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2015 BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS: POST-WEEK 10

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This week in the power rankings: How crazy has Iowa's season been when you stop and consider injuries? How can a team be so bad on kickoffs, the way Michigan State is? Has Nebraska turned their luck around? Will Leonte Carroo finally play this week? And much more!

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11, on paper at least, is looking as if it could be a boring week of Big Ten football. I've said that a lot this season, but it probably hasn't helped that Iowa has had the West pretty much on lock for weeks now. But since it's our team that is running away with the division, I don't think any of us are going to complain. And even though projections aren't exactly calling for a competitive game in the battle for Floyd, I don't think any of us will have any problem getting excited for this match up against Minnesota.

Looking around the rest of the conference, there are no other rivalries or really anything that looks all that interesting. I mean, when the second most-compelling storyline of the weekend is which of Nebraska and Rutgers will still have a shot at bowl-eligibility after Saturday, that's not going to generate a lot of excitement.

Of course, this is college football, and crazy things can and likely will happen. So here's to hoping Iowa wins and wins big, while any chaos that may occur, happens in the other 5 Big Ten games being played this weekend.

To the power rankings!

Big Ten Power Rankings: Post-Week 10

Rank Team Coach Offense+ Defense+ Special Teams+ THOR+ PPG vs. Avg. PPGA vs. Avg. W% vs. Avg. W vs. Avg.
11 Michigan Jim Harbaugh 113 164 117 138 35.2 14.7 0.804 9.7
12 Ohio State Urban Meyer 136 140 103 136 40.2 20.1 0.794 9.5
16 Iowa Kirk Ferentz 116 149 81 130 35.5 18.6 0.747 9.0
29 Wisconsin Paul Chryst 95 147 127 121 30.3 18.5 0.676 8.1
36 Michigan State Mark Dantonio 127 107 81 116 38.3 28.1 0.638 7.7
38 Penn State James Franklin 97 136 102 115 30.6 21.2 0.636 7.6
50 Nebraska Mike Riley 118 101 107 110 36.4 29.3 0.594 7.1
58 Illinois Bill Cubit 82 130 110 106 27.1 22.8 0.562 6.7
63 Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald 56 146 131 101 20.6 19.1 0.527 6.3
76 Maryland Mike Locksley 100 91 138 97 31.9 31.3 0.500 6.0
79 Minnesota Tracy Claeys 66 122 115 94 22.9 24.5 0.476 5.7
84 Purdue Darrell Hazell 100 88 57 93 30.8 32.4 0.464 5.6
87 Indiana Kevin Wilson 105 72 117 90 32.8 35.7 0.443 5.3
96 Rutgers Kyle Flood 96 64 150 83 31.2 37.7 0.390 4.7

1. Michigan #11, 138 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
41 Michigan Jim Harbaugh 100 95 111 117 113 31.1
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
1 Michigan Jim Harbaugh 143 131 72 133 164 11.0
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
34 Michigan Jim Harbaugh 120 4.1 114 3.7 117

What can we take away from Michigan's game against Rutgers? Well, nothing really. It was Rutgers. And Michigan did exactly what they were supposed to do against what is likely the worst team in the conference right now. For as good as I think Michigan is, though, I will admit that I think THOR+ is buying into the offense a bit too much after putting up so many points against the Scarlet Knights' terrible defense. I think their offense is likely closer to average than 13 percentage points above average, and I think their Passing+ and Rushing+ numbers indicate that. Unfortunately, I don't think that rating will change that much this week, due to facing Indiana's "defense." But with final games against Penn State and Ohio State, I think that Offense+ number will even out a bit and more accurately represent Michigan's true offensive talent as the season comes to an end.

