Around the Big Ten | Matchups, power rankings for Week 9 of the college football season

Pregame Editor Austin Hanson previews this weekend’s matchups and updates the DI’s conference power rankings.


Jerod Ringwald

Illinois head coach Bret Bielema listens to a question during day one of Big Ten Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Thursday, July 22.

Austin Hanson, Pregame Editor

Power rankings

  1. Ohio State — The Buckeyes should be No. 1 in the nation.
  2. Michigan —The Wolverines should be No. 3 in the country.
  3. Illinois — The Fighting Illini are adequately ranked.
  4. Penn State — Penn State-Minnesota was the worst white out ever.
  5. Wisconsin — The Badgers are back.
  6. Maryland — I was wrong about the Terps. They’re alright.
  7. Purdue — Can the Boilermakers still win the West?
  8. Minnesota — I was wrong about the Gophers. They are not good.
  9. Michigan State — The Spartans are barely better than the Hawkeyes.
  10. Iowa — If these power rankings went by offensive touchdowns, Iowa would be last.
  11. Nebraska — The Cornhuskers continue their climb out of the basement.
  12. Indiana — I like the movie “Hoosiers,” if that means anything.
  13. Rutgers — Rutgers will not be No. 1 this season.
  14. Northwestern — The Wildcats have not been mathematically eliminated from Big Ten West title contention.

Week 8 Big Ten matchups

Beaver Stadium: No. 2 Ohio State (7-0, 4-0) @ No. 13 Penn State (6-1, 3-1)

Where/when to watch: Saturday at 11 a.m. on FOX | Line: OSU -15.5 | O/U: 62

This game features two top 15 teams. On paper, that sounds pretty cool. But in reality, these teams are in different classes, and the Nittany Lion will be roadkill by the time this one’s over.

Huntington Bank Stadium: Rutgers (4-3, 1-3) @ Minnesota (4-3, 1-3)

Where/when to watch: Saturday 1:30 p.m. on BTN | Line: MN -14 | O/U: 40.5

A few weeks ago, I didn’t think this game would be competitive. Now, this might be the most hotly contested Big Ten game of the day. Of course, Iowa and Northwestern might have something to say about that.

Memorial Stadium: No. 17 Illinois (6-1, 3-1) @ Nebraska (3-4, 2-2)

Where/when to watch: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ABC  | Line: IL -7.5 | O/U: 50.5

The Fighting Illini can basically secure a Big Ten West Division title with a win on Saturday. I grew up in Illinois, so seeing the Illini play well warms my heart a little. I was forced to watch them struggle for the first 18 years of my life.

Kinnick Stadium: Northwestern (1-6, 1-3)  @ Iowa (3-4, 1-3)

Where/when to watch: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2 | Line: IA -11 | O/U:37.5

I’m using all the fire analogies I can to describe this game. I’m calling it the barnburner, dumpster fire, tire fire, forest fire, eye-burning, game of the week. Nobody copy that name I just came up with, I’ve already filed for a copyright. I’m in line behind some team that wants to trademark the word “The.”

Michigan Stadium: Michigan State (3-4, 1-3) @ No. 4 Michigan (7-0, 4-0)

Where/when to watch: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ABC | Line: MI -23 | O/U: 55

Fun fact, these two teams battle for the most lame trophy in the Big Ten. The Paul Bunyan Governor’s Trophy isn’t very cool. This one is almost as bad as the now-scraped Cy-Hawk Trophy and the Illibuck Trophy, if that still exists.