Top 25 Capsules

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh (left) and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio shake hands following Michigan's 32-23 victory Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich.

1. MICHIGAN (8-0, 5-0)

The Wolverines beat Michigan State for just the second time in the last nine attempts. Jim Harbaugh then drove to Wrigley Field on Sunday for Game 5 of the World Series. The 52-year-old coach wore his baseball glove because of course he did.

This week: Maryland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

2. OHIO STATE (7-1, 4-1)

The Buckeyes had to scrap at home to beat Northwestern and are struggling mightily to get their vertical passing game on track. But you know how many times Ohio State has lost twice in the regular season under Urban Meyer in five years? None. You know how many touchdowns that "D" has given up in eight games? Only 10. Nebraska's got a whopper of a challenge ahead.

This week: Nebraska, 7 p.m. (ABC)

3. WISCONSIN (6-2, 3-2)

There's no questions about that Badger "D" at this point. They've got some bad boys at every level. But their QB situation, as Husker fans saw, isn't ideal and you wonder if it could cost this team one more game before it's all said and done. The best chance for a Wisconsin loss is probably this week, at Northwestern. The Wildcats did beat the Badgers in Madison just a season ago. …

This week: at Northwestern, 11 a.m. (ABC)

4. NEBRASKA (7-1, 4-1)

The Huskers are a 17½-point underdog against Ohio State in some lines. If NU fans are searching for some positive omen, I'll drop this fun fact: The last time Nebraska faced a 17½-point spread was the 1994 Orange Bowl, where the Huskers went toe-to-toe with Florida State in a program-moving game.

This week: at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ABC)

5. PENN STATE (6-2, 4-1)

Tied at halftime with Purdue, the Nittany Lions ripped off a 45-7 run in the second half. Yeah, those 45-7 runs will get you, Purdue Pete. Saquon Barkley, who had 207 yards rushing, is a very good back. Beat Iowa on Saturday and there's no good reason this Penn State team shouldn't end up 10-2, maybe even tied atop the East Division standings.

This week: Iowa, 6:30 p.m. (BTN)

6. NORTHWESTERN (4-4, 3-2)

Everybody's ripped on Nebraska's win over Oregon not looking so hot, but how about those wins over Northwestern and even Wyoming (which beat Boise State)? Not looking too shabby. Clayton Thorson is really developing into a solid QB. He gave the Buckeyes fits. If he can do it against the Badgers, Husker fans might send him thank-you notes.

This week: Wisconsin, 11 a.m. (ABC)

7. IOWA (5-3, 3-2)

The Hawkeyes had a bye week to lick their wounds, but now comes back-to-back games against Penn State and Michigan. Kirk Ferentz's crew isn't out of the West race thanks to Nebraska's loss, but might need to do what most would think improbable and run the table. That offense needs some jumper cables. Too often this season it could put you to sleep faster than some soothing sounds of the ocean.

This week: at Penn State, 6:30 p.m. (BTN)

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8. MINNESOTA (6-2, 3-2)

Sneaky Gophers. Crawling in a hole, then sneaking around causing damage to those around them. Not a dynamic team, but a bowl-eligible team after dropping Illinois 40-17. With Purdue next, it's likely Minnesota arrives to Lincoln 7-2 technically controlling its own destiny to win the West.

This week: Purdue, 2:30 p.m. (BTN)

9. INDIANA (4-4, 2-3)

Who am I to speak for all impartial observers, but it seems like most would be in favor of the Hoosiers winning two more and making a bowl. A 42-36 win over Maryland helped. But they better beat Rutgers. One, because it's Rutgers. Two, because they have to play Penn State and Michigan before the season finale against Purdue.

This week: at Rutgers, 11 a.m. (BTN)

10. MARYLAND (5-3, 2-3)

The Terps done screwed up by not beating the Hoosiers. Because now, well, look at what's next: Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska. They still have Rutgers at the end to perhaps give them that sixth win if they lose that trio. Husker fans probably won't have much pity if the Wolverines and Buckeyes wear down Maryland before the game in Lincoln.

This week: at Michigan, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

11. MICHIGAN STATE (2-6, 0-5)

Mark Dantonio said he never saw a fall like this coming. How could he? This team won't make a bowl. But winning the first conference game by the first week of November would be better than not, I guess. Even a garbage two-point attempt at the end Saturday ended up as points for the other guy.

This week: at Illinois, 11 a.m. (ESPNews)

12. PURDUE (3-5, 1-4)

As bad as Purdue's defense is, I keep thinking the Boilers will knock off someone they shouldn't with that "O." Keep an eye on Minnesota, just in case. On a kind note, DeAngelo Yancey is one of the best receivers in the league.

This week: at Minnesota, 2:30 p.m. (BTN)

13. ILLINOIS (2-6, 1-4)

You knew it'd be a rebuilding job, but I bet Illini fans would have guessed Lovie would have another win or two by now.

This week: Michigan State, 11 a.m. (ESPNews)

14. RUTGERS (2-6, 0-5)

Didn't lose last week. But word is BYE took the Scarlet Knights into the fourth quarter.

This week: Indiana, 11 a.m. (BTN)

Reach the writer at 402-473-7439 or bchristopherson@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.


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