Up Next: at #87 Indiana

Game Watch Rating: 72

Win Probability: 78%

Projected Score: Michigan 39, Indiana 17

2. Ohio State #12, 136 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
18 Ohio State Urban Meyer 114 119 90 102 136 36.8
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
16 Ohio State Urban Meyer 138 113 100 108 140 16.7
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
63 Ohio State Urban Meyer 55 3.4 151 3.4 103

Due to J.T. Barrett being suspended, Cardale Jones got the start against Minnesota in week 10 and predictably had some issues. He wasn't terrible, by any means, but he wasn't spectacular either. With him at quarterback, I think it's pretty evident at this stage, that Ohio State's offense will be a little clunky. Sure, they can still break off some big plays, but the consistency is just not there. Luckily for the Buckeyes, Barrett is back this week and should be the starting quarterback from here on out barring injury or some other type of legal, academic, or other unforeseen issue. As you may very well know, THOR+ really likes Illinois' defense, which is why it's only calling for an 8-point Buckeye victory in Champaign this weekend. Frankly, I would take the over on that, especially with Barrett taking the snaps. I also imagine that the improved offensive performance from him being at quarterback this weekend will also help move the Buckeyes back to the #1 spot in the power rankings next week.

Up Next: at #58 Illinois

Game Watch Rating: 117

Win Probability: 68%

Projected Score: Ohio State 28, Illinois 20

3. Iowa #16, 130 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
36 Iowa Kirk Ferentz 113 107 136 107 116 31.7
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
7 Iowa Kirk Ferentz 137 117 146 105 149 14.5
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
98 Iowa Kirk Ferentz 96 3.9 67 4.0 81

Iowa continued to take care of business this past weekend, beating Indiana on the road by 8. While that doesn't seem all that spectacular, I find myself being amazed with how this team continues to overcome injuries. First of all, on offense, C.J. Beathard playing through the groin injury, with a makeshift offensive line at different points in the season, without or with a non-100% Tevaun Smith, and now without Jordan Canzeri, who makes or breaks Iowa's screen game. But we should also sing the praises of the defense. Drew Ott was an absolute terror monster, and while I'm sure we all miss him, it's not like there have been a lot of instances where a big play happened and we thought it was due to not having one of the best defensive ends in the Big Ten healthy. Sure, those Jordan Howard touchdown runs probably don't happen (at least not to that side of the field) if Ott is out there, but I felt like those were also a product of missing Miles Taylor for part of the game. I mean, as soon as he limps off the field and Anthony Gair comes in, Howard takes the ball right to the house and does the same exact thing again on what looked like the same exact play on a drive not long after. But Taylor came back in the second half, and the defense tightened up as a whole, only surrendering 63 yards on 13 carries (4.8 yards per carry) to Howard after halftime. The game wasn't perfect, but Iowa continues to overcome adversity. Especially, when it comes to injuries. And I think that's what makes this team truly special.

As for this week, we get the anti-Indiana, in that Minnesota is all defense and no offense. Mitch Leidner is an experienced quarterback that is more of a run threat than a danger with his arm. None of his receivers are particularly explosive. KJ Maye is probably the most explosive, while Drew Wolitarsky and tight end, Brandon Lingen, are Leidner's other favorite targets to move the chains. Iowa's gameplan will probably be the same as it always is against Minnesota: stack the box to shut down the run, and use the raider package to generate pressure on Leidner in 3rd and long passing situations. The Hawkeyes have been great at forcing turnovers this year, and I imagine Leidner will oblige them at least once this game. Overall, Iowa's offense should be the deciding factor on how close this game will be. If they struggle with Minnesota's defense, this will likely be a close, low-scoring game. If they can put up at least 20 points, I don't see how Minnesota's offense can match that against this Hawkeye defense. #FreeFloyd

Up Next: vs. #79 Minnesota

Game Watch Rating: 73

Win Probability: 82%

Projected Score: Iowa 31, Minnesota 13

4. Wisconsin #29, 121 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
72 Wisconsin Paul Chryst 93 88 124 108 95 26.2
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
10 Wisconsin Paul Chryst 135 114 109 107 147 15.0
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
18 Wisconsin Paul Chryst 118 4.1 136 3.5 127

