BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS

1. Michigan (7-0, 4-0): National ranks: scoring defense (1st), total defense (1st), rushing D (4th), passing D (2nd).

2. Nebraska (7-0, 4-0): The Huskers get WR Jordan Westerkamp back for Saturday night’s showdown at Wisconsin.

3. Ohio State (6-1, 3-1): Urban Meyer’s 20-game road win streak was longest for a coach since Walter Camp (1800s).

4. Wisconsin (5-2, 2-2): After Nebraska game, the Badgers finish with Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota.

5. Penn State (5-2, 3-1): Before beating Ohio State, James Franklin was 0-18 against teams that finished in the top 25.

6. Northwestern (4-3, 3-1): Clayton Thorson has nine TD passes, three INTs in Wildcats’ three-game win streak.

7. Iowa (5-3, 3-2): The Hawkeyes had won six straight trophy games before losing the Heartland to Wisconsin.

8. Gophers (5-2, 2-2): Rodney Smith leads the Big Ten in all-purpose yardage with 1,001, including 701 rushing.

9. Maryland (5-2, 2-2): Perry Hills returned at QB, and the Terps were a different team in beating Michigan State.

10. Indiana (3-4, 1-3): Since beating Michigan State, Hoosiers have lost to Ohio State, Nebraska and Northwestern.

11. Michigan State (2-5, 0-4): Mark Dantonio quote: “This is not a computer game. You cannot hit reset. This is real life.”

12. Purdue (3-4, 1-3): Interim coach Gerad Parker’s squad plays Penn State before next week’s trip to MN.

13. Illinois (2-5, 1-3): Losses to Nebraska, Michigan (both 7-0), Western Michigan (8-0) and North Carolina (6-2).

14. Rutgers (2-6, 0-5): Is Gio Rescigno a good fit for that offense? He sure looked like it last week at Minnesota.

JOE CHRISTENSEN