Big Ten Week 6 power rankings: Northwestern is for real
DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 19: The Northwestern Wildcats celebrate after defeating the Duke Blue Devils 19-10 at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Coming into the 2015 season, everyone expected Ohio State and Michigan State to battle it out for Big Ten supremacy. Right now, though, neither team is living up to the billing, and things improbably seem wide open in the conference.

For the purposes of ranking the conference, we’re rolling with the Buckeyes and Spartans at the top because, well, they still have the best rosters in the league. However, Northwestern is sitting at 5-0 in anticipation of a massive game at Michigan this week, and the Wildcats currently boast the best defense in the country after a dominant win over Minnesota. Speaking of Michigan, the Wolverines also performed in lights-out fashion by bludgeoning Maryland on the road, and the winner of that game could easily vault into the top two next week.

Behind the top four, Iowa (sitting at 5-0!) is having the best year, while the trio of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska struggles to gain traction. There is something very #B1G about all four of these programs, but on the bright side, they aren’t Maryland. We would be remiss to forget Indiana as well, as the Hoosiers played Ohio State incredibly tough in suffering their first loss. No longer a laughingstock by any stretch.

It’s a big week in the conference with Michigan and Northwestern squaring off, and if the “big two” don’t shape up in a hurry, things will become quite fluid.

Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 6 (last week in parentheses)
1. Ohio State (↑ 1)
2. Michigan State (↓ 1)
3. Northwestern (↔)
4. Michigan (↑ 1)
5. Iowa (↓ 1)
6. Indiana (↑ 3)
7. Illinois (↑ 4)
8. Penn State (↑ 2)
9. Wisconsin (↓ 3)
10. Minnesota (↓ 3)
11. Nebraska (↓ 3)
12. Purdue (↑ 2)
13. Rutgers (↓ 1)
14. Maryland (↓ 1)

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