Big Ten Power Rankings and Bowl Projections - Week 9

It's a horserace for bowl eligibility at the bottom. But at the top, 2-5 is anyone's guess.

B1G Rank Bowl This Week
(Week 9)
Previous Week
(Week 8)
vs Pac-12 #1
vs SEC #2
vs SEC #4
vs Big 12 #4
vs SEC #6
vs Big 12 #6
vs Conf-USA #4
vs MAC #1

1. Ohio State (7-0, 3-0): Looked downright pedestrian through much of the game against Iowa last week. It took some heroics to finally put away the Hawkeyes. They'll get another tough test this week when Penn State comes to town for a primetime matchup. The Nittany Lions have had two weeks to celebrate the big win against Michigan, and prepare for this one.

2. Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1): Took care of Illinois just as expected. They're off this week, and you can bet they'll be cheering as hard as they can for Ohio State to stumble...twice. Wisconsin should be ranked higher in the polls. The AP has them 22nd, the 2nd highest B1G team, but the coaches have them 24th, the 4th highest B1G team.

3. Michigan (6-1, 2-1): An offensive circus show vaults Michigan ahead of Nebraska as the Wolverines enjoy their second bye week of the season. Michigan will need the rest as their next two opponents, @Michigan State and Nebraska, both 3-0 in the B1G, loom very large on the schedule.

4. Nebraska (5-1, 2-0): The Huskers had the week off last week and travel to Minneapolis where Minnesota is riding his from their upset at Northwestern last week. Word is they Taylor Ma

5. Michigan State (6-1, 3-0): Basically beat Purdue last week 7-0...if you take away the defensive touchdown, MSU's 5th of the year. A 14-0 win against clearly the worst team in the B1G isn't exactly confidence inspiring, but the Spartans are knocking on the door of the AP, Coaches and Harris polls. This week they travel to Champaign for a test against the 11th best team in the conference.

6. Penn State (4-2, 1-1): After this week's game at Ohio State, we'll know whether the Indian game was a fluke, or the Michigan game was a fluke. I bet the latter. Pullin' for ya though, Penn State. Pullin' for ya. Spoil those BCS hopes.

7. Northwestern (4-3, 0-3): Woof.

8. Iowa (4-3, 1-2): Gave the Buckeyes a game, I can commend that. That's earns Iowa a bump in this week's projections. I see one obvious win left on the schedule. Other than that, Iowa is going to have to surprise somebody to get to bowl eligible. [Please not us, please not us, please not us.]

9. Indiana (3-4, 1-2): That offense...holy potatoes. That defense...holy potatoes.

10. Minnesota (5-2, 1-2): So close to being bowl eligible. Just one more win. Its a tough schedule, but if they can keep playing inspired football, they can do it. I think we played Minnesota at the right time.

11. Illinois (3-3, 0-2): Like Indiana, no one wants to play Illinois. They're a bad team that can score points and give you a good game. They're officially 2013's B1G trap team. Along with Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota, Illinois may have the best shot at getting to 6 wins given their remaining schedule.

12. Purdue (1-6, 0-3): Still just terrible.

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