SiriusXM Big Ten Radio’s Week 5 football power rankings

Click here to check out Pete Pistone and the rest of the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio crew’s Week 5 football “Power Rankings” now.

Pete Pistone
November 24, 2020

Michigan beat Rutgers in triple overtime (Courtesy Big Ten)

Pete Pistone and the rest of the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio team will unveil power rankings each week of the college football season. Check out their Week 5 power rankings below, and start listening to SiriusXM Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372) on the SiriusXM app now.Then there were two. Just a pair of unbeaten teams remain in the Big Ten after Ohio State and Northwestern prevailed in their showdowns against Indiana and Wisconsin respectively last week. The two appear to be on a collision course to meet in the conference championship game December 19th in Indianapolis, which would be a repeat of the 2018 match-up. However there is still a lot of football to be played including a packed Thanksgiving weekend schedule ahead.

Here’s how the SXM Big Ten Radio team voted to shape this week’s edition of the power rankings heading into Week 6.

1. OHIO STATE (4-0) 

It wasn’t easy by any means but the Buckeyes proved just how good they are by fending off a very tough Indiana team last week to keep their perfect season intact. Ohio State eclipsed the 300 yard mark both on the ground and in the air marking the first time the team passed that threshold in a conference game since the 2000 season.

NEXT: @Illinois/Saturday noon ET


The Wildcats are 5-0 for the first time since 2015 and 5-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1996. Pat Fitzgerald’s team is playing some of the best football in the country with Northwestern’s defense coming up big in the win against Wisconsin.

NEXT: @Michigan State/Saturday 3:30pm ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)

3. INDIANA (4-1)

Saturday’s loss to Ohio State ended Indiana’s hope to run the table but the Hoosiers fighting spirit was in full display. But the tale of the team’s offense amplified a major problem; Michael Penix Jr. had a near 500 yard, five touchdown afternoon while on the ground Indiana’s total was -1 yards.

Next: Maryland/Saturday noon ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)

4. IOWA (3-2)

Last week’s 41-21 victory over Penn State gave head coach Kirk Ferentz 100 Big Ten wins. It also kept the Hawkeyes rolling with their third straight victory and Iowa at least remains in the West Division picture should Northwestern stumble down the stretch.

Next: Nebraska/Friday  1pm ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)

5. PURDUE (2-2)

A terrible offensive pass interference call took a win away from Purdue and the Boilermakers wound up dropping a 34-31 contest against Minnesota. Head coach Jeff Brohm did have a discussion with the conference about the disappointing ending but that didn’t change the outcome.

Next: Rutgers/Saturday 4pm ET

6. WISCONSIN (2-1)

The Badgers ran into the Northwestern buzzsaw in Evanston and were handed their first defeat of the season. Five turnovers didn’t not help Wisconsin’s cause by any means.

Next: Minnesota/Saturday 2pm ET

7. MARYLAND (2-1)

Nothing to report for the Terrapins who were again forced to sit idle for a second straight week due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the team that included head coach Mike Locksley. Fingers are crossed a healthy squad is back in action this weekend.

Next: @Indiana/Saturday noon ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)

8. MICHIGAN (2-3)

Raise your hand if you had Michigan needing three overtimes to beat Rutgers. There couldn’t have been many that thought the Wolverines and Scarlet Knights would have such a tight game but indeed it took Jim Harbaugh’s team the extra football to come out with win number two of the season.

Next: Penn State/Saturday noon ET

9. ILLINOIS (2-3)

A tenacious running game that saw the Fighting Illini churn out 285 yards on the ground led by Mike Epstein and Chase Brown was key in last week’s 41-23 win over Nebraska. There’s some life in Lovie Smith’s team down in Champaign.

Next: Ohio State/Saturday noon ET

10. MINNESOTA (2-3)

Despite a COVID-19 outbreak that severely impacted PJ Fleck’s roster, the Golden Gophers escaped with a 34-31 win over Purdue. The controversial  penalty called on Purdue the last play of the game didn’t hurt.

Next: @Wisconsin/Saturday 2pm ET

11. RUTGERS (1-4)

Sure they lost to Michigan in triple overtime and have dropped four of the five games played so far this season. But make no mistake, Greg Schiano’s team is making progress.

Next: @Purdue/Saturday 4pm ET

12. NEBRASKA (1-3)

Did the schedule makers punish Nebraska by sending Illinois to Lincoln? We kid because we care. Things are looking pretty bleak for the Huskers leaving Scott Frost searching for more answers as the season races to a conclusion.

Next: @Iowa/Friday 1pm ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)


The Spartans sat idle due to Maryland’s COVID outbreak. Mel Tucker’s team gets a big test this week when the Wildcats comes to town.

Next: Northwestern/Saturday 3:30pm ET (SiriusXM Big Ten Radio Channel 372)

14. PENN STATE (0-5)

This is every Penn State fan’s nightmare. Penn State is now 0-5 for the first time in school history dating back to 1887. The Nittany Lions lost 41-21 to Iowa and saw tight end Pat Freiermuth lose the rest of his year to surgery.

Next: @Michigan/Saturday noon ET