Covering the Land of Lincoln

Big Ten football power rankings after Week 7

Week 7 is on the books, and despite a slightly cut schedule in the Big Ten, Iowa did a lot to shake things up with what looked like a Ford Pinto with hanging doors.

Here at Buckeyes Wire, we’d already slipped Iowa from the top spot because that side of the ball looked clumsy, but the loss will still affect this week’s edition of the power leaderboard. How Far Does Iowa Fall? What about Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State that were idle? Did Michigan State’s victory over Indiana do anything to bring the rankings up?

We try to give you what you crave and we will make it happen. Here are our latest Big Ten soccer power rankings after week 7.

14th

Illinois in the fight against Illinois (2-5, 1-3)

09/17/2021; Champagne; Illinois Fighting Illinois head coach Bret Bielema leaves the field after losing to the Maryland Terrapins at Memorial Stadium. Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

You can argue that Northwestern is still here, but it’s a league you’ve been doing for me lately and the Wildcats just got a win over a decent (or at least we think) Rutgers team. So sorry, “Bert”, but your team will go back to the bottom of the stack.

Previous rank Change
13th – 1

13th

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-4, 0-4)

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman JT Tuimoloau (44) brings in Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Cole Snyder (15) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, October 2, 2021 Fall, at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Good. We were high at what Greg Schiano did in the first few weeks of the season, but after four straight defeats we have no choice but to move the Scarlet Knights way down the ladder. It’s been a season of regression since getting into the Big Ten game and it’s going to be terribly difficult to play a bowl game now after losing to Northwestern. Yes, it’s a big fall, but it makes sense.

Previous rank Change
7th – 6

12th

Northwestern Wildcats (3-3, 1-2)

September 25, 2021; Evanston, Illinois; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald on the sidelines during the first half against the Ohio Bobcats at Ryan Field. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

If you start this weekend, you’re unlikely to find anyone who thought Northwestern was on the upswing. After entering the victory column against Rutgers for the first time in the league, however, there are signs of life.

Previous rank Change
14th + 2

11

Indiana Hoosiers (2-4, 0-3)

September 18, 2021; Bloomington; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) throws a pass in the second half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Memorial Stadium. Bearcats won 38-24. Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Indiana is a team you don’t want to play against because they have talent. The problem is that the Hoosiers can’t play a 60 minute game. Another week, another respectable loss on an absolutely brutal schedule.

Previous rank Change
12th – 1

10

Maryland Tortoises (4-2, 1-2)

Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) is pursued by Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison (9) during the first half of Saturday’s NCAA Division I football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on October 9, 2021. USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Maryland has been idle this week, but the last two breaks have not gone well. It feels like history repeats itself, where the terps look amazing in the non-conference part of the schedule, only to then fall flat once the Big Ten game starts.

Previous rank Change
10

9

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-5, 1-4)

September 25, 2021; East Lansing, Michigan; Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (5) walks off the field with his head down after the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Nebraska can’t avoid itself. There are a number of narrow losses, but the last week has been worse. The team has improved over the season, but the losses continue to grow.

Previous rank Change
9

8th

Wisconsin Badgers (3-3, 1-2)

Wisconsin Head Coach Quarter Paul Chryst speaks to his offensive unit during the fourth game against Penn State on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. Penn State defeated Wisconsin, 16-10. USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

It wasn’t nice – especially on offense – but the Badgers won two in a row to get themselves back in the picture when it comes to a bowl game. If the results are correct, Wisconsin could still have a say in what happens in the West Division.

Previous rank Change
9 + 1

7th

Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-2, 2-1)

September 2, 2021; Minneapolis; Minnesota Gophers head coach PJ Fleck and his players step onto the field before the game against the Minnesota Gophers at Huntington Bank Stadium. Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

It’s been a somewhat inconsistent season in the Twin Cities, but the Golden Gophers determine their own destiny in the west. The way Nebraska played, the win last week was a formidable one that kept momentum going into the future.

Previous rank Change
6th – 1

6th

Purdue Boilermaker (4-2, 2-1)

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell signals to his recipients before snapping the third quarter snapshot against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, October 16, 2021. USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

We kind of waited for Purdue to show people that it was serious, and that is exactly what happened during the # 2 excitement in Iowa on Saturday. We have no choice but to take the Boilermakers seriously. There is still much to be done, but Purdue also controls its destiny in the West Division.

Previous rank Change
8th – 2

5

Iowa Hawkeyes (6-1, 3-1)

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. USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

Yes, Iowa deserves to fall this far. It was primarily smoke and mirrors with an offense that only has as many gears as a go-kart. The defense and specialty teams will still give this team more wins, but this is not a championship level roster. Purdue revealed what talented skill position players can do against a defense that can’t keep up.

Previous rank Change
2 – 3

4th

Michigan State Spartans (7-0, 4-0)

October 9, 2021; Piscataway, New Jersey; Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III (9) carries the ball past Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive lineman Ifeanyi Maijeh (88) during the first half at SHI Stadium. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

We’re still not sure what will happen when the Spartans get a very competent team, but they keep winning. Indiana posed challenges, and I’ll be shocked if Michigan State doesn’t drop at least a couple of games before it’s said and done, but you can’t ignore what’s happened so far.

Previous rank Change
5 + 1

3

Michigan Wolverines (6-0, 3-0)

October 2, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh walks on the field during the warm up before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. redit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY sports

The reason for the ranking

You see, Michigan is fortunate enough to still be undefeated, but the Wolverines are undefeated. As with the Spartans, it feels like a loss or two is going to happen in the next few weeks, but so far Michigan has been a much better team across the board – not great at anything but good at all things – so yeah.

Previous rank Change
4th + 1

2

Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1, 2-1)

October 2, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) runs with the ball in the third quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Indiana 24-0. Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The reason for the ranking

As long as Sean Clifford is healthy (he wasn’t at the end of the game against Iowa), this is the second best team in the league. This Columbus trip is going to be very, very big in a couple of weeks, but so far Penn State’s talent and skills have been down the line across the board after just one team.

Previous rank Change
3 + 1

1

Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1, 3-0)

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud with good odds in the Heisman race

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) takes the offensive during the first quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus , Ohio, on. USA TODAY

The reason for the ranking

Funnily enough, our inaction last week almost solidified our thoughts on Ohio State being the team to beat in the league. This is a very different team from the one that lost to Oregon a few weeks ago. The players in the skill position are as talented as anyone else in the country, and the defenses are starting to turn. Look out for college football playoff experts.

Previous rank Change
1

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