Dust settles on the regular season after a wild Week 12 in the Big Ten that saw some upsets, Wisconsin with a late win in Nebraska to qualify for the Bowl and a series of crazy finishes.
Next week, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines will meet to decide things in the Big Ten East, with a Big Ten championship game berth and likely a college football playoff berth at stake.
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Rivalry week also heads to Madison, where the Badgers are looking to avenge last year’s late loss to Minnesota.
Where are the Badgers and how is it at the top? Here are our BadgersWire Big Ten Power Rankings after Week 12:
It’s been a disastrous season at Evanston, and Northwestern dropped their Week 12 matchup against Purdue. It was another embarrassing performance from the offense, scoring 9 points while struggling in every way.
How do you do that? Week after week, Nebraska finds a way to lose a tight game. It’s amazing but believable at this point. Nebraska outplayed Wisconsin for long stretches on Saturday but found a way to give Graham Mertz and his crew a game-winning drive.
Penn State was unsurprisingly all Rutgers on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights were lit for 55 points as they continued to battle on both sides of the ball.
State of Michigan: 5-6
Michigan State made its best impression in Nebraska in a double overtime loss to Indiana. How did they find a way to crush a 24-7 lead at home? Indiana was able to unleash its running game and lead to a win.
It wasn’t a great season at Bloomington, but Saturday’s comeback win over Michigan State was certainly a highlight. Indiana running back Shaun Shivers rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns for the dramatic win.
A nondescript win over Northwestern defined Purdue’s Week 12. The Boilermakers were a wildly inconsistent group in 2022, showing high flashes mixed with low lows. It’s rivalry week against Indiana awaiting the Boilermakers.
Well, we said Purdue had a nondescript win, but Maryland had arguably the most impressive loss of the group in Week 12.
Taulia Tagovailoa kept them ahead against No. 2 Ohio State, and the Terrapins even went into halftime with a 13-10 lead over the Buckeyes.
How did you do that? Who knows, but they did. Wisconsin played arguably the worst half of football of the entire season in Nebraska’s first half, but prevailed thanks to Mertz’s clutch play and offense coupled with a more solid defense.
It was another big day for Mo Ibrahim in the loss to Iowa, but the inconsistencies for Minnesota continued. It all ends in Madison with the Battle for the Ax on Saturday.
The Fighting Illini have returned to earth in recent weeks but had an excellent shot at defeating Michigan on Saturday. The offense started late, but the Wolverines pulled them out in the end.
Iowa continues to dictate their own destiny in the Big Ten West, and all they need is a win over Nebraska to enter the championship game. The offense is still nothing special, but Phil Parker’s defense has carried the Hawkeyes further than many thought they could go.
Penn State ran all over Rutgers on Saturday en route to a 55-10 win. The Nittany Lions had a two-headed ground attack from Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, who combined for over 175 yards.
It was close, but Michigan avoided a monster excitement in a late home win over Illinois on Saturday. Ohio State will once again define the end of its season as the Wolverines look to defeat the Buckeyes again.
Ohio State: 11-0
This one is easy. The Buckeyes didn’t have their best day in Maryland, but Ohio State has the highest ceiling of any team in the conference and it’s not particularly close. The state’s No. 2 team hosts Michigan on Saturday.