Week 5 saw little reason to move any of the teams off their respective spots in those weekly Big Ten power rankings, but there was a lot of reorganization just about everywhere else you look. The first Saturday in October provided an opportunity to take a close look at everything that has happened this season and see what was real and what was fake.
Expecting Wisconsin and Michigan State to still be good, it turns out, wasn’t the wisest decision this season. The two programs have already posted six losses combined and are trending in the wrong direction. But the mere thought that Illinois and Maryland will play a key role in the development of division racing is becoming a reality more than ever. And Minnesota, suffering its first loss of the season, was another reason for some overhauls in this week’s power rankings.
Here’s a look at this week’s Big Ten Power Rankings after the events of Week 5.
14 Nebraska (2-3)
Oct 1, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Oliver Martin (89) and offense lineman Broc Bando (73) celebrate after a touchdown against the Indiana Hoosiers in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Indiana, 35-21
Last week: 14
Nebraska needed a win in a bad way, and they managed to find it against Indiana. The week off certainly helped, but let’s see what Nebraska does next week. It’s going to be a short week with a Friday night game on the longest road trip possible in the Big Ten.
The only reason Nebraska is staying down here is a head-to-head loss to Northwestern, but that may not be the case for much longer.
Next game: at Rutgers
13 Northwest (1-4)
Oct 1, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Xander Mueller (34) recovers during the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost to Penn State, 17-7
Last week: 13
Northwestern put up a respectable fight against Penn State in less than ideal weather conditions on the road. But not scoring a single point in five Penn State sales is the kind of thing that happens to a struggling program like Northwestern.
Next game: against Wisconsin
12 Michigan State (2-3)
Oct 1, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker looks down the field during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost in Maryland, 27-13
Last week: 8th
After losing three straight games by double digits, Michigan State needs a reset button in the 2022 season. The Spartans are in a difficult position at the moment as their losing streak doesn’t stand much of a chance of being broken next week.
Next game: against the state of Ohio
Oct 1, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) rushes with the football while Wisconsin Badgers safety John Torchio (15) defends during the third quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost to Illinois, 34-10
Last week: 11
Wisconsin is fading and fading fast. The Badgers have already lost two home games, but being driven out of their own field by their former head coach and Illinois has been about as hard on the Badgers as they may come.
Next game: in the north-west
10 Ruthers (3-2)
Oct 1, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Ronnie Hickman (14) tackles Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Noah Vedral (0) for a first quarter loss at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost to Ohio State, 49-10
Last week: 7
Rutgers had a tough afternoon on the road against Ohio State, but that’s hardly a reason to knock them out too much. Rutgers never did well in Columbus anyway. But they have a shot at a Big Ten win next week with a Friday night home game against Nebraska.
Next game: against Nebraska
9 Iowa (3-2)
Oct 1, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker Mike Morris (90) sacks Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) during the third quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost to Michigan, 27-14
Last week: 10
Iowa’s offense is finally going to have to come up with something this season. Otherwise, they are doomed to more frustrating results. Iowa only got a point in the fourth quarter against Michigan, and by then it was far too late.
Next game: in Illinois
8 Indiana (3-2)
Oct 1, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Connor Bazelak (9) plays against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost in Nebraska 35-21
Last week: 6
Indiana has lost two straight down the road, by double digits each. The Hoosiers have some things to clean up because they have a big challenge in Bloomington next week.
Next game: against Michigan
7 Minnesota (4-1)
Oct 1, 2022; Minneapolis, Minn., USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach PJ Fleck reacts during the second quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost to Purdue, 20-10
Last week: 4
The Gophers are certainly taking a step back this week after battling Purdue without Mohamed Ibrahim. Tanner Morgan couldn’t catch the slack with three thrown interceptions and suddenly Minnesota looked vulnerable.
Next game: in Illinois (Week 7)
6 Purdue (3-2)
Oct 1, 2022; Minneapolis, Minn., USA; Purdue Boilermakers running back Dylan Downing (38) runs for a touchdown against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Minnesota, 20-10
Last week: 12
The Boilermakers were happy to have Aidan O’Connell back on the field, but they may have been happier not having to deal with Minnesota’s top running back, Mohamed Ibrahim. The defense took care of things in a good Minnesota street excitement.
Next game: in Maryland
5 Illinois (4-1)
Oct 1, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver Isaiah Williams (1) reacts after a second quarter game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Wisconsin, 34-10
Last week: 9
It’s fair to classify this as a statement game for Illinois, although we’ve already established that Wisconsin is a program in some disarray. Chase Brown continues to shine on the floor and Bret Bielema has Illinois firmly at the center of a Big Ten West race wide open.
Next game: against Iowa
4 Maryland (4-1)
Oct 1, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) throws from the pocket during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Michigan State, 27-13
Last week: 5
After playing hard against Michigan last week, the Maryland Terrapins returned home and took care of business against Michigan State. Taula Tagovailoa continues to be one of the Big Ten’s best passers, but the Terps defense really took control in Week 5 against the struggling Spartans.
Next game: against Purdue
3 Pennsylvania (5-0)
Oct 1, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Brenton Strange (86) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Northwestern Wildcats at Beaver Stadium in the first quarter. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat the Northwest, 17-7
Last week: 3
Penn State didn’t have the kind of game you want for a bye week, but the defense showed up to solve offensive problems against Northwestern. The Wildcats had zero points in five Penn State turnovers, which at least gave defensive coordinator Manny Diaz a smile.
Next game: in Michigan (Week 7)
2 Michigan (5-0)
Oct 1, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards (7) runs the ball while Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Seth Benson (44) pursues during the second quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Iowa, 27-14
Last week: 2
Michigan passed its first road test of the season and the defense laid down the brackets early on against Iowa. The offense gradually added a few yards and points and took firm control of the game through the fourth quarter. Another street game is coming next week.
Next game: in Indiana
1 Ohio State (5-0)
Oct 1, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) looks to throw in the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Rutgers, 49-10
Last week: 1
Is there anyone in the Big Ten who will topple the Buckeyes? Since their close game against Notre Dame in Week 1, Ohio State has put every one of their opponents in an early suplex en route to a comfortable win.
Next game: in the state of Michigan