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Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Week 6

Big Ten football contests got underway in earnest during Week 5, and its safe to say the results shocked the conference to its core. Two West Division teams went to supposed powerhouse East division teams and blew them out. Maryland did what Rutgers couldn’t, and won its conference opener—and those are just a few examples of the interesting results that took place in Week 5.

With all of that, our panel didn’t have an easy time putting this week’s poll together. Before we get to this week’s power rankings, let’s remind you of the voters from across the conference:

Andy Coppens – (@AndyOnFootball & @MTBadgers)
Kevin McGuire – Nittany Lions Den (@KevinOnCFB & @TheNLD)
Ross – Black Heart Gold Pants (@RossWB and @BHGP)
Phillip Rossman-Reich – Lake The Posts (@RiseNU & @LakeThePosts)
Kevin Recio – On the Banks (@OTB_SBNation & @KevRecio)
Ken Kohl – The Buckeye Battlecry (@The_BBC)
Andy – The Daily Gopher (@yorka1982 & @TheDailyGopher)
Hondo Carpenter – Spartan Nation (@HondoCarpenter)
Dave Fitzgerald – (@BuckeyeFitzy)

On to the rankings…

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– In the 6 polls we have put out this season (preseason included) Michigan State has never lost a single first-place vote in the Big Ten East power rankings. After four games it’s clear that this team is a well-oiled machine on both sides of the football. However, it may not be as adept at the turnover game as the Spartans of last year. Still, this is a football team with perhaps its best football yet to come, and that should scare the rest of the conference.

– Northwestern’s win at Penn State meant a lot to most of the panelists, elevating them up a spot in the West power rankings. However, one voter remained unimpressed with the Wildcats’ win in Happy Valley — ranking them dead last in the division despite the win. This with Purdue and Illinois available to take last place. Interesting to see how the voters view certain wins and losses, and why we love having variety of opinion in this poll.

– Did Wisconsin’s first-half struggle against USF cost it the top spot? Surely a Huskers win at home against a terrible Illinois team wasn’t better than what Wisconsin put on the table? The good news is we’ll find out a lot about both of these teams on Saturday with Wisconsin going to its bugaboo, Northwestern, and Nebraska heading to Michigan State.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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