Coaches Paul Chryst, Lovie Smith, Tom Allen, and James Franklin interview with Fox Sports Game Analyst, Joel Klatt, during the Big Ten Football Media Day Luncheon at McCormick Place Conference Center in Chicago on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Around the Big Ten: Week 11 power rankings

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Every week, the Pregame staff takes a look at what’s going on in the conference, and puts together power rankings around the Big Ten.

By Pete Ruden

peter-ruden@uiowa.edu

“I just realized how messed up the Big Ten is … it’s really hard to rank.”

1. Wisconsin (9-0)

I mean, the Badgers haven’t lost, so I guess I’ll put them here … a game against Iowa, which seems to have found its stride, will be a solid test.

2. Ohio State (7-2)

It’s not very often you get absolutely decimated and still get ranked as the second-best team in the conference, but here we are.

3. Michigan State (7-2)

Look at Michigan State back toward the top of the power rankings like it’s 2015 or something.

4. Penn State (7-2)

Throwback to two weeks ago, when I thought the Nittany Lions had a legitimate chance at winning a national title. Things went downhill fast.

5. Michigan (7-2)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: It feels weird putting Michigan this low.

6. Iowa (6-3)

No. 6 in the power rankings, but No. 1 at destroying top-five teams by 31.

7. Northwestern (6-3)

Fun fact: Northwestern’s last three games have gone into overtime, and it has won all three. The Wildcats are on a four-game winning streak with Purdue, Minnesota, and Illinois coming up, so they could be rising.

8. Rutgers (4-5)

I am actually really shook that Rutgers could possibly be this high. Is this real life? Also, what if Rutgers beats Penn State?

9. Nebraska (4-5)

Here’s a reminder that Nebraska lost to Northern Illinois earlier this season.

10. Purdue (4-5)

David Blough got hurt last week, and I already miss the presence of the Big Ten’s best power couple: Blough and Jeff Brohm. Two football guys.

11. Maryland (4-5)

We all knew Maryland’s run in the top half of the standings would end at some point. Things like that happen when all of your quarterbacks get hurt.

12. Minnesota (4-5)

*Insert joke about P.J. Fleck’s boat sinking*

13. Indiana (3-6)

On the bright side, the Hoosiers might get their first Big Ten win of the season when they take on Illinois Saturday.

14. Illinois (2-7)

Illinois has three different quarterbacks with at least 3 interceptions thrown on the season. That’s not what you want.

 

Offensive Impact

Name: Brian Lewerke, Michigan State

Position: Quarterback

Year: Sophomore

Lewerke had himself quite the game in Michigan State’s upset of Penn State. The sophomore from Phoenix threw for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns en route to a 127.1 rating. The yardage is his second highest total of the season, following the Oct. 28 win over Northwestern in which he threw for 445 yards.

 

Defensive Impact

Name: Josh Jackson, Iowa

Position: Cornerback

Year: Junior

Jackson had a career game against Ohio State, racking up 3 interceptions off J.T. Barrett, who entered the game having thrown only 1. He tied Iowa’s school record and picked up his first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor in the process.

 

Game to watch

No. 13 Michigan State @ No. 11 Ohio State

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Watch: Fox

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