Spartan Digest Big Ten Power Rankings #2

The second week of Big Ten play is in the books now giving fans an even better understanding of where the conference stands. Here is our second B10 Power Rankings for 2011.

The Big Ten Conference is sure to hear the heat of the national media again in 2011. While there are a few programs worth noting, there are also some concerns as teams get ready for week three of conference play.

#1. Wisconsin– There is no question the Badgers are at the top of the Big Ten as they took the week off. This week the Badgers host Indiana before making a hard road trip to Michigan State.

#2. Michigan – With a 42-24 win over Northwestern, Michigan gets ready to head to East Lansing for their biggest conference test to date with rival Michigan State. Will the Wolverines keep their #2 ranking by next Sunday? Despite their record, some feel the Wolverines could see some harder days in the very near future. Brady Hoke will look to change outcomes of years past starting this weekend.

#3. Michigan State – The Spartans road win at Ohio State looks better with the early performance the Buckeyes gave Nebraska on Saturday. Now they'll see if they can move up in the poll with a win over rival Michigan on Saturday.

#4. Nebraska – Should the Huskers stay a step above Illinois? I'm sure that will be a questioned asked by some. However, Wisconsin and Ohio State was good test for the Huskers and they finished 1-1. There is talent in Husker world and it just might be getting ready to bust out.

#5. Illinois – Ron Zook has his team and many fans believing they've turned the corner. A banged up Ohio State team is ahead and a win over the Buckeyes will have even more talking. However, we'll keep the Illini right here for now and see how things fall out next Saturday. One thing is for certain. Unless there is an absolute collapse from here on out, Ron Zook will be back as the Illini's head coach.

#6. Penn State – The Nittany Lions struggles continue. However, they scored 10 more points than Iowa and move up in the poll. Purdue is up next and you would hope PSU has enough defense to keep the Boilermakers grounded.

#7. Ohio State – The Buckeyes played better than many thought against Nebraska. In fact if not for a 21-point comeback and the loss of Braxton Miller to injury, many would be saying the Buckeyes were starting to come together. Instead, questions will remain and a trip to 6-0 Illinois could prove an even bigger disaster if the Illini are for real.

#8. Iowa – The Hawkeyes got last week's poll position because of their past reputation. Now, we can see there are some serious struggles on offense. Northwestern can be hot or cold and if the Hawkeyes get the hot version they better look out.

#9. Northwestern – Because we know Dan Persa can light up the scoreboard the Wildcats are always a team capable of beating anybody. However, defense is a struggle as they blew a double-digit lead for the second week in a row. Iowa has been a team the Wildcats might be able to outscore next Saturday.

#10. Purdue – While we still feel Danny Hope is on the hot seat. The Boilermakers did win a game against a Big Ten foe in a blowout. Penn State is up next and if Hope can get his team to score and play some defense they may have a chance against PSU.

#11. Indiana – Do you think Kevin Wilson is wondering what he has to do to get a Big Ten win? Three big mistakes caused the Hoosiers any chance of knocking off Illinois. How costly were the three mistakes? They gave the Illini the 21-points they used to win by. There is some sign of life but do not expect much as the Hoosiers will now head to #1 Wisconsin.

#12. Minnesota – Jerry Kill is learning about his team and seeing mistakes are hard to overcome in the Big Ten. Kill is a solid coach and given time he'll field a better team in the coming years. But we had to move them down with the loss to Purdue.

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