The Badgers pulled out a close game against the Terps this past weekend, which seems to be their season in a nutshell without running back Corey Clement. The defense continues to be fantastic, and Joe Schobert is an absolute beast, but this offense is bad without Clement to man the rushing attack. I mean, when the aforementioned Schobert is the leading rusher for your team thanks to a 57 yard rush on a fake punt, you know your team is struggling on the ground. Toss in having to rely on Joel Stave's arm for offense, and it's a good thing Wisconsin isn't playing Minnesota's schedule down the stretch. Week 11 gives Wisconsin a break. I would imagine that gives Clement a better chance at playing in the huge game against Northwestern in two weeks.

Up Next: Bye Week

5. Michigan State #36, 116 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
24 Michigan State Mark Dantonio 142 88 165 113 127 34.7
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
57 Michigan State Mark Dantonio 92 109 120 121 107 24.3
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
101 Michigan State Mark Dantonio 72 3.6 90 3.9 81

Michigan State's luck finally ran out on Saturday. Yes, you can dispute whether or not the Nebraska receiver was actually forced out of bounds or not, but Michigan State had been playing with fire all season long and finally got burnt. And it was the same areas of concern that we knew they had all along that came back and bit them: their secondary and their special teams. First of all, Michigan State's secondary - really, their entire defense - had some big holes in it against Nebraska. Tommy Armstrong Jr. was actually Tommy Armpunt on multiple occasions on Saturday night, but the Spartan defense still allowed him to throw for 320 yards and score 4 total touchdowns. For as bad as the defense looked, though, the special teams play was extremely atrocious, too. And that was evidenced by Nebraska winning the field position battle all game long and consistently playing with a short field. The kickoff unit was especially terrible. So much so, that we really should look at the play-by-play summary:

(0:30 - 1st) Kevin Cronin kickoff for 63 yds , Stanley Morgan Jr. return for 34 yds to the Neb 36

(11:35 - 2nd) Kevin Cronin kickoff for 64 yds , Stanley Morgan Jr. return for 32 yds to the NEBRASKA 33 MICHIGAN ST Penalty, Face Mask (15 yards) (-15 Yards) to the Neb 48

(15:00 - 3rd) Kevin Cronin kickoff for 46 yds , Jordan Nelson return for 12 yds to the Neb 31

(9:13 - 3rd) Kevin Cronin kickoff for 62 yds for a 1ST down , Stanley Morgan Jr. return for 23 yds to the NEBRASKA 42 for a 1ST down MICHIGAN ST Penalty, Face Mask (15 yards) (-15 Yards) to the Neb 41 for a 1ST down

(2:14 - 3rd) Kevin Cronin kickoff for 63 yds out-of-bounds. Ball placed at Neb 35

(4:16 - 4th) Kevin Cronin kickoff for 40 yds , Andy Janovich return for 22 yds to the Neb 47

I seriously don't know if I've ever seen a worse kickoff unit in my life than Michigan State's this season. Granted, I haven't watched every single kickoff of theirs this season, but it seems like their opponents are regularly breaking off big returns or a penalty of some sort tacks on extra yardage to the end of the return. I mean, Andy Janovich is a freaking fullback, and had a 22 yard return in the 4th quarter! That's insane.

Anyway, Michigan State has some serious holes in their team. We knew that, and this weekend didn't really teach us anything new and it didn't completely ruin the their season, either. They still control their own destiny in their division. If they win out, they are guaranteed to be the winner of the Big Ten East due to having the tie-breaker over both potential 1-loss Ohio State and Michigan. They should win this weekend, but games against Ohio State and Penn state to end the season look like fairly big challenges.

