Big Ten Power Rankings updated after Week 13 of college football

On3 imageby:On3 Staff Report11/28/23
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On3 has updated their Big Ten Power Rankings following some tremendous action during Week 13 of the college football season.

Of course, all eyes were on The Game. Michigan was able to defeat Ohio State for the third consecutive season, as the Wolverines bested the Buckeyes in one of the best games we’ve seen in 2023.

Elsewhere, Iowa also clinched their ticket to the Big Ten title game, and numerous other squads finished their seasons strong. Here’s where On3 has each squad at the moment, following their performances in Week 13.

1) Michigan Wolverines (12-0)


In the biggest game of the college football season, Michigan emerged victorious. The Wolverines sent Ohio State home with a loss in The Game, and now have their eyes set on the College Football Playoff.

With a date against Iowa in the Big Ten title game on the docket, the hype is continuing to rise for Michigan. Jim Harbaugh will return, and the Wolverines have a chance to complete a magical journey over the next month and change.

2) Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)

(Columbus Dispatch)

Once again, Ohio State’s perfect regular season was ruined by Michigan. Ryan Day and company couldn’t overcome the Wolverines for the third straight season, falling to their bitter rival by six points.

Barring a miracle, there will be no College Football Playoff in the Buckeyes’ future, as there was last season. Their attention will turn to whichever bowl they’re selected for, and then once again towards defeating Michigan in 2024.

3) Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2)

(David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports)

Penn State thought this would be the season they finally broke through and defeated one of either Michigan or Ohio State. While that wasn’t the case in 2023, the future is bright after the Nittany Lions handled the rest of their competition.

Which bowl game they’re selected for remains to be seen. Nevertheless, Penn State finished strong in Week 13, dismantling Michigan State on their way towards double-digit victories.

4) Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2)

Iowa Offense
Photo by Dennis Scheidt,

It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but Iowa is headed back to the Big Ten title game. Nobody is giving them much of a chance against Michigan, but a victory for the Hawkeyes would certainly throw a wrench into the College Football Playoff.

Regardless, Iowa capturing ten wins after all the turmoil they faced on offense is a gigantic accomplishment. They’ll be ready to cash in come bowl season, no matter what happens in Indianapolis.

5) Northwestern Wildcats (7-5)

© Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Seven wins for Northwestern. There wasn’t anyone in the country who thought that was possible prior to the season, and the Wildcats accomplished that feat with a win over Illinois in Week 13.

It wasn’t always pretty in 2023. Nevertheless, Northwestern truly found their stride as more time went on, and won in a myriad of different fashions on their way towards clinching a bowl appearance.

6) Wisconsin Badgers (7-5)

© Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t without hiccups, but Luke Fickell’s first regular season for Wisconsin comes to a close at 7-5. The Badgers finished strong, with a win over Minnesota on the road in Week 13.

They’re not in the Big Ten title game, but there will be plenty of opportunities for Wisconsin moving forward. The Badgers will hope to cap off Fickell’s first season with a bowl win come December.

7) Maryland Terrapins (7-5) (+2)

© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of uneven seasons, Maryland looked like a world beater to begin 2023. There were some close battles the Terrapins lost, but they got back on track at the end of their campaign.

Maryland defeated Rutgers in Piscataway in Week 13, and clinched a winning record. Taulia Tagovailoa also became the Big Ten’s all-time leading passer, a huge boon for the Terrapins and their offense.

8) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-6) (-1)

© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

If you asked Rutgers before the season if they would’ve taken a 6-6 season, most Scarlet Knights fans probably would’ve. However, Rutgers could’ve had so much more, but their offense simply let them down over the last month and change.

Regardless, the Scarlet Knights can end their season with their first bowl win in quite some time next month. It’s going to be fascinating to see who the program is matched up with come time, and if they can get it done.

9) Illinois Fighting Illini (5-7) (-1)

© Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Despite their best efforts, Illinois couldn’t overcome their slow start to the season. The Fighting Illini will miss a bowl game, after some predicted they’d be in the Big Ten title game this season.

They came oh-so-close in Week 13, and will fall one victory shy. A 45-43 loss to Northwestern will give Illinois something to ponder over the offseason.

10) Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-7)

(Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Rhule built a solid foundation in Year 1, and a bowl game would’ve gone a long way towards continuing that journey. However, the buck stops here for Nebraska in 2023.

The Cornhuskers fall just one win shy of an impressive achievement. They gave Iowa all the Hawkeyes could handle in Week 13, but Rhule and company are officially on to 2024 after last weekend.

11) Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-7)

© Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more disappointing teams in the Big Ten, Minnesota started their season strong, but faltered down the stretch. There was some drama involving PJ Fleck, but that’s no excuse for the Golden Gophers missing out on bowl season.

Minnesota had a golden opportunity at home to get a win over Wisconsin, and give their fans something to cheer about. A two-touchdown loss is what they handed their faithful instead.

12) Purdue Boilermakers (4-8) (+1)

Purdue coach Ryan Walters
(Chad Krockover)

Purdue had a rocky season in 2023, but they gave their fans something to cheer about in Week 13. The Boilermakers held on for a 35-31 victory over Indiana, dropping the Hoosiers to 3-9.

Expectations will be raised next season for Purdue. They won’t be able to play as lousy as they did at times this season. We’ll see if there’s success in the Boilermakers future.

13) Michigan State Spartans (4-8) (-1)

(Photo by David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports)

It was a disastrous season for Michigan State, to put it lightly. That was highlighted by their blowout loss to Penn State at Ford Field on Black Friday, as the Spartans were lifeless throughout.

Thankfully, a new regime is headed to East Lansing. Jonathan Smith is headed to Michigan State, and he’ll be hoping to rebuild the Spartans, like he did Oregon State.

14) Indiana Hoosiers (3-9)

(Chad Krockover)

The other Big Ten school to make a coaching change was Indiana. After their loss to Purdue, Tom Allen was let go by the Hoosiers.

While Indiana looked better over the second half of the season, 3-9 is simply an unacceptable season. We’ll have our eyes on who the Hoosiers deem acceptable to lead them into a new era over the next month or so.

Much of the focus was on The Game, but as you can see, plenty of action went around in the Big Ten in Week 13. All eyes will be on Iowa versus Michigan this weekend, as we’ll crown a champion in the conference on Saturday.

On3’s Steve Samra contributed to this article