Five Big Ten Teams Ranked in BCS Poll

The Big Ten placed five teams among the top 25 in the fifth issue of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings, which were released today. The Big Ten's total of five top-25 programs ranks second only to the SEC (6) for most in the nation. Penn State continues to lead the way for the conference at No. 4 overall, followed by No. 7 Ohio State, No. 15 Michigan, No. 20 Wisconsin and No. 21 Minnesota.

Big Ten co-leader Penn State (9-1, 6-1 in Big Ten) rose one spot to No. 4 overall after a bye last weekend. The Nittany Lions can earn at least a share of the Big Ten title and clinch the league's automatic BCS bid with a win in the regular-season finale at Michigan State (5-5, 2-5) on Saturday. Fellow co-leader Ohio State (8-2, 6-1) also moved up one position to No. 7 overall after defeating Northwestern (6-4, 4-3) last weekend, while Michigan (7-3, 5-2) remained one game back in the standings and jumped six spots to No. 15 in the latest BCS poll following a victory over Indiana (4-6, 1-6). The Buckeyes and Wolverines will square off in the regular-season finale on Saturday and both still have a shot at the Big Ten title and the league's BCS berth. Wisconsin (8-3, 5-3) and Minnesota (7-3, 4-3) round out the league's top 25 teams at 20th and 21st, respectively.

The BCS rankings will be announced each Monday through Nov. 28 and the final BCS poll will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 4. All teams with nine regular-season wins that rank among the top 12 in the final BCS standings are eligible for the two at-large spots in BCS bowls. The teams ranked No. 1 and 2 in the final BCS standings will meet for the national championship in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4. If a Big Ten team is not ranked No. 1 or 2 in the final BCS poll, the conference champion (or co-champion as designated by the Big Ten tie-breaking procedures) will play in the Fiesta, Orange or Sugar Bowl.

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