Pete Pistone and the rest of the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio team will unveil power rankings each week of the college football season. Check out their Week 7 power rankings below, and start listening to SiriusXM Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372) on the SiriusXM app now.The finish line is in sight and although it’s been anything but smooth sailing, the Big Ten football season is coming in for a landing. More COVID-related cancellations impacted last week’s slate of games that will also shape the conference championship contest, as well as the College Football Playoff pairings.
Northwestern earned the West Division title while Ohio State and Indiana kept winning to complicate the East Division situation. It all adds up to what will be an intriguing final week of the 2020 season.
Here’s how the SXM Big Ten Radio team voted to shape this week’s edition of the power rankings heading into Week 8.
- OHIO STATE (5-0)
The Buckeyes were undermanned due to COVID sidelining a number of players but Ohio State had more than enough to throttle Michigan State. Now comes the question about whether Michigan can field a team this week and allow OSU to have the minimum number of games played in order to be considered for the College Football Playoff.
NEXT: Michigan/Saturday noon ET
A hard-fought 14-6 win over Wisconsin was indicative of this season’s effort for Indiana. Jack Tuttle stepped in at quarterback for the injured Michael Penix Jr. and did a solid job leading the Hoosiers to another victory.
NEXT: Purdue/Saturday 3:30pm ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)
3. NORTHWESTERN (5-1)
The Wildcats won their second West Division title in three years and did so while sitting idle because the game against Minnesota was cancelled. Northwestern awaits the East Division opponent for the December 19thchampionship tilt in Indianapolis.
NEXT: Illinois/Saturday noon ET
4. IOWA (5-2)
A five-game winning streak is what Iowa has put together after beating Illinois 35-21. The Hawkeyes have been one of the best teams in the conference but it will be too little, too late in terms of playing for a Big Ten championship.
NEXT: Wisconsin/Saturday 3:30pm ET
5. WISCONSIN (2-2)
It’s hard to believe the team that was so strong offensively in its first two games is the same Badgers team that lost 14-6 to Indiana Saturday. Defensively Wisconsin has been stellar but putting points on the board is a challenge.
NEXT: @Iowa/Saturday 3:30pm ET
6. MARYLAND (2-2)
A second straight week on ice for the Terrapins due to the virus. Mike Locksley’s team is hoping to at least get on the field the next two weeks to finish the season.
NEXT: Rutgers/Saturday noon ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)
7. RUTGERS (2-5)
Yes, Rutgers got hammered by Penn State 23-7 last week. However this team continues to show improvement and in this year like none before in the Big Ten deserves to be in the top half of the rankings…at least this week.
NEXT: @Maryland/Saturday noon ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)
- NEBRASKA (2-4)
A 37-27 win over Purdue on the road was exactly what the Huskers needed to quiet the growing voice of criticism toward the program. Saturday’s 253 yards through the air was the season-best for Nebraska.
NEXT: Minnesota/Saturday 3:30pm ET
- ILLINOIS (2-4)
A solid opening half was negated by an Iowa fury last week in the Fighting Illini’s 35-21 loss to the Hawkeyes. Brandon Peters had a rough day and was benched in favor of Isaiah Williams, who may start this week against Northwestern.
NEXT: @Northwestern/Saturday noon ET
10. PENN STATE (2-5)
Things have gotten much better for Penn State the last two outings after a disastrous start to 2020. A 23-7 victory over Rutgers was Penn State’s 900th overall win and a reminder of the team’s glory days.
NEXT: Michigan State/Saturday 3:30pm ET
- MICHIGAN STATE (2-4)
Not many expected the Spartans to hang long with Ohio State and that was the case in last week’s 52-12 pounding. But the bigger concern may be at the quarterback position as Rocky Lombardi exited the game early and was replaced by Peyton Thorne.
NEXT: @Penn State/Saturday 3:30pm ET
- PURDUE (2-4)
Things are headed south in West Lafayette. Purdue began the year 2-0 and have since gone on a four-game skid the latest defeat coming at home against Nebraska 37-27.
NEXT: @Indiana/Saturday 3:30pm ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)
- MICHIGAN (2-4)
The Wolverines biggest opponent of the season has turned out to be COVID. Last week’s game against Maryland was lost to a virus outbreak in Ann Arbor and this Saturday’s annual showdown against Ohio State is tenuous at best.
NEXT: @Ohio State/Saturday noon ET
- MINNESOTA (2-3)
The bad news is that Minnesota could not play for a second week after a virus outbreak ravaged the Golden Gophers’ roster. However, PJ Fleck is optimistic (redundant I know) about having enough players to field a team this week against Nebraska.
NEXT: @Nebraska/Saturday 3:30pm ET
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