It was a relatively light week on the Big Ten schedule in Week 8, but that doesn’t mean there was a lack of development in the Big Ten championship hunts. The Big Ten West took an interesting turn this weekend, much to the delight of Illinois on a bye week. In the east, Michigan had the week off while Penn State and Ohio State did what they needed to do in order to set the stage for next week’s big division showdown in Beaver Stadium.
Here is an updated look at the Big Ten football power rankings after Week 8, which features a small bit of movement in the order from top to bottom.
Oct 22, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Brendan Sullivan (10) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost at Maryland, 31-24
Last week: 14
That season-opening win against Nebraska back in Week 0 is getting farther and faster in the rearview mirror. The Wildcats battled at Maryland but just could not scratch together another Big Ten win.
Next game: at Iowa
Oct 22, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) runs as he is tackled by Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Jayden Montgomery (36) during the third quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost at Ohio State, 54-10
Last week: 13
Given the way the Iowa offense has fared this season, there was never much hope on the road against Ohio State for the Hawkeyes in Week 8. Iowa scored its only touchdown of the game in the first quarter but the defense had its hands full with the explosive Ohio State offense.
Next game: vs. Northwestern
Oct 22, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Indiana Hoosiers defensive lineman Demarcus Elliott (94) reacts are a defensive sop with defensive lineman James Head Jr. (6) during the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost at Rutgers, 24-17
Last week: 10
The Hoosiers jumped out to a 14-0 lead at Rutgers but couldn’t add on as they let one slip away on the road. Indiana has just one win in Big Ten play this season, which oddly enough came against current Big Ten West frontrunner Illinois. Indiana gets a week off now and prepares for Penn State at home in two weeks.
Next game: vs. Penn State (Week 10)
Oct 22, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Aron Cruickshank (1) celebrates with teammates after returning a punt for a touchdown which was called back due to a Scarlet Knights penalty during the second half against the Indiana Hoosiers at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Indiana, 24-17
Last week: 12
Rutgers dug out of an early hole at home and managed to keep their bowl hopes alive with a nice win at home against Indiana in Week 8. Rutgers still faces an uphill battle to the postseason, but things are slowly coming together for Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights.
Next game: at Minnesota
Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Alexander Smith (11) reacts following a replay decision during the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Purdue, 35-24
Last week: 11
Wisconsin‘s up-and-down season continued with a big early jump on Purdue. Wisconsin threw a wrench in Purdue’s pursuit of a Big Ten West championship, much to the delight of Illinois on its bye week. Wisconsin could still be a team to watch down the stretch although the division may be just out of reach in the end.
Next game: vs. Maryland (Week 10)
Michigan State (3-4)
Oct 15, 2022; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Elijah Collins (24) drags Wisconsin Badgers tacklers with him on his way to a first down in the fourth quarter at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Wisconsin, 34-28 (2 OT, Week 7)
Last week: 9
Michigan State got a chance to go into their off week with a little momentum following a double overtime victory against Wisconsin. But the next game is a big test as the Spartans head to Ann Arbor to face rival Michigan.
Next game: at Michigan
Oct 22, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) jumps over Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Curtis Jacobs (23) during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost at Penn State 45-17
Last week: 7
The Gophers lacked its discipline on the road at Penn State and had to try coming away with a win with an unproven quarterback in place of their injured starter. And while Minnesota hung tough in the rowdy environment, the Gophers lost steam in the second half and fell into a big hole against Penn State for a third-straight loss. Minnesota has scored fewer than 20 point sin each of their last three games, all losses.
Next game: vs Rutgers
Oct 7, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive back Brandon Moore (24) celebrates his interception with teammates during the second half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost to Purdue, 43-37 (Week 7)
Last week: 8
Nebraska had a chance to stay in the thick of the Big Ten West race against most odds but came up short on the road at Purdue in a shootout last week. The Huskers are inching closer to another year without a bowl trip, but it is not out of reach just yet. Nebraska had the week off to prepare for its next game, and it’s another big one in the West Division.
Next game: vs Illinois
Oct 22, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins running back Roman Hemby (24) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Northwestern Wildcats during the second half at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Northwestern, 31-24
Last week: 6
Another team playing without its starting quarterback in Week 8, Maryland had to be bailed out by a long touchdown run by freshman Roman Hemby to avoid a potential overtime struggle with lowly Northwestern. The Terrapins are now bowl-eligible.
Next game: at Wisconsin
Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Aidan O’Connell (16) is sacked during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Lost at Wisconsin, 35-24
Last week: 5
Purdue had a rough road trip to Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend. Purdue fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and Aidan O’Connell was picked off three times in an ugly setback that could cost them heavily in the division race.
Next game: vs Iowa (Week 10)
Penn State (6-1)
Oct 22, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Theo Johnson (84) runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Minnesota, 45-17
Last week: 4
Penn State needed a game like this in a big way. A week after getting slammed by Michigan, Penn State overcame a slow start to pull away in the second half for a blowout victory in front of the whiteout crowd. Penn State got a well-rounded effort on offense with everyone chipping in, and the defense made some big stops.
Next game: vs Ohio State
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) runs the ball against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Minnesota (Week 7)
Last week: 3
Illinois has set itself up well for a run for its first Big Ten West Division crown, and they got the week off to prepare for the final stretch run. That begins next week with a road trip to Nebraska. If Chase Brown and the Illini keep their running game going with that defense, they should start thinking about making a trip to Indianapolis at the end of the regular season.
Next game: at Nebraska
Oct 15, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards (7) rushes in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Penn State 41-17
Last week: 2
If you want to make the case that Michigan is the best team in the Big Ten, your argument will be entertained. Either way, the Wolverines will look to have a chance to win their way back to Indy because they may not be taking a loss before the game of the year in the Big Ten at the end of the regular season in Columbus.
Next game: vs. Michigan State
Ohio State (7-0)
Oct 22, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka (2) runs during the first quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Last game: Beat Iowa, 54-10
Last week: 1
Ohio State polished off another opponent in easy fashion. C.J. Stroud continued to add to his touchdown total as the Buckeyes looked poised to keep this train rolling. Next stop, Happy Valley.
Next game: vs Rutgers