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Big Ten rankings: Ohio State stamps itself as conference elite

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Ohio State's win over Michigan State last week ended any doubt as to who will win the East Division. It seems likely the West Division will be decided his week, when Wisconsin plays host to Nebraska.

1. Ohio State (8-1, 5-0 in Big Ten)

Up next: at Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: You know what last Saturday's win at Michigan State really meant? It meant the Buckeyes are set to dominate this league for the next few years.

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2. Michigan State (7-2, 4-1)

Up next: at Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: The Spartans' defense has played two high-level offenses this season. And both absolutely carved them up.

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3. Nebraska (8-1, 4-1)

Up next: at Wisconsin, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: If the Huskers want to win the West Division and get to the league championship game, they have to win in Madison this weekend.

4. Wisconsin (7-2, 4-1)

Up next: vs. Nebraska, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: The Badgers had better hope Melvin Gordon is feeling good. Forget Wisconsin's better-than-expected defense. Gordon's production is the key to a win over Nebraska this weekend.

5. Minnesota (7-2, 4-1)

Up next: vs. Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: The Golden Gophers took home "Floyd of Rosedale" by eviscerating Iowa last weekend. This weekend's opponent is a little tougher, though.

6. Iowa (6-3, 3-2)

Up next: at Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: Same old, same old. The Hawkeyes appear destined for their ninth season with at least four losses in the past 10 years.

7. Maryland (6-3, 3-2)

Up next: vs. Michigan State, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: The Terps get the Big Ten's Michigan-based schools on each of the next two weekends.

8. Michigan (5-5, 3-3)

Up next: vs. Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: If Michigan wants to go to a bowl this season, the Wolverines had better beat Maryland next weekend because they are not beating Ohio State on the final weekend of the regular season.

9. Rutgers (5-4, 1-4)

Up next: vs. Indiana, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: Rutgers will be going bowling if it can beat Indiana. The flipside: If they can't beat Indiana, the Scarlet Knights have no business being in a bowl.

10. Penn State (5-4, 2-4)

Up next: vs. Temple, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: Saturday's game will be the 43rd meeting of the in-state rivals. Penn State is 38-3-1 against the Owls, who haven't beaten the Nittany Lions since 1941.

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11. Northwestern (3-6, 2-4)

Up next: at Notre Dame, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: The Wildcats have lost four in a row. The offense basically has disappeared, scoring just 50 points in those four games.

12. Illinois (4-5, 1-4)

Up next: vs. Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: QB Wes Lunt returns to the lineup after missing the past three games with a broken leg; before he was injured, he was leading the Big Ten in passing.

13. Purdue (3-7, 1-5)

Up next: vs. Northwestern, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: There have been signs of improvement from the offense in the second half of the season. The defense still needs a ton of work, though.

14. Indiana (3-6, 0-5)

Up next: at Rutgers, Saturday, Nov. 15
The skinny: TB Tevin Coleman is a big-timer. Sadly for him, he is the entire offense now.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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