Up Next: vs. #76 Maryland

Game Watch Rating: 109

Win Probability: 70%

Projected Score: Michigan State 42, Maryland 27

6. Penn State #38, 115 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
68 Penn State James Franklin 105 103 113 74 97 26.8
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
18 Penn State James Franklin 147 98 122 148 136 17.5
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
64 Penn State James Franklin 91 3.8 113 3.7 102

Penn State played a terrible first half against Northwestern, found themselves down 20-7 at halftime, came out of the locker room at halftime and outscored the Wildcats 14-0 for 29:51 of the second half. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't hold that lead for the entire 30 minutes of the half, and Northwestern kicked the game-winning field goal with 9 seconds left on the clock. Penn State's offense looked just about the way you would expect them to against a solid Northwestern defense for most of the game. But the defense -- outside of Carl Nassib breaking the Penn State single-season sack record -- allowed 227 rushing yards --186 of which came from Justin Jackson -- and generally had more missed tackles and missed assignments than usual from this defense.

Penn State gets a bye this week, and then closes out with games against both Michigan schools. I think THOR+ is overrating them lately due a recent strength of schedule bump from playing teams that are actually rank inside the top 65 in the country and because of the whole 39-0 rout of Illinois. I'm thinking they should be ranked somewhere in the 50s or so. That being said, it wouldn't exactly surprise me if Penn State was able to upset one of Michigan or Michigan State in the final weeks. The Penn State defense should (emphasis on should after Justin Jackson) be able to limit the Michigan ground game and force Jake Rudock to beat them. As for Michigan State, if John Donovan doesn't sabotage the offense, I think the Saquon Barkley could have a big game and Christian Hackenberg could potentially take advantage of the holes in the MSU secondary. Either way you slice it, though, Penn State really could have used that Northwestern win. Now they have to beat two ranked teams to fend off a 7-5 season.

Up Next: Bye Week

7. Nebraska #50, 110 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
32 Nebraska Mike Riley 110 110 82 114 118 32.3
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
64 Nebraska Mike Riley 70 115 61 94 101 25.5
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
49 Nebraska Mike Riley 119 4.1 95 3.8 107

In the span of two weeks, Nebraska has gone from potential cupcake to potential code red upset alert for Iowa Hawkeye fans. Seven days after getting embarrassed by Purdue, the Huskers not only hung with Michigan State for a decent part of the game, they actually mounted a come back to win the game. I won't lie, as I watched this game, I thought the second interception that Tommy Armstrong Jr. dealt had sealed their fate, and Nebraska wasn't coming back. Armstrong, though, despite his regularly-scheduled erratic throw or five, actually played an outstanding game. Outside of his picks, he not only moved the ball through the air, but also on the ground. And Mike Riley also utilized his ground game more, which was a positive thing for Nebraska fans.

That leaves Rutgers and Iowa as the final two games of the year. Technically, a 5-7 Nebraska could make a bowl gamethis year, but bowl-eligibility is still 6 wins in order to be a sure thing. That means, assuming that Nebraska beats Rutgers this weekend -- which may not be a sure thing if Leonte Carroo is healthy enough to go against Nebraska's secondary --  the Huskers will need a win against Iowa to be bowl-eligible. And if Iowa is 11-0 going into that game, that means there will be quite a lot at stake for both teams on November 27th. That has the potential to be a really fun game, you guys.

Up Next: at #96 Rutgers

Game Watch Rating: 119

Win Probability: 63%

Projected Score: Nebraska 42, Rutgers 32

8. Illinois #58, 106 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
93 Illinois Bill Cubit 86 103 126 118 82 23.0
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
27 Illinois Bill Cubit 121 116 109 121 130 19.0
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
45 Illinois Bill Cubit 123 4.2 96 3.8 110

The University of Illinois has a lot on their plate right now, with the firing of their Athletic Director and reports of Tim Beckman being a bigger scum bag than we previously knew him to be. As a result, there isn't really a whole lot of discussion about the on-the-field happenings right now, especially with basketball starting up. And I don't really have much to say either except: Illinois' defense is pretty good, their offense is bad (but better with Josh Ferguson back), they will almost likely lose on Saturday. Fin.

