Nebraska football had a bye week, but the Huskers moved ahead one spot to No. 11 in the latest Land of 10 Power Poll. The Huskers had been stuck at No. 12 for a few weeks.
A big reason for Nebraska’s jump was all of the excitement around the Big Ten in Week 8. That included Northwestern’s 17-10 win over Iowa, Rutgers’ 14-12 win over Purdue and Penn State’s 42-13 win over Michigan.
As for Nebraska, the Huskers spent the week resting and recovering. Key players may return for Week 9, which also could have a big impact for the second half of the season. It was a week of balance for Nebraska, allowing the Huskers to prep early for Purdue.
The power poll consists of 13 Land of 10 voters — each of whom covers at least one Big Ten team.
Week 8 Land of 10 Power Poll vote totals
1. Penn State … 169 (13 first-place votes)
2. Ohio State … 154
3. Wisconsin … 145
4. Michigan State … 130
5. Michigan … 114
6. Northwestern … 100
7. Iowa … 90
8. Indiana … 72
9. Maryland … 59
10. Minnesota … 47
11. Nebraska … 46
12. Rutgers … 30
13. Purdue … 25
14. Illinois … 2
How I voted
Let’s start at the bottom, shall we? I know Purdue lost to Rutgers, and I considered bumping Purdue lower than Nebraska for that reason. However, the two face off next, and I figured that would sort itself out soon enough. The Boilermakers still have wins over Missouri and Minnesota, so I caution dropping them too low too quickly. They still could be a threat, especially considering they opened as 6 1/2-point favorites over Nebraska.
As for the top of the ballot, I am not surprised that ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Columbus again. Ohio State’s matchup with Penn State will determine a lot for both teams. Will Penn State have a shot at the College Football Playoff? Who will win the Big Ten East and go to Indianapolis? These are the questions Week 9 will answer, and the question sits right at the top of the power poll.
Looking at the middle, it continues to fluctuate quite a bit after the No. 6 spot. If Nebraska can defeat Purdue, the Huskers could make a climb after Week 9. Wins over Northwestern and Minnesota before heading to Penn State? Even better.
There is potential for the Huskers to get back into the mix and out of the bottom soon enough. Will it happen? That has yet to be determined, but it should make for an interesting second half to Nebraska’s season.
Here is my full ballot for the poll this week:
- Penn State
- Ohio State
- Michigan State