Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 12

Stephen Houston's ability has the Hoosiers on the rise

Stephen Houston's ability has the Hoosiers on the rise

Big Ten Football Week 12 Power Rankings: The Golden Gophers & Hawkeyes Are on the Rise

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Jordan Canzeri finds the end zone against Purdue. (Image Source: Associated Press)

Here are this week’s power rankings:

(1) Ohio State Buckeyes (Previous Rank: 1); Record: 9-0 (5-0)

Last Week: Idle

It was a good but not a great week for the Buckeyes. Oregon lost but Alabama won, so they take a step closer to the BCS Championship Game but still need help to get in.

Coming Up: 11/16: @ Illinois; 11/23: vs. Indiana

(2) Wisconsin Badgers (Previous Rank: 2); Record: 7-2 (4-1)

Last Week: Won vs. BYU 27-17

For the second-straight week it’s RB James White (23 carries, 147, 2 TDs) who carries the day, while the defense cooled off the red-hot QB Taysom Hill (19/41 passing, 3.1 YPC).

Coming Up: 11/16: vs. Indiana; 11/23: @ Minnesota

(3) Michigan State Spartans (Previous Rank: 3); Record: 8-1 (5-0)

Last Week: Idle

The Spartans can all but lock up the Legends Division with a win this week in Lincoln over the Cornhuskers, as they get set to play consecutive road games for the second time in 2013.

Coming Up: 11/16: @ Nebraska; 11/23: @ Northwestern

(4) Iowa Hawkeyes (Previous Rank: 5); Record: 6-4 (3-3)

Last Week: Won @ Purdue 38-14

With big holes opened up by Iowa’s offensive line, third-string running back Jordan Canzeri (165 yards) had a monster game on the ground, flashing explosiveness and burst.

Coming Up: 11/16: Idle; 11/23: vs. Michigan

(5) Minnesota Golden Gophers (Previous Rank: 6); Record: 8-2 (4-2)

Last Week: Won vs. Penn State 24-10

The Gophers won their fourth-straight Big Ten game for the first time since 1973. Wow. Can you say stock for DC Tracy Claeys, who has excelled as the acting head coach?

Coming Up: 11/16: Idle; 11/23: vs. Wisconsin

(6) Nebraska Cornhuskers (Previous Rank: 7); Record: 7-2 (4-1)

Last Week: Won @ Michigan 17-13

It wasn’t pretty but the Huskers picked up a rare big road win under HC Bo Pelini, as they continue to control their own destiny in the Legends Division.

Coming Up: 11/16: vs. Michigan State; 11/23: @ Penn State

(7) Michigan Wolverines (Previous Rank: 4); Record: 6-3 (2-3)

Last Week: Lost vs. Nebraska 17-13

It can’t get worse? Think again. The Wolverines offense is in such a state that they made Nebraska’s mediocre defense look just as big and bad as Michigan State’s.

Coming Up: 11/16: @ Northwestern; 11/23: @ Iowa

(8) Northwestern Wildcats (Previous Rank: 8); Record: 4-5 (0-5)

Last Week: Idle

The Wildcats really needed the week off to recover psychologically after losing in Lincoln on a Hail Mary, as well as to recover physically with numerous players nursing injuries.

Coming Up: 11/16: vs. Michigan; 11/23: vs. Michigan State

(9) Indiana Hoosiers (Previous Rank: 10); Record: 4-5 (2-3)

Last Week: Won vs. Illinois 52-35

Three Hoosiers went for 150-plus yards, Tevin Coleman (215 yards, 2 TDs) and Stephen Houston (150 yards, 2 TDs) rushing and Cody Latimer (189 yards, 3 TDs) receiving.

Coming Up: 11/16: @ Wisconsin; 11/23: @ Ohio State

(10) Penn State Nittany Lions (Previous Rank: 9); Record: 5-4 (2-3)

Last Week: Lost @ Minnesota 24-10

They were better in the trenches than they have been most of the season but they couldn’t get Minnesota off the field in the first half, when all the game’s points were scored.

Coming Up: 11/16: vs. Purdue; 11/23: vs. Nebraska

(11) Illinois Fighting Illini (Previous Rank: 11); Record: 3-6 (0-5)

Last Week: Lost @ Indiana 52-35

Despite putting up over 600 yards of offense and winning the turnover battle, the Illini couldn’t keep up with the Hoosiers. That’s what happens when you’re 0-for-3 on fourth downs.

Coming Up: 11/16: vs. Ohio State; 11/23: @ Purdue

(12) Purdue Boilermakers (Previous Rank: 12); Record: 1-8 (0-5)

Last Week: Lost vs. Iowa 38-14

It was a nice game for sophomore WR Danny Anthrop, who caught four passes for 82 yards. He displayed good hands, toughness and the ability to gain yards after the catch.

Coming Up: 11/16: @ Penn State; 11/23: vs. Illinois

Big Ten Links:

Minnesota Golden Gophers QB David Nelson Continues To Make Progress as a Passer

Scouting the Big Ten: Michigan Wolverines Offensive Line Takes Another Step Back

Scouting the Big Ten: Running Backs Zach Zwinak, David Cobb & James White

Around the Big Ten: Tevin Coleman Runs, Minnesota’s Milestone Winning Streak & Wisconsin Shuts Down BYU

College Football Links:

Week 12 Power Rankings: Alabama & Florida State Are On a Collision Course

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.