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NCAAF · 21 days ago

Big Ten Power Rankings Week 12: Michigan Has Played Somebody

Danny Mogollon

Danny Mogollon

Big Ten Power Rankings Week 12: Michigan Has Played Somebody

Week 12 delivered three Big Ten West teams scoring 45-plus points! No, Iowa wasn’t involved. There was also a shutout. Yes, Iowa was involved. Four B1G had a chance to punch their bowl ticket and went 1-3. Two other teams won their fifth game of the season to put themselves on the cusp of bowl eligibility. All of which leaves five West teams at 5-5 overall, 3-4 in conference play, and two games behind the first-place Hawkeyes (8-2, 5-2). Oh yeah, Michigan has now played somebody.

Here’s how the B1G teams rank after twelve weeks of college football:

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B1G Tier I: Natty Favorite (Literally!)

(1) Michigan Wolverines 10-0 | 7-0 (1)

Last Week: Won @ Penn State 24-15 | SP+: 1 | PFF: 2

It wasn’t pretty, but Michigan did something no one thought they could do. Run it down Penn State’s (No. 1 run defense) throat. On the season, PSU has allowed six runs of 20-plus yards and three runs of 30-plus yards. On Saturday, the Wolverines had four runs of 20-plus yards and two runs of 30-plus yards, including scoring scampers of 22 yards by Donovan Edwards and 30 yards by Blake Corum.

Up Next: @ Maryland (-19.5)

B1G Tier II: CFP Contenders

(2) Ohio State Buckeyes 10-0 | 7-0 (2)

Last Week: Won vs. Michigan State 38-3 | SP+: 3 | PFF: 4

The Buckeyes trounced Sparty, easily their biggest blowout in Big Ten play. Even without many explosives, OSU averaged an impressive 8.24 yards per play and was highly efficient, especially throwing the football. On Saturday night, Marvin Harrison’s 149 yards and two touchdowns saw a significant spike in Heisman odds.

Up Next: vs. Minnesota (-27.5)

More B1G: Michigan Takeaways | PSU Takeaways | PSU’s QB Woes | Iowa Shutouts Rutgers | OSU Crushes MSU

B1G Tier III: Not as Good as You Thought, Better Than You Think

(3) Penn State Nittany Lions 8-2 | 5-2 (3)

Last Week: Lost vs. Michigan 24-15 | SP+: 5 | PFF: 9

They did some good things. PSU’s pass rush disrupted Michigan’s offense more than anyone has this season, and they ran the ball better than I expected them to, but did it ever feel like the Nittany Lions were going to win? Remember, Drew Allar was supposed to be the difference in big games this year: 10 of 22 (45.6%) for 3.2 yards per pass.

Up Next: vs. Rutgers (-20.5)

B1G Tier IV: If They Only Had an Average Offense

(4) Iowa Hawkeyes 8-2 | 5-2 (4)

Last Week: Won vs. Rutgers 22-0 | SP+: 29 | PFF: 22

We saw what Iowa would look like with an average offense, as they reached a 51% success rate (88th percentile), which I didn’t think was possible. Deacon Hill had his best game of the season, and if he plays at that level over the next two weeks, they’ll win ten games.

Up Next: vs. Illinois (-3.5)

More CFB Takeaways: Georgia | Texas | Alabama | Florida State | Oregon | Washington

B1G Tier V: Going Bowling

(5) Maryland Terrapins 6-4 | 3-4 (8)

Last Week: Won @ Nebraska 13-10 | SP+: 35 | PFF: 52

Maryland moving up after snapping their four-game losing streak is more about the middle of the Big Ten than how well they performed in Lincoln. They were the better team on Saturday, but despite that and a plus-three edge in turnovers, the Terps needed a last-second FG to notch win No. 6.

Up Next: vs. Michigan (+19.5)

(6) Rutgers Scarlet Knights 6-4 | 3-4 (6)

Last Week: Lost @ Iowa 22-0 | SP+: 52 | PFF: 60

Their 3.22 yards per play was among the worst showings of the college football season. Until they can get some semblance of a passing offense, Rutgers will not be able to respond when stepping up in competition. Against Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa, they scored a total of 25 points (8.34 PPG).

Up Next: @ Penn State (+20.5)

B1G Tier VI: Somebody Else Has to Win 6 Games…Right?

