Bob Asmussen's Big Ten football power poll

Bob Asmussen's Big Ten football power poll

On Monday, our 30-year college football writer weighs in on his favorite conference:

SCHOOL PREV. COMMENT

1. Michigan (1)

The nice folks at the College Football Playoffs figure to bump the Wolverines into a semifinal spot after they demolished Penn State. Smart move.

2. Ohio State (2)

The Buckeyes looked very ordinary against Nebraska, a team they would have smoked in past seasons. They are not as dominant as usual.

3. Purdue (8)

Loads of credit to coach Jeff Brohm and his team, which didn't let the disappointment of MSU game linger. Beating Iowa anywhere is a good thing.

4. Michigan State (5)

Close loss to Michigan apparently woke up the Spartans, who have performed well in back-to-back wins against Purdue and Maryland.

5. Wisconsin (9)

Badgers had the week off. No, actually they hosted Rutgers, which is pretty much the same thing. Tough trip coming up to Penn State.

6. Northwestern (3)

No shame in losing to Notre Dame on its way to the CFP. If the Wildcats beat Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, they will play for the league title.

7. Penn State (4)

Remember when some people thought the Nittany Lions would contend for the Big Ten title? Well, they were way off. Three losses later ...

8. Iowa (6)

All three conference losses were decided by 11 points or less. The Hawkeyes can keep West hopes alive with a home win against Northwestern.

9. Maryland (7)

Rough week for the Terrapins, who retained their coach, then fired their coach, then got stuffed by Michigan State. A trip to Indiana is next. Fun.

10. Illinois (13)

Reggie Corbin is about to become the first Illini running back to top 1,000 yards in a season since Mikel Leshoure in 2010. Has it been that long?

11. Nebraska (10)

Cornhuskers showed Saturday against Ohio State they can hang with one of the league's elites. The next important step is to finish off the victory.

12. Indiana (12)

Hoosiers took the weekend off and prepared for a visit from Maryland. Bowl hopes alive, but closing stretch (Michigan, Purdue) makes it unlikely.

13. Rutgers (14)

With games left against Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State, the Scarlet Knights are on their way to a winless conference season. That smarts.

14. Minnesota (11)

Didn't think the Gophers were very good before I saw them at Memorial Stadium. Turns out, they are worse than that. Purdue game could get ugly.

-