SiriusXM Big Ten Radio’s Week 6 football power rankings

Find out how the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio crew voted to shape this week’s edition of the power rankings heading into Week 7.

Pete Pistone
November 30, 2020

(Photo: 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 6 power rankings below, and start listening to SiriusXM Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372) on the SiriusXM app now.The Big Ten season was significantly impacted by COVID-19 this past weekend. Ohio State had its game against Illinois cancelled because of an outbreak that included Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day testing positive. Minnesota’s trip to Wisconsin was also scrapped due to the virus.

There were some upsets around the schedule of games that were able to be completed, adding to the topsy turvy nature of the season as it heads to the finish line.

Here’s how the SXM Big Ten Radio team voted to shape this week’s edition of the power rankings heading into Week 7.

1. OHIO STATE (4-0)

How much Ohio State has a chance at a College Football Playoff berth remains to be seen but missing last week’s game against Illinois because of COVID does not help. If the Buckeyes suffer another cancellation, they won’t be eligible to play for this year’s title.

NEXT: @Michigan State/Saturday noon ET

2. INDIANA (5-1)

A horrible blow for the Hoosiers came days after last week’s win against Maryland when quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Utah transfer Jack Tuttle will step in and try to guide Indiana the rest of the way.

NEXT: @Wisconsin/Saturday 3:30pm ET


The Wildcats’ hopes for an unbeaten season came to a screeching halt with a loss to Michigan State. Now Pat Fitzgerald’s team will be forced to sit idle this week as Northwestern’s game against Minnesota was cancelled due to COVID. However, things still look good for a Big Ten West crown.

NEXT: @Minnesota/Saturday (CANCELLED)

4. WISCONSIN (2-1)

The Badgers were stuck in neutral again with its game versus Minnesota cancelled last week. All Wisconsin can hope to do is get back on the field the rest of the way and play spoilers with an opportunity to embrace that role against Indiana this Saturday.

NEXT: Indiana/Saturday 3:30pm ET

5. IOWA (4-2)

The Hawkeyes passing game has not been good with Spencer Petras throwing more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) this season. Tyler Goodson picked up the slack on the ground last week with 111 yards in a win against Nebraska, but Iowa needs to balance out the offensive load going forward.

NEXT: @Illinois/Saturday 3:30pm ET

6. RUTGERS (2-4)

Somehow Rutgers was able to cobble together enough last week to beat Purdue 37-30. Art Sitkowski stepped in for the injured Noah Vedral and threw for a pair of touchdowns and 141 yards. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two Big Ten victories for Greg Schiano’s team in 2020.

NEXT: Penn State/Saturday noon ET


As expected, it’s been an up and down season for first year coach Mel Tucker and Michigan State. But things were decidedly up last week with the Spartans upsetting Northwestern and derailing the Wildcats’ quest for a perfect record. Matt Coghlin’s 48-yard field goal was the game winner with MSU tacking on a late touchdown as icing on the cake.

NEXT: Ohio State/Saturday noon ET

8. PURDUE (2-3)

The Boilermakers let a double-digit halftime lead over Rutgers slip away in their loss to the Scarlet Knights. Purdue’s offense could only generate seven points in the second half as Jeff Brohm’s team sputtered its way to a third consecutive loss.

NEXT: Nebraska/Saturday noon ET

9. MARYLAND (2-2)

The Terrapins did what they could against Indiana playing with a COVID-depleted roster. Taulia Tagovailoa looked rusty with three interceptions, although he did pass for 241 yards. But Indiana was just too much for Maryland and prevailed 27-11.

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

10. MINNESOTA (2-3)

The COVID outbreak has hit P.J. Fleck’s squad hard with last week’s game against Wisconsin cancelled and the plug pulled for Saturday’s contest versus Northwestern. The Gophers have lost approximately 40 players to the virus while also bidding farewell to star receiver Rashod Bateman who opted out.

NEXT: Northwestern/Saturday (CANCELLED)

11. ILLINOIS (2-3)

The Illini were a four-touchdown underdog to Ohio State last week. But COVID-19 made that a moot point as the game was cancelled.

NEXT: Iowa/Saturday 3:30pm ET

12. PENN STATE (1-5)

Win number one of the season came against Michigan. Sean Clifford didn’t throw for a touchdown, but his legs, as well those of running back Keyvone Lee, carried the Nittany Lions while the defense did not allow a passing touchdown.

NEXT: @Rutgers/Saturday noon ET

13. MICHIGAN (2-4)

The train wreck of a season continued for Michigan with its loss to Penn State in The Big House. The porous defense allowed Penn State to seemingly score at will. Offensively the bright spot was Hassan Haskins who rushed for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But the Wolverines look like a team just waiting for the final bell to ring to end the season.

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

14. NEBRASKA (1-4)

The 26-20 loss to Iowa had some Nebraska moments. Adrian Martinez looked much better in his time behind center throwing for 174 yards on the strength of an 18 for 20 passing day. He also ran for a touchdown. But overall it was yet another disappointing result for Scott Frost and company.

NEXT: @Purdue/Saturday noon ET