Big Ten Power Rankings updated after Week 11 of college football

On3 imageby:On3 Staff Report11/14/23
Final Thoughts for Week 11

On3 has updated their Big Ten Power Rankings following some gripping action during Week 11 of the college football season.

Amid Jim Harbaugh’s suspension due to the Michigan sign-stealing scandal, the Wolverines were able to handle Penn State. The Nittany Lions had thought this would be the season they could break through and defeat the Wolverines or the Ohio State Buckeyes, but they’ll have to wait until 2024 for another shot.

Elsewhere, Iowa and Rutgers clashed in a defensive battle, and Illinois bested Indiana in an epic shootout during Week 11. Here’s where On3 has each squad at the moment, following their performances over the weekend.

1) Michigan Wolverines (10-0)

Michigan Wolverines football Blake Corum Trevor Keegan Zak Zinter AJ Barner
(Photo by Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports)

The Wolverines took care of their biggest test yet in Penn State with flying colors. Even with Jim Harbaugh barred from Beaver Stadium, Michigan dominated the Nittany Lions, remaining undefeated on the season.

Moving forward, Michigan has a legitimate claim to being the top team in the nation. Of course, their showdown with Ohio State looms large, but they’ll be focused on Maryland in Week 12.

2) Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)

marvin harrison jr.-ohio state-ohio state football-buckeyes
(Matt Parker/Lettermen Row)

Week 11 provided little drama for Ohio State faithful, at least with their team on the field. Scoreboard watching was in full effect during the afternoon window, but the Buckeyes dismantled Michigan State during their showdown.

The Buckeyes will now welcome a reeling Minnesota team to town. It’s all a tune up for the Wolverines. Until then, Ohio State will be looking to stay healthy, and stack big, blowout wins.

3) Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2)

Penn State HC James Franklin
Matthew O’Haren | USA TODAY Sports

The Nittany Lions came into 2023 expecting to defeat one of the Wolverines or Buckeyes, at the least. Well, that goal won’t be achieved, but Penn State is still in tremendous shape for the remainder of the season.

They’re still ranked among the top teams in the nation, and welcoming Rutgers to Beaver Stadium could be exactly what the team needs. The Nittany Lions have handled the Scarlet Knights over recent seasons, and will be hoping Week 12 is no different.

4) Iowa Hawkeyes (8-2)

(Photo: Dennis Scheidt)

The Hawkeyes continued their winning ways in Week 11, defeating Rutgers at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Their defense announced themselves once again, pitching a shut out against the Scarlet Knights.

Iowa will be looking for their ninth win of the season in Week 12. Illinois is coming to town, and they’re not exactly stumbling any longer. It could be a fascinating showdown.

5) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-4)

Iowa Freshmen
(Photo by Dennis Scheidt,

Rutgers has had a phenomenal season, but their offense still leaves much to be desired. The Scarlet Knights felt they could hang with Iowa, and they did for most of the game, but you have to score points to win in this sport.

It doesn’t get any easier for them in Week 12. Penn State has always given Rutgers fits, and they’ll be on the road once again this weekend.

6) Illinois Fighting Illini (5-5) (+1)

© Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Who expected Illinois and Indiana to put on the best show in the Big Ten last weekend? It was the Fighting Illini coming out on top though, capturing a 48-45 victory in overtime over the Hoosiers.

Iowa likely won’t allow their offense to flourish like it did against Indiana. Still, the Illini have momentum, and they’re taking that into Kinnick Stadium in Week 12.

7) Maryland Terrapins (6-4) (+2)

(Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports)

It was a battle all game, but Maryland got back to their winning ways in Lincoln on Saturday. The Terrapins skated by, winning by three points, but they’ll take it however they can get it.

A date with Michigan looms large in Week 12. Thankfully, Maryland is bowl eligible now after beating Nebraska, and will look to simply not get embarrassed by the Wolverines on Saturday.

8) Northwestern Wildcats (5-5) (+4)

© Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Northwestern has scratched and clawed their way to .500. After all the controversy surrounding the team earlier this season, the fact that the Wildcats are 5-5 is a huge accomplishment.

They did so by defeating Wisconsin, who came into 2023 with Big Ten title game aspirations. Northwestern will have a tremendous shot at getting a winning record and clinching a bowl invite in Week 12, as they’ll welcome Purdue to town.

9) Wisconsin Badgers (5-5) (-3)

© Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Perhaps the biggest fall from grace in the Big Ten is happening in Madison. The Badgers were once considered one of the top teams in the conference, but this season hasn’t been kind to Wisconsin.

Even the return of their starting quarterback couldn’t lead them to a win over Northwestern in Week 11. Wisconsin will be hoping to get back on the horse and clinch a bowl game in Week 12, against Nebraska.

10) Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-5)

(Photo: Ken Juszyk/HuskerOnline)

Speaking of hoping to get back on the horse and clinch a bowl game in Week 12, Nebraska will be looking to do the same against Wisconsin. It’ll be a battle of two teams with first-year coaches, with designs on running their division for the foreseeable future.

They’re laying the groundwork in 2023, and that’s all that matters to both programs. Coming off a loss to Maryland, a win would work wonders for the Cornhuskers.

11) Purdue Boilermakers (3-7) (+3)

Purdue's win over Minnesota
(Chad Krockover)

The Boilermakers ended a demoralizing losing streak in Week 11. Minnesota thought they had an easy victory against Purdue, but the Golden Gophers were surely mistaken.

Next up for Purdue is Northwestern. While the Wildcats had some troubles earlier this season, they’ve overcome them all to the tune of a 5-5 record. It could actually be a good one when these teams take the field.

12) Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-5) (-4)

© Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Golden Gophers continued their fall from the upper-half of the Big Ten on Saturday. They fell to Purdue in dominating fashion, and the Golden Gophers are wondering where they go from here.

A clash with Ohio State is next up for Minnesota. So close to clinching a bowl game, they accomplishment seems so far away at the moment.

13) Indiana Hoosiers (3-7) (-2)

© Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana moved down two spots in the rankings, but the Hoosiers played well on Saturday. Well, at least their offense did, as the team put up 45 points in a defeat to Illinois.

It obviously hasn’t been a great season for the Hoosiers at 3-7. Nevertheless, they’ve looked much better as time has passed, and will hope to notch a victory over Michigan State in Week 12.

14) Michigan State Spartans (3-7) (-1)

Michigan State quarterback Katin Houser
Joseph Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports

In past seasons, Ohio State versus Michigan State would’ve been a premier game. Not in 2023. The Spartans had their doors blown off by the Buckeyes.

It’s honestly more surprising for some this wasn’t a bigger loss. Nevertheless, Michigan State will have a chance at a win in Week 12, as they’ll clash with Indiana next weekend.

That’s where the Big Ten stands at the moment. The College Football Playoff looms large in the distance, as well as bowl season for many programs. We’ll see how the rest of the season shakes out for the conference in 2023.

On3’s Steve Samra contributed to this article