10. Minnesota (10 last week)
The Gophers surprised everyone by beating Wisconsin and taking the ax back. The win also got Minnesota bowl eligible, so there’s some real momentum building perhaps.
9. Nebraska (9 last week)
You could argue that no other team improved more than Nebraska did through the season. Big Red will be sitting home for the postseason as well, but the hype train will be rolling along during the offseason.
8. Purdue (6 last week)
The Boilermakers beat Indiana this past week to become bowl-eligible, but things could have been better with some more consistency. It looks like Jeff Brohm is staying put in West Lafayette, and we should expect a more competitive team year in and year out.
7. Wisconsin (6 last week)
The Badgers were a big disappointment this year. Paul Chryst will be tasked with trying to find answers during the offseason to get back to what we’ve been accustomed to in Madison.
6. Iowa (7 last week)
It was another standard year for the Hawkeyes. It won some big games, but showed too much inconsistency in close games to make it a bigger year. Rinse and repeat and you’ll probably see much of the same next year. It’s the Iowa way.