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B1G Power Rankings: Week 9

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We're baaaaack

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Crème de la Crème

1. Michigan State (8-0, 4-0)

Bottom line: Michigan State gets the job done. They got luck against Purdue. They snuck out of Piscataway with a weak victory. They had no business beating Michigan. Heck, they even let Indiana stick around for a bit. However, the Spartans always get the job done and their road win against Michigan is probably the best win for any team in the B1G.

2. Ohio State (8-0, 4-0)

Ohio State really doesn't have a quality win. However, Cardale Jones has proven to be a big-time QB when it's win or go home. He can cement himself as the starter for the rest of the year if he can play well against a tough Minnesota defense. They Buckeyes are winners but need to put up some impressive wins against quality teams.

3. Iowa (8-0, 4-0)

Iowa actually has a better resume than Ohio State, but I think the Buckeyes are a better team. That being said, Iowa has a great win on the road against a ranked Wisconsin team and a very impressive blowout victory on the road over ranked Northwestern. The Hawkeyes also have a quality win over Pitt. Iowa should win out, with a home contest against Minnesota being their only challenge to close out the regular season. Expect to see the 12-0 Hawkeyes in Indianapolis come December.

Upper Echelon

4. Wisconsin (7-2, 4-1)

It is actually mind-boggling how the Badgers are not ranked. They lost to top-5 Alabama in the first game of the season and they dropped a 10-6 decision to the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes. With the exception of squeezing out a road win against Nebraska, Wisconsin has easily handled every other team on their schedule. The Badgers have the top scoring defense in the country and their best offensive player, Corey Clement is back and healthy. They should win out but will miss out on the B1G Championship Game unless Iowa loses twice, which is highly unlikely.

5. Penn State (7-2, 4-1)

The Nittany Lions have quietly put together a really nice season. Their defense is elite, and Christian Hackenberg has been stringing together some good performances. They are clearly a much better team than when they lost to Temple, but keep in mind Temple is ranked and took top-5 Notre Dame to the wire last weekend.

6. Michigan (6-2, 3-1)

If you though Penn State' defense has carried them this year, you should see the Wolverines. The offense has been regressing and lacks a competent QB. They are beginning to rely on freshman safety Jabrill Peppers for offensive firepower. If the defense has one bad game, it could be a huge challenge for the offense to pick up the slack for once. The Wolverines are a very enticing team that could be top-5 if not for their crazy loss against Michigan State. However, I think that at this point in the season, Penn State is a more complete team.

The B1G Enigma

7. Northwestern (6-2, 2-2)

The Wildcats started the season incredibly hot, with huge wins over both Stanford and Duke. However, two blowout losses against Michigan and Iowa have set them back and eliminated them from the B1G West race. The 'Cats have two tough games left, hosting Penn State and visiting Wisconsin. What once was a very promising season for Northwestern could wind up ending on a negative note if they don't up their game

Almost there

8. Minnesota (4-4, 1-3)

The Gophers showed an incredible amount of heart against Michigan, and were inches away from upsetting the Wolverines in their first game since HC Jerry Kill was forced to retire due to health concerns. The Gophers host Wisconsin in their final game of the season which could determine bowl eligibility. The Gophers will clearly bring their A-game, as they have proven that they can play with anyone (TCU).

9. Illinois (4-4, 1-3)

The Illini started the season strong under interim head coach Bill Cubit, but have suffered their fair share of blowout losses. The Illini were competitive against Wisconsin and Iowa, which is a very promising sign. Assuming they beat Purdue, the Illini will have to go on the road and beat Minnesota, which is very difficult, or upset Northwestern in the season finale. It will interesting to see if former Rutgers offensive coordinator and QB coach can rally this team to a bowl game.

The Doldrums

10. Purdue (2-6, 1-3)

The Boilermakers get major points for beating the crap out of Nebraska (It was 42-16 in the 4th quarter). Purdue also produced the B1G offensive and defensive players of the week. Twas a good weekend in Indiana, even if not many people were there to witness it. However, the Boilermakers are still a disaster and could finish 2-10.

11. Nebraska (3-6, 1-4)

Don't let their record deceive you, as the Huskers could very easily be a 7-2 team. However, they lose EVERY DAMN CLOSE GAME EVER. It doesn't look good for Nebraska against Michigan State, and will likely be 3-7 when they visit Piscataway for a season-defining game against the Scarlet Knights. Although they have played in and lost many close games, it is important to understand they were getting absolutely blown out by Miami, and almost made the best comeback in college football this year. This team should be a lot better, and Mike Reilly's seat is smoking.

12. Rutgers (3-5, 1-4)

Our beloved Scarlet Knights are in a rough patch, to say the least. They visit the Michigan Wolverines and their stingy defense. It is highly likely that the Scarlet Knights return to NJ in a 3-6 hole, needing to win out just to get to a bowl game. Rutgers hasn't appeared to take any major steps forward, as they continue to get blown out by the top tier of the conference.

13. Indiana (4-4, 0-4)

The Hoosiers are on a nightmare 0-4 skid that includes their infamous sh*tting of the bed against Rutgers. It will likely extend to six games, as Iowa and Michigan are up next, They would then need to beat Maryland and Purdue to get into a bowl. Things got really interesting really fast in Bloomington.

14. Maryland (2-6, 0-4)

The Twerpapins put up a great effort against Penn State, who they have played very well in both of their years in the B1G. However, Maryland has only beaten Richmond and USF, and were blown out by the unstoppable MACtion of Bowling Green at home. It has been a rough year for Maryland, but expect them to bounce back with a good HC hire this offseason.