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2012 Big Ten Football standings: Northwestern and Ohio State lead the way

The Ohio State Buckeyes and Northwestern Wildcats remain the only two undefeated teams in the Big Ten.

Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Big Ten has been having its share of struggles in non-conference play. However, the good news for those guilty parties is with the calendar changing to October, the focus will shift to inter-conference rivalries.

Surprisingly, two teams remain undefeated after five games in the Ohio State Buckeyes and Northwestern Wildcats. Urban Meyer's Buckeyes haven't been overwhelming, but they continued to get the job done last Saturday with a very impressive 17-16 win on the road against the Michigan State Spartans.

Over in the Legends division, Northwestern is surprising the masses with a 5-0 record of its own. The Wildcats have looked sharp and are coming off a 44-29 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers.

After an 0-2 start, the Penn State Nittany Lions have picked it up with three straight wins. Head coach Bill O'Brien has the boys playing hard and will seek a fourth consecutive victory when Penn State hosts No. 24 Northwestern this week.

Perhaps the biggest shock is Michigan State, who some thought could compete for a national title. The program looked great after beating the Boise State Broncos, but has since gone 1-3 and fallen into a tie for last with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Here's a full look at both divisions in the Big Ten:

Legends

  1. Northwestern 5-0 (1-0)
  2. Nebraska 4-1 (1-0)
  3. Iowa 3-2 (1-0)
  4. Minnesota 4-1 (0-1)
  5. Michigan St. 3-2 (0-1)

Leaders

  1. Ohio State 5-0 (1-0)
  2. Penn State 3-2 (1-0)
  3. Purdue 3-1 (0-0)
  4. Wisconsin 3-2 (0-1)
  5. Indiana 2-2 (0-1)
  6. Illinois 2-3 (0-1)

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.