(7a) Minnesota Golden Gophers 5-5 | 3-4 (6)

Last Week: Lost @ Purdue 49-30 | SP+: 55 | PFF: 41

The Minnesota offense played well enough for the second straight game to win. Do you want yards? Athan Kaliakmanis threw for 292 yards. Do you like points? They scored 30 for the third time this season. Do you want metrics? They averaged 0.16 RPA/play (74th percentile) with a 48% success rate (81st percentile). The defense has now allowed 37 points to Northwestern, 27 to Illinois, and 49 to Purdue!

Up Next: @ Ohio State (+27.5)

(7b) Northwestern Wildcats 5-5 | 3-4 (11)

Last Week: Won @ Wisconsin 24-10 | SP+: 75 | PFF: 73

Metrics be damned. I’m giving Northwestern credit for wins over Minnesota, Maryland, and Wisconsin. The return of Ben Bryant was big, as he averaged 7.22 yards per dropback (0.48 EPA/90th percentile) and led the ‘Cats to a 24-3 first-half lead as they converted their first ten third-down chances!

Up Next: vs. Purdue (-1.5)

(7c) Wisconsin Badgers 5-5 | 3-4 (5)

Last Week: Lost vs. Northwestern 24-10 | SP+: 38 | PFF: 54

Starting quarterback Tanner Mordecai returned from injury, and the Wisconsin offense got… worse. They managed just 4.94 YPP, and the defense allowed touchdowns on Northwestern’Northwestern’sdrives. Badgers have lost four of five and scored 14 points or fewer in all four losses.

Up Next: vs. Nebraska (-6)

Before you make your bets for Week 12, make sure to check out SportsGrid’s SportsGrid’sball picks and five-star player props!

(7d) Nebraska Cornhuskers 5-5 | 3-4 (9)

Last Week: Lost vs. Maryland 13-10 | SP+: 57 | PFF: 66

Their inept offense—3.91 yards per dropback—is becoming performance art at this point. The Huskers had not one (Heinrich Haarberg 1/5, INT), not two (Jeff Sims 9/13, 2 INTs), but three (Chubba Purdy 1/3, INT) QBs throw an interception against Maryland.

Up Next: @ Wisconsin (+6)

(7e) Illinois Fighting Illini 5-5 | 3-4 (10)

Last Week: Won vs. Indiana 48-45 (OT) | SP+: 68 | PFF: 67

For the second week in a row, QB2 John Paddock threw a game-winning touchdown pass late in the game. Again, to Isaiah Williams, who finished with 200 receiving yards and two TDs. That put Paddock over 500 passing yards in his first B1G start. I don’t know, but maybe he shouldn’t have been QB2. Illinois had arguably the best offensive performance of the day.

Up Next: @ Iowa (+3.5)

B1G Tier VII: Not the Somebodies

(12) Purdue Boilermakers 3-7 | 2-5 (12)

Last Week: Won vs. Minnesota 49-30 | SP+: 85 | PFF: 62

What an offensive explosion for Purdue, who scored 48 points in their previous four games. They were efficient (89th percentile in success rate), explosive (91st percentile), had an EPA/rush of 0.45 (96th percentile), and averaged 9.65 yards per dropback (92nd percentile). They rushed for 353 yards on a whopping 8.0 yards per carry!

Up Next: @ Northwestern (+1.5)

(13) Michigan State Spartans 3-7 | 1-6 (13)

Last Week: Lost @ Ohio State 38-3 | SP+: 86 | PFF: 77

For the fourth time in the past eight games, MSU failed to reach double digits in points. With just 92 yards on 12 of 24 passing, Katin Houser had his worst effort of the season. The former four-star recruit will start the final two games as the Spartans announced Sam Leavitt is done for the season to preserve his redshirt.

Up Next: @ Indiana (+4.5)

(14) Indiana Hoosiers 3-7 | 1-6 (14)

Last Week: Lost @ Illinois 48-45 (OT) | SP+: 95 | PFF: 107

The dream of ending the season with four straight wins to make a bowl died in overtime as the Hoosiers gave up 662 yards to the Illini and an ugly 10.19 yards per play and 14.08 yards per dropback. Remember, this is a team that fired their offensive coordinator.

Up Next: vs. Michigan State (-6.5)

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