Up Next: vs. #12 Ohio State

Game Watch Rating: 117

Win Probability: 32%

Projected Score: Illinois 20, Ohio State 28

9. Northwestern #63, 101 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
121 Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald 71 102 124 106 56 16.1
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
11 Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald 132 116 99 116 146 15.3
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
13 Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald 152 4.5 111 3.7 131

Northwestern is coming off a close victory against Penn State where Clayton Thorson didn't play most of the game due to injury. Quarterback play didn't matter all that much on the day, however, as Justin Jackson carried the offense when he rushed for 186 yards and Solomon Vault continued to demonstrate that he is one of the more underrated kick returners in the conference, adding a touchdown return to the scoreboard for Pat Fitzgerald and Co. The defense did enough to win, but the offense continues to look like a bigger issue for this team. Yes, Justin Jackson looked good on the day, but this offense still has an issue of not putting the ball in the end zone on a regular basis.THOR+ thinks their offense is 44 percentage points below the FBS average, and that's after adjusting upward for a schedule that is 10 percentage points more difficult than the FBS average. I would imagine this unit should look fine against Purdue, but Wisconsin's defense is lurking around the corner and that is a game that has huge win total implications for both teams. I'm still not sure what to make of Northwestern, but they keep finding ways to win when they aren't playing Michigan and Iowa, so let's see if it continues.

Up Next: vs. #84 Purdue

Game Watch Rating: 125

Win Probability: 63%

Projected Score: Northwestern 24, Purdue 18

10. Maryland #76, 97 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
62 Maryland Mike Locksley 33 135 0 100 100 27.5
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
85 Maryland Mike Locksley 65 119 85 135 91 27.7
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
9 Maryland Mike Locksley 145 4.4 132 3.6 138

I wouldn't say Maryland is a brand new team, per se. They still aren't very good, but they do seem to be playing opponents tougher than they were earlier in the season. Needless to say, I'm glad they are in the rearview and that Iowa won that game. I'm interested to see how they perform against Michigan State this weekend, as the Spartans seem to attract close games everywhere they go this season.

Up Next: at #36 Michigan State

Game Watch Rating: 109

Win Probability: 30%

Projected Score: Maryland 27, Michigan State 42

11. Minnesota #79, 94 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
112 Minnesota Tracy Claeys 94 91 92 123 66 18.8
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
36 Minnesota Tracy Claeys 112 117 92 107 122 20.8
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
38 Minnesota Tracy Claeys 109 4.0 120 3.6 115

We all know how Iowa has battled injuries this season, and, well, so has Minnesota. Their defense has frequently taken blows all season long, and they took another one against Ohio State in week 10, as cornerback, Jalen Myrick, is now out for the season. Minnesota's defense has still played pretty admirably on the year, but the injuries have potentially held this unit back from being closer to one of the best defenses in the nation, and have left them instead simply being very good.

But, that offense... that offense is just bad, you guys. And it's not that they don't have any talent (they do), it's just that the play calling is very conservative and the coaching staff doesn't always seem to put their players in the best position to succeed. (Sound familiar?) The Gophers want to run the ball, but their best running backs are young and inexperienced, and also banged up and likely not fully healthy for this week. So that could be an issue, especially with the injuries they've had on the offensive line all season long. Their gameplan will likely be to establish the run game and then utilize play action to open up the pass. Iowa is a very disciplined defense, though, and I don't see them having an issue with this plan of attack. If the Gophers can bring back the gameplan they had for Michigan, where they utilized more of the coaching staff's Northern Illinois-based shotgun, zone read, and quick-passing concepts I think their offense would have better luck than just trying to pound it down Iowa's throats all game long. Iowa's built for that and they welcome smashmouth football. But Minnesota's coaching staff just can't seem to put together an offensive plan that is consistently successful, so I don't think I have the confidence that they will do it this weekend. Which is fine with me, because Floyd belongs in Iowa City.

Oh, and, in other news, Tracy Claeys has been named the new Minnesota head coach. That means Minnesota's overall philosophy will stay the same, even with Jerry Kill no longer at the helm.

