Big Ten Power Rankings: How far do Spartans fall after loss to Wolverines?

Michigan State is no longer the owner of the Paul Bunyan trophy.

For the first time since 2019, the Spartans came up short in their rivalry matchup against Michigan. It was the first time Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker had lost to his rival, and with the loss the Spartans are now 3-5 on the season.

How far do the Spartans drop after yet another double-digit loss? See where I rank Michigan State and the rest of the Big Ten teams in this week’s Big Ten power rankings:

Northwestern

Record:  1-7 (1-4 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Loss at Iowa

Next game: vs. Ohio State (Nov. 5)

It’s not good when you’re giving up points in bunches to Iowa’s lackluster offense. That’s exactly what happened to Northwestern on Saturday as the Wildcats have now lost seven straight games.

Indiana

Record:  3-5 (1-4 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Bye

Next game: vs. Penn State (Nov. 5)

Indiana was off this weekend and will return to the field next week against Penn State. The Hoosiers enter next week’s matchup against Penn State looking to snap a five-game losing streak.

Rutgers

Record: 4-4 (1-4 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Loss at Minnesota

Next game: vs. Michigan (Nov. 5)

Rutgers didn’t put up much of a fight in Saturday’s shutout loss at Minnesota. Things will only get harder for the Scarlet Knights who will return to home next week against undefeated Michigan.

Nebraska

Record: 3-5 (2-3 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Loss vs. Illinois

Next game: vs. Minnesota (Nov. 5)

Nebraska lost starting quarterback Casey Thompson in Saturday’s loss at Illinois and the offense couldn’t do anything from that point. It may not have made a difference in the final outcome but the Cornhuskers aren’t much of a threat to score without Thompson under center.

Iowa

Record: 4-4 (2-3 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Win vs. Northwestern

Next game: at Purdue (Nov. 5)

Iowa hasn’t been very good this year but they are clearly better than the bottom of the league still. Saturday’s blowout win over Northwestern proved that but things will be tougher next week against Purdue.

Michigan State

Record: 3-5 (1-4 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Loss at Michigan

Next game: at Illinois (Nov. 5)

Michigan State showed some life as big underdogs to rival Michigan, but the offense was unable to get any momentum in the second half. That poor play from the offense killed any shot of an upset for the Spartans — who drop a few spots in this week’s power rankings.

Maryland

Record: 6-2 (3-2 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Bye

Next game: at Wisconsin (Nov. 5)

Maryland got a much-needed bye week to heal up and prepare for a gauntlet upcoming three-game stretch. The Terps will head to Wisconsin next followed by a road game against Penn State and home matchup vs. Ohio State.

Purdue

Record: 5-3 (3-2 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Bye

Next game: vs. Iowa (Nov. 5)

Purdue has been licking their wounds following last week’s blowout loss at Wisconsin. The bye week came at a good time for the Boilermakers who will look to bounce back against Iowa next week.

Minnesota

Record: 5-3 (2-3 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Win vs. Rutgers

Next game: at Nebraska (Nov. 5)

Minnesota got back starting quarterback Tanner Morgan but it was the rushing attack and defense that led the Golden Gophers to a shutout victory over Rutgers on Saturday. The Golden Gophers get a much-needed win to snap their three-game losing streak.

Wisconsin

Record: 4-4 (2-3 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Bye

Next game: vs. Maryland (Nov. 5)

Wisconsin was off this week and will look to build off their convincing win over Purdue in their next game against Maryland. The Badgers are 2-1 under new interim head coach Jim Leonhard and appear to be heading in the right direction as we hit the final stretch.

Penn State

Record: 6-2 (3-2 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Loss vs. Ohio State

Next game: at Indiana (Nov. 5)

Penn State held a fourth quarter lead over Ohio State on Saturday before the dams broke the Buckeyes came back to win. It was still a strong performance overall, though, for the Nittany Lions who are clearly the next best team in the Big Ten East Division behind Ohio State and Michigan.

Illinois

Record: 7-1 (3-1 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Win at Nebraska

Next game: vs. Michigan State (Nov. 5)

Illinois just keeps winning. It’s not flashy but they have a recipe for success under Bret Bielema and it’s going to carry the Fighting Illini to their first ever Big Ten West Division title if things continue as they are going.

Michigan

Record: 8-0 (5-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Win vs. Michigan State

Next game: at Rutgers (Nov. 5)

I didn’t leave Saturday night’s victory over Michigan State thinking Michigan is as dominant as others are saying. That stats suggest otherwise in this rivalry victory but the Wolverines’ inability to score touchdowns in the redzone has me leaving them behind Ohio State in our power rankings for another week.

Ohio State

Record: 8-0 (5-0 in Big Ten)

This week’s result: Win at Penn State

Next game: at Northwestern (Nov. 5)

Like Michigan, Ohio State didn’t come off as dominant in their victory on Saturday. The Buckeyes historically play close games with Penn State so maybe this is just another case of that but I’m starting to think the gap between Ohio State and Michigan isn’t all that big after all.

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Story originally appeared on Spartans Wire