ohio, maybe in Indy?

Previous rank Change
6th + 2

Next up: vs. Nebraska

3rd

Michigan Wolverines (9-1, 6-1)

LOOK: The Michigan Marching Band's unsuccessful attempt to troll Ohio State

The Michigan Marching Band takes the field before the game in Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, September 18, 2021. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

You have to give Michigan credit. It found a way to win close matches this year, and it happened again in Happy Valley. It’s a solid win on a collision course with Ohio State by the end of the year. What a difference a year makes to Jim Harbaugh’s views on college football life.

Previous rank Change
3rd

Next up: in Maryland

2

Michigan State Spartans (9-1, 6-1)

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III (9) runs against Michigan defensive back RJ Moten (6) in the second half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Michigan State hasn’t looked like a juggernaut for the past few weeks, but it still has only one loss of the season, with the big win over Michigan. The Spartans control their own fate in the east, and that fate faces the state of Ohio next weekend. This team isn’t the most explosive you will find, but it makes everything solid.

Previous rank Change
2

Next up: in the state of Ohio

1

Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1, 7-0)

Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Cameron Brown, 26, has a pass break in the second quarter of the NCAA football game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Ohio State set off an offensive fireworks display against Purdue and showed everyone why it’s the league’s class. But not everything will be easy. The next two weeks could be the toughest two games on the Buckeyes’ Big Ten schedule. If OSU is running and not making penalties and sales, then who can get in the way? Michigan State will try old college on Saturday.

Previous rank Change
1

Next up: vs. Michigan State

Perform

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