Up Next: at #16 Iowa

Game Watch Rating: 73

Win Probability: 18%

Projected Score: Minnesota 13, Iowa 31

12. Purdue #84, 93 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
59 Purdue Darrell Hazell 69 96 64 119 100 27.7
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
89 Purdue Darrell Hazell 93 92 103 101 88 28.5
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
120 Purdue Darrell Hazell 26 3.1 88 3.9 57

THOR+ liked Purdue to pull the upset last week, but instead they went out and got curb-stomped by the Fighting Illini. As a result, their stock dropped this week and they are not favored to beat fellow Illinois school, Northwestern. This has all the makings of a low-scoring game, given how bad Northwestern's offense is and how good their defense is, so maybe Purdue can keep this game within striking distance. And, if that's case, maybe they can find a way to exchange some of their close game bad luck this season for some of Northwestern's recent good fortune. Probably not, though.

Up Next: at #63 Northwestern

Game Watch Rating: 125

Win Probability: 37%

Projected Score: Purdue 18, Northwestern 24

13. Indiana #87, 90 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
52 Indiana Kevin Wilson 127 96 142 127 105 28.8
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
105 Indiana Kevin Wilson 61 97 88 94 72 32.1
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
35 Indiana Kevin Wilson 111 4.0 123 3.6 117

Indiana has two main issues this season: 1) Jordan Howard can't stay healthy; and 2) Their defense is just absolutely putrid. Iowa scored 35 points on the day (a performance that was above average, according to THOR+), but the opportunity was there for more if Iowa hadn't shot themselves in the foot with penalties or some interesting play calling by Greg Davis early on at times. (I thought he called a better game toward the end.) Nonetheless, there is no saving this Hoosier defense this season. Of course, Indiana's offense would likely be much more efficient if Howard could actually stay on the field, rather than having to run the ball with the guys who are dragging their Rushing+ rating down. But there is no guarantee that Howard can get healthy and stay health for the final stretch run. Unfortunately, they are going up against the best rushing defense in the Big Ten and the 3rd best in the nation, according to THOR+, this week. Additionally, Michigan's defense receives similar accolades in passing defense, as well. That means the Hoosiers will likely have to earn their bowl-eligibility in the final two weeks against Maryland and Indiana. Although, with how tough their Big Ten schedule has been, and how close they have played Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa maybe the Hoosiers could still make a bowl game at 5-7.

Up Next: vs. #11 Michigan

Game Watch Rating: 72

Win Probability: 22%

Projected Score: Indiana 17, Michigan 39

14. Rutgers #96, 83 THOR+

Rank Offense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Blocking+ Offense+ PPG vs. Avg.
71 Rutgers Kyle Flood 103 114 86 107 96 26.6
Rank Defense Coach Passing+ Rushing+ Turnovers Pressure+ Defense+ PPGA vs. Avg
111 Rutgers Kyle Flood 40 111 72 105 64 34.1
Rank Special Teams Coach Off. Special Teams+ PPG vs. Avg. Def. Special Teams+ PPGA vs. Avg. Special Teams+
4 Rutgers Kyle Flood 172 4.7 129 3.6 150

Here is the space in which I ask the only question we ever need to in regards to Rutgers: Is Leonte Carroo playing this week? Currently, he's questionable. In recent weeks, "questionable" has meant the answer to the aforementioned question is "no." That being said, Rutgers fans are thinking he will try and play through the pain this weekend, as the Scarlet Knights still needs 3 wins in the 3 remaining games for bowl-eligibility. Again, yes, a 5-win team could still make a bowl, blah, blah, blah, wash, rinse repeat. But, for entertainment's sake, I truly hope Carroo can play this weekend and is healthy enough to do his usual thing against Nebraska's porous pass defense. The Huskers have not won back-to-back games all season long, so a Rutgers win would ensure that trend continued.

Up Next: vs. #50 Nebraska

Game Watch Rating: 119

Win Probability: 37%

Projected Score: Rutgers 32, Nebraska 42