|Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde scored the go-ahead touchdown which ultimately sealed the Buckeyes' win in Madison last Saturday. (US Presswire)|
1. Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten): Ohio State kept its perfect record intact with a thrilling 21-14 overtime win over Wisconsin. Running back Carlos Hyde pounded his way into the end zone in the first possession of overtime and the Badgers' offense stalled, setting up a chance for just the 11th undefeated regular season in Ohio State history. As soon as Wisconsin's fourth-down pass in overtime fell to the ground, all attention was turned to this week's opponent, that school up North. Last week's ranking: 1. Next up: vs. Michigan, Saturday, noon ET (ABC).
2. Nebraska (9-2, 6-1): The Huskers' only two losses have come to Ohio State (63-38) and UCLA (36-30), which is currently sitting atop the Pac-12 South after taking down USC. The top team in the Legends Division scorched Minnesota, scoring the first 38 points in Saturday's victory. The Huskers now sit one win away from clinching a spot in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin, which lost to Nebraska 30-27 earlier this season. Last week's ranking: 2. Next up: at Iowa, Friday, noon ET, (ABC).
3. Michigan (8-3, 6-1): Saturday's 42-17 win over Iowa should have the Buckeyes extremely concerned about their undefeated season this Saturday in Columbus. Denard Robinson suffered an arm injury three weeks ago that has inhibited his throwing ability, but coach Brady Hoke finally found a way to properly utilize his speed. Robinson started at running back against the Hawkeyes while junior Devin Gardner threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for three more scores. The change awoke a vibrant Wolverines passing attack while forcing the Hawkeyes to keep tabs on Robinson, who is a much better rusher than he is passer. Last week's ranking. 4. Next up: at Ohio State, Saturday, noon ET (ABC).
4. Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3): The last thing the Badgers want is to head to the Big Ten championship game riding a two-game losing streak. Saturday's loss to Ohio State ensured Wisconsin wouldn't win the division but it's still fighting to justify its slot in the Big Ten title game. A win in Happy Valley on Saturday would erase some of the cynics, but despite the potential Rose Bowl berth, the Badgers can no longer claim they were the top team in the Leaders Division. Wisconsin could head to Indianapolis with just a .500 conference record. Last week's ranking: 3. Next up: at Penn State, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
5. Penn State (7-4, 5-2): There could be no less enviable position that the Badgers occupy than having to travel to Happy Valley for Senior Day after everything the Nittany Lions program has gone through. Penn State cruised to a 45-22 victory over Indiana but lost arguably its best and most inspirational player in LB Michael Mauti to an ugly left knee injury early in Saturday's game. His status is unclear although he was on standing on the sidelines with crutches during the fourth quarter. Regardless of whether he plays, the Nittany Lions have already clinched a winning record, a significant triumph which few saw possible at the start of the season. Last week's ranking: 5. Next up: vs. Wisconsin, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
6. Northwestern (8-3, 4-3): The Wildcats handed Michigan State a 23-20 loss in East Lansing on Saturday, leaving the Spartans with zero conference home victories on the season. With a win over lowly Illinois this upcoming Saturday, the Wildcats will tie their best regular season win-total under coach Pat Fitzgerald and set themselves up for a potential Outback Bowl appearance. Last week's ranking: 6. Next up: vs. Illinois, Saturday, noon ET (Big Ten Network).
7. Purdue (5-6, 2-5): Coach Danny Hope is doing everything he can to save his job and to his credit, the Boilermakers players haven't quit on him despite a five-game skid to start Big Ten play. With a win this Saturday over Indiana, the Boilermakers will have won three in a row and earned bowl eligibility. The Hoosiers average over 30 points a game and should not be taken lightly. Last week's ranking: 10. Next up: vs. Indiana, noon ET (Big Ten Network).
8. Minnesota (6-5, 2-5): The Gophers ran into Nebraska's buzz saw offense and predictably, had no answer for QB Taylor Martinez and WR Kenny Bell. More troubling than the loss, though, were the accusations against coach Jerry Kill publicly released by leading wide receiver A.J. Barker late Sunday afternoon. If you haven't read about them, check out Eye on College football's post. It will be hard to regroup for Saturday's final home game against Michigan State. Last week's ranking: 8. Next up: vs. Michigan State, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network).
9. Michigan State (5-6, 2-5): The Spartans continued their shocking plummet last Saturday against Northwestern as they lost their fifth home game this season. They didn't lose once in East Lansing in the past two years. The defense held the Wildcats to just three of 14 on third-down conversions and even forced a safety but four offensive turnovers were too much to overcome. Last week's ranking: 7. Next up: at Minnesota, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network).
10. Indiana (4-7, 2-5): The Hoosiers' loss to Penn State means that Indiana won't be going bowling in December but the continued progression of quarterbacks Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld is extremely encouraging. Coffman threw for 454 yards Saturday and wideout Shane Wynn hauled in 12 catches for 108 yards. The core of the Hoosiers squad is extremely young, meaning that the future is bright in Bloomington. Last week's ranking: 9. Next up: at Purdue, Saturday, noon ET (Big Ten Network).
11. Iowa (4-7, 2-5): After five straight losses -- the latest an uncompetitive rout against Michigan -- it's becoming harder and harder to justify that coach Kirk Ferentz should be the unquestioned coach of the Hawkeyes. Injuries have taken their toll on the rushing attack and the offensive line, but Iowa wasn't prepared to face Michigan on Saturday, and that's on Ferentz. They had no idea how to react to Robinson in the backfield, much less defend him. A visit from Nebraska on national television on Black Friday should only make things worse heading into the offseason. Last week's ranking: 11. Next up: vs. Nebraska, Friday, noon ET (ABC).
12. Illinois (2-9, 0-7): If the Fighting Illini couldn't beat Purdue, there isn't much hope they'll be able to handle Northwestern's spread offense. It's still a Chicago rivalry which could give them some motivation but it's probable that Illinois will head into the offseason on a nine-game losing streak. Last week's ranking: 12. Next up: at Northwestern, 12 noon ET (Big Ten Network).
For more Big Ten coverage, follow Mike Singer and Dave Carey @CBSSportsBigTen.