Back: 2. Last Week: W 21-7 at Michigan State
The Wolverines No. 5 take first place for the first time this season after they had won rival Michigan State and watched rival Ohio state is blown out. Jim Harbaugh's team has won seven after losing their season opener to Notre Dame. UM has a little week before hosting Penn State.
Back: 1. Last Week: L 49-20 in Purdue
Another year, another mid-season blowout loss for No. 1
Back: 4. Last week: W 23-0 against Maryland.
The # 18 Hawkeye continues to produce impressive blackboard results. Maryland was offensively dangerous, but only 115 yards against Iowa. Nate Stanley came back to Earth, but Kirk Ferentz's team shows he can win in different ways.
Back: 3. Last week: W 49-20 against Illinois.
The No. 20 Badgers fall behind Iowa after the head-to-head victory. It's close and UW is still controlling its position in the West, but the Hawkeyes are looking like a better team. Back-to-back stakes for Alex Hornibrook do not help. Limited UW defense forced five first sales in Illinois, an encouraging sign.
Back: 8. Last week: W 49-20 against Ohio State.
What a win for the Boilermakers who could not be! I have just graduated from these rankings. The team of Jeff Brohm made an impressive showing after calmly gathering some of the country's best offensive numbers last month. A long way to go, but Purdue has just won four and has Iowa and Wisconsin down the track at home. This team is a threat in the West. David Blough flings it, D.J. Knox is dangerous from the backfield and Rondale Moore is this guy.
Back: 6. Last Week: W 33-28 in Indiana
The Nittany Lions No. 17 had to fight hard to escape Bloomington's victory. Something just does not click on the offensive after a few explosions in the first season. A lot of potential, but also a solid road the next three weeks with Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin forward.
. 7 NORTHWESTERN (4-3, 3-1)
Back: 7. Last week: W 18-15 at Rutgers
Pat Fitzgerald's team found a way. Barely. It's rarely pretty, but credit Northwestern for finding ways to win league games. Next up: A home game against Wisconsin in a crucial West matchup.
. 8 MICHIGAN STATE (4-3, 2-2)
Back: 5. Last week: L 21-7 vs. Michigan
The Spartans are not the first team – nor will they be the last – to become humble through this Wolverines defense, but man. Brian Lewerke, perhaps the best quarterback for the Big Ten, graduated 5 out of 25 for 66 yards and the Spartans just hurried to 15. They came out 395-94. Enough said:
Back: 9. Last week: L 23-0 in Iowa
The Terps offensive was good all year round, but came to a halt against the Hawkeyes. Maryland is exactly where it seems to be falling: dangerous, but a big step among the best in the East.
Back: 10. Last week: L 33-28 against Penn State.
Heavy tobogganing for Tom Allen Hoosiers, who nearly had a big win against Penn State. Now is the time to make a hay with games against Minnesota and Maryland.
Back: 13. Last week: W 53-28 against Minnesota.
The Huskers pull a few steps after their first win of the season. The offensive has broken through and the defense has done enough. Now Bethune-Cookman before a trip to the shoe. How much run can NU do in the last five weeks?
Back: 12. Last week: L 49-20 in Wisconsin
The Illini turned the ball five times in the first 30 minutes but closed the gap by forcing sales against the Badgers. Next: A Road Trip to Maryland
Back: 11. Last Week: L 53-28 in Nebraska
The Gophers dropped to 0-4 after surrendering to the Huskers 649 yard. In 13 Big Ten games under P. J. Fleck, Minnesota is 2-11. A chance to spend the next two weeks with Indiana at home and in Illinois. UM needs them to move forward.
Previous: 14. Last Week: L 18-15 Vs. Northwestern
Rutgers headed northwestern for a while but could not keep up. This was perhaps the Scarlet Knights' best chance at victory, considering they are teaming with Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State.