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BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS: WEEK 5

WELCOME TO THE THUNDERDOME, MINNESOTA

NCAA Football: Iowa at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, that was a pretty gross Big Ten slate we witnessed this past weekend. We were privy to things like Nebraska-Illinois, Penn State-Indiana and Maryland-Minnesota. Say nothing of the debacle that was Iowa-Michigan State.

The cream is rising to the top. And the rest of the Big Ten is curdling, ingestion of which will result in severe abdominal discomfort.

1. Penn State (5-0, 2-0)

The Nits laid a beatdown on Indiana even though Saquon Barkley had a pedestrian day by his standards. He did throw a touchdown, however, and that’s how he won the Heisman.

2. Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0)

The Badgers got off to a slow start against Northwestern. Luckily for Wisconsin there’s a large enough disparity in talent that allowed them to pull away in the second half. At least now perhaps Iowa has a blueprint to beat both these teams?

3. Ohio State (4-1, 2-0)

The Buckeyes just beat Rutgers 56-0.

4. Michigan (4-0, 1-0)

Michigan had a bye this week. A big game against Sparty looms.

5. Purdue (2-2, 0-1)

Purdue was also on a bye, and now a potential barnburner against Minnesota awaits. If you think we’re not betting on Purdue in that one you’re nuts.

6. Michigan State (3-1, 1-0)

I really, really didn’t want to put Sparty here, but Iowa’s performance last week is kind of forcing my hand. I don’t expect Michigan State to make much noise in the conference, and I really don’t like their chances against Michigan this week.

7. Iowa (3-2, 0-2)

Yeah this is a such a typical Iowa team right now I don’t even know what to make of it. If we don’t mollywhop Illinois this week it’s time to hit the panic button.

8. Maryland (3-1, 1-0)

The Terps came into Minneapolis and beat a Minnesota team with its third-string quarterback. I guess PJ Fleck didn’t do enough to fire up his Gophers for his first home Big Ten game?

9. Indiana (2-2, 0-2)

Indiana is what it always has been. A team that can score points, until it can’t and then the defense gets sleepy as its quarterback arm punts all day long.

10. Northwestern (2-2, 0-1)

Northwestern was keeping it real interesting in Madison for awhile, then things got a little out of hand. The Cats are certainly not the Big Ten West contenders many predicted to start the season, but a win against Penn State this week would be a nice little cherry.

11. Minnesota (3-1, 0-1)

The Gophers have a lot of pieces left to pick up after losing to Maryland. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a quarterback controversy on PJ Fleck’s hands, but at least he has a lot of oars!

12. Nebraska (3-2, 2-0)

Nebraska is 2-0 in the Big Ten! And it’s still No. 12 in the power rankings. Does that say more about the Huskers or more about Illinois and Rutgers?

13. Rutgers (1-4, 0-2)

Har-dee-har-har.

14. Illinois (2-2, 0-1)

Tune in next week where Iowa could move up a spot!