2012 College Football Rankings: Week 9 Big Ten Power Rankings

Big Ten Power Rankings: Buckeyes in Jeopardy of Losing Top Spot

10/25/12 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

FanIQ Big Ten power rankings: Week 9

1. Ohio State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten; LW: No. 1) -- 
The Buckeyes have problems, there's no doubting that. But there's none surmountable to the health of Braxton Miller, who left the Purdue game in an ambulance with signs of a concussion. Tests were negative and he's been able to practice, but his availability will determine the team's success in Happy Valley. Next up: at Penn State, Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ET (ESPN).

2. Michigan (5-2, 3-0; LW: No. 2) -- Denard Robinson and the rest of the Wolverine senior class finally beat "Little Brother" in a defensive clash with Michigan State, 12-10. Michigan's third-down defense was phenomenal and the leg of Brendan Gibbons was irreplaceable. Next
Blog Photo - 2012 College Football Rankings: Week 9 Big Ten Power Rankingsup: at Nebraska, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2).

3. Penn State (5-2, 3-0; LW: No. 3) -- So much for Penn State having a down year. Coach Bill O'Brien has lifted spirits in Happy Valley, as the Nittany Lions are 5-0 in their last five games and have outscored opponents 170-69 during that span. A win over the Buckeyes would likely shoot them to the top of the conference rankings. Next up: vs. Ohio State, Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ET (ESPN).

4. Nebraska (5-2, 2-1; LW: No. 4) -- Taylor Martinez and Co. came up clutch on the road after digging themselves a quick hole, scoring 13 unanswered in the final six minutes to beat Northwestern, 29-28. Next up: vs. Michigan, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2).

5. Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1; LW: No. 5) -- Wisconsin is playing its best ball of the season right now much in thanks to the revival of the running game. Montee Ball and James White are unstoppable at the moment and with a win over Sparty, the Badgers will likely be reserving themselves a spot in the conference championship game. Next up: vs. Michigan State, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC).

6. Northwestern (6-2, 2-2; LW: No. 6) -- Despite a loss, the Wildcats remain where they are for two reasons: a one-point loss to Nebraska isn't really all that bad, and everyone else below them are undeserving. Next up: vs. Iowa, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2).

7. Michigan State (4-4, 1-3; LW: No. 8) -- There's not much to do in East Lansing other than prepare for basketball season and hope the football team actually makes a bowl. That feat may be harder than you think, as the Spartans still have to play Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Minnesota, while needing two wins to become eligible. Next up: at Wisconsin, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC).

8. Purdue (3-4, 0-3; LW: No. 9) -- It was a valiant performance for the Boilermakers, but allowing a backup quarterback to beat you with 48 seconds left, no timeouts, and an eight-point deficit isn't the quality of a winning team. Next up: at Minnesota, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network).

9. Iowa (4-3, 2-1; LW: No. 7)  -- The Hawkeyes didn't score until 14:14 left in the fourth quarter and were outgained by almost 300 yards by a Penn State team that has losses to Ohio and Virginia. Next up: at Northwestern, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2).

10. Minnesota (4-3, 0-3; LW: No. 10) -- Freshman quarterback Philip Nelson made his collegiate debut at Wisconsin last week and fared pretty decently. Although the offense failed to find much success, injuries have plagued the Gophers and Nelson will continue to be the team's primary signal caller until MarQueis Gray gets healthy. Next up: vs. Purdue, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network).

11. Indiana (2-5, 0-3; LW: No. 11) -- Growing pains will continue to haunt coach Kevin Wilson, but there's obviously talent on this very young Indiana roster. Next up: at Illinois, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network).

12. Illinois (2-5, 0-3; LW: No. 12) -- Illinois' only chance to win a Big Ten game might be this weekend. Next up: vs. Indiana, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network).

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