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Big Ten rankings: Red-hot Ohio State remains in No. 1 spot

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Wisconsin took a big step toward winning the West Division title by eviscerating Nebraska last week. This week, the Badgers play at Iowa, which remains in the division title hunt. Nebraska plays host to Minnesota, and both remain alive in the chase, too. Ohio State has the East Division all but sewed up.


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1. Ohio State (9-1, 6-0)

Up next: vs. Indiana, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Buckeyes painstakingly have worked their way into the playoff picture, and there should be no way they lose to a bad Hoosiers team this weekend.

2. Michigan State (8-2, 5-1)

Up next: vs. Rutgers, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Spartans still have a shot at a playoff-affiliated bowl and can't afford a misstep against Rutgers this week or Penn State next week.

3. Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1)

Up next: at Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: You wonder if Badgers offensive coaches get together and seriously discuss whether each offensive play should just be a handoff to Melvin Gordon.

4. Nebraska (8-2, 4-2)

Up next: vs. Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: Speaking of Gordon, if you really want to unnerve Bo Pelini, just walk up behind him and whisper, "Melvin is here," in his ear.

5. Minnesota (7-3, 4-2)

Up next: at Nebraska, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Gophers have the Huskers this week and Wisconsin next week as they attempt to get to eight wins for just the fifth time since 1967.


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6. Iowa (7-3, 4-2)

Up next: vs. Wisconsin, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Hawkeyes still have a shot at the Big Ten West Division title. Step one toward wearing the crown is beating Wisconsin on Saturday.

7. Maryland (6-4, 3-3)

Up next: at Michigan, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Terps are 4-1 on the road this season. That's impressive -- until you realize the victims are USF, Syracuse, Indiana and Penn State.

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

Up next: vs. Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Wolverines have to beat either Maryland this week or Ohio State next week to become bowl-eligible. They might want to go ahead and get the win this weekend 'cause they ain't beating the Buckeyes.

9. Northwestern (4-6, 2-4)

Up next: at Purdue, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Wildcats' roller-coaster ride of a season might have hit its peak last week with the upset of the Irish. Do they take a downward plunge this week or can they maintain that level?

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10. Penn State (6-4, 2-4)

Up next: at Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: Last week's win over Temple made the Nittany Lions bowl-eligible, and bowl officials will be clamoring for them. And getting this team, with this "offense," (their word, not ours) to a bowl is good work by coach James Franklin and his staff.

11. Rutgers (6-4, 2-4)

Up next: at Michigan State, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Scarlet Knights are bowl-eligible in their first season in the Big Ten. Not to be mean or anything, but that says more about the Big Ten as a whole than it does about Rutgers specifically.

12. Illinois (4-6, 1-5)

Up next: vs. Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: Coach Tim Beckman seems likely to get fired. That's too bad because he says some of the funniest stuff (all of it unintentional) of any coach in the nation on a weekly basis.

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

Up next: vs. Northwestern, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Boilermakers have lost four in a row, but each of the losses has come to a team currently ranked in the College Football Playoff selection committee's top 25.


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14. Indiana (3-7, 0-6)

Up next: at Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 22
The skinny: The Hoosiers' defense is going to get shredded again, but Saturday's game still has some intrigue because of productive Indiana RB Tevin Coleman.

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

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