Big Ten rankings: Michigan State is most complete league team

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller's injury changed things in the Big Ten. The biggest change: It made Michigan State, not the Buckeyes, the team to beat, and so far, the Spartans have lived up to billing. The West Division race was thought to be a jumbled mess, and it is. Nebraska looks to be the best team, but that race is going to go to the last weekend.

1. Michigan State (4-1, 1-0)

Up next: at Purdue, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: Michigan State is the most complete team in the league and, frankly, shouldn't be tested by anyone left on the schedule except Ohio State.

2. Ohio State (4-1, 1-0)

Up next: vs. Rutgers, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: The offense has made vast strides of late under redshirt freshman QB J.T. Barrett.

3. Nebraska (5-1, 1-1)

Up next: at Northwestern, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: TB Ameer Abdullah has been ultra-productive behind a better-than-expected offensive line, and the Huskers -- right now, at least -- look to be the best team in the West Division.

4. Iowa (4-1, 1-0)

Up next: vs. Indiana, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: Neither line has been as good as it should be and playing two quarterbacks seems a risky proposition, but, man, the schedule really isn't that difficult until the end.

5. Northwestern (3-2, 2-0)

Up next: at Minnesota, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The Wildcats looked to be dead in the water in mid-September, but all of a sudden, they're in the hunt for the West Division title.

6. Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1)

Up next: vs. Illinois, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny:RB Melvin Gordon is awesome, but the passing attack is pitiful.

7. Minnesota (4-1, 1-0)

Up next: vs. Northwestern, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The Gophers can run the ball and they play OK defense, but the lack of a passing attack is going to catch up to them eventually.

8. Penn State (4-1, 1-1)

Up next: at Michigan, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: The running game and the offensive line have been disaster areas. The defense, for the most part, has held up, though.

9. Maryland (4-2, 1-1)

Up next: vs. Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: The defense has been a disappointment. The good news is that there aren't many high-powered offenses left on the schedule.

10. Rutgers (5-1, 1-1)

Up next: at Ohio State, Saturday, Oct. 18
The skinny: Raise your hand if you thought Rutgers would be one win away from bowl eligibility after six games.

11. Indiana (3-2, 0-1)

Up next: at Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: As usual, the offense is prolific and fun to watch. And, as usual, the defense is hide-your-eyes bad.

12. Michigan (2-4, 0-2)

Up next: vs. Penn State, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: This is the season from hell in Ann Arbor. (But folks in Columbus and East Lansing, among other places, sure are enjoying it.)

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

Up next: vs. Michigan State, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: A quarterback change paid off the Boilermakers. Then again, the opponent was Illinois, so ...

14. Illinois (3-3, 0-2)

Up next: at Wisconsin, Saturday, Oct. 11
The skinny: Your kid's Pop Warner team could score on the Illini's "defense." And QB Wes Lunt's injury hurts the offense.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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