Big Ten West Power Ratings: Week 8
No. 1 Wisconsin
DTCR: 50% (+5%)
Week 9: The Badgers knocked Iowa out the division race last weekend as they handed the Hawkeyes their third home loss of the season. If Wisconsin can beat Nebraska on Saturday night they will be the clear favorite to win the West. However, a road game with pesky Northwestern still lurks.
No. 2 Nebraska
DTCR: 40% (-5%)
Week 9: The Huskers will have the West well within their grasp if they can get a victory over Wisconsin this Saturday night in Camp Randall Stadium. Yes, the Huskers still have a road trip to Ohio State coming up and finish the season in Iowa City, but the Hawkeyes are struggling and are no longer dominant at home.
No. 3 Northwestern
DTCR: 10% (+10%)
Week 9: The Wildcats continue to hang around and currently sit 3-1 in the conference. However, their chances to compete for the division will be decided over the course of the next two Saturday's as the Cats travel to Ohio State then host Wisconsin. A win over the Badgers could make things interesting and force the Big Ten to examine the rules surrounding a three team tiebreaker.
No. 4 Iowa
DTCR: 0% (-10%)
Week 9: The Hawkeyes continue the trend of failure in seasons in which they are expected to have major success. The latest disappointment for the Iowa faithful was watching rival Wisconsin knock off their Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium. The Hawks head into their bye this week at 5-3, but are staring 5-5 in the face with Penn State and Michigan waiting for them in early November.
No. 5 Minnesota
DTCR: 0% (-11%)
Week 9: The Gophers are two games into their "expected" four game winning streak and will be 7-2 (4-2) after they complete said winning streak with a road victory over Illinois this weekend and a home win over Purdue next weekend. Once that happens Minnesota will be technically alive the West. However, their schedule tightens up a tad bit to end the season with a road trip to Nebraska, a home date with Northwestern and finally with Wisconsin in Camp Randall.
No. 6 Illinois
DTCR: 0% (No Change)
Week 9: The Illini continue to struggle and are now 2-5 (1-3) following a road loss to Michigan last Saturday. However, Illinois has a solid chance to get momentum heading into the offseason (recruiting) season with winnable games down the stretch. Over the next four weekends Illinois has three winnable home games with Minnesota, Michigan State and Iowa coming to town. Win a couple of those games and Lovie may have something to sell.
No. 7 Purdue
DTCR: 0% (No Change)
Week 9: Gotta give Purdue credit as they competed with Nebraska for a majority of the contest and had Nebraska on upset alert. Purdue didn't have the firepower to complete the upset and most likely won't have the talent to win again this year. It should be interesting to follow the Purdue coaching search and figure out if they hire on the cheap or look to make a major splash.
*DTCR: Division Title Confidence Rating