As we near the middle of the Big Ten season, Week 6 saw two ranked-versus-ranked conference games, a few blowouts, and one game I’d rather avoid talking about. Here’s an excellent and much more comprehensive recap of Saturday’s contests. Now, let’s dive into this week’s power rankings:
1. Ohio State
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Michigan State (34-10)
Next Week: Bye
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The Buckeyes faced their toughest opponent so far this season in the Spartans and handled them effectively. After a slow start, Justin Fields and company ran all over Michigan State’s vaunted run defense. Along with Fields, J.K. Dobbins had a pretty big day as well, and the Buckeyes’ rush defense spotted Sparty just 67 rushing yards. Ohio State is the deepest, most talented team in the conference, despite their initial struggles against MSU, and remains the clear number one in these rankings.
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Kent State (48-0)
Next Week: vs. Michigan State
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The Badgers played a weaker MAC opponent in the Golden Flashes and cruised to an easy victory. Jonathan Taylor padded his stats with five more rushing touchdowns. The Badgers’ beating up on a MAC team which barely got by Kennesaw State in overtime will not be enough to propel them above Ohio State, but, if both squads are undefeated on October 26, it’s going to be fun.
3. Penn State
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Purdue (35-7)
Next Week: @Iowa
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Sean Clifford and the Nittany Lions round out an unchanging top three after defeating a Purdue team sans Rondale Moore and Elijah Sindelar. Nonetheless, Penn State’s offensive playmakers made explosive plays early on, and freshman running back Noah Cain showed flashes with 105 rushing yards on 12 carries. A test in Iowa City awaits James Franklin’s squad next week, where the Nittany Lions will put their undefeated record (and their all-important #3 spot on Inside NU’s weekly power rankings) on the line.
Last Week’s Ranking: 5
Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Iowa (10-3)
Next Week: @Illinois