Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 4

  • 01/16/2012 1:10 pm in

The third week of Big Ten play was by far the craziest. Illinois beat Ohio State. Minnesota knocked off Indiana. Northwestern shocked Michigan State. It was wild. And with the craziness comes a bit of a shake up in this week’s power rankings. You might be surprised to see who took this week’s top spot.

12. Penn State (9-10, 1-5) (LAST WEEK: 10)…This may be the conference’s worst team, but the Nittany Lions are still plenty dangerous at home. Losses at Nebraska and at home against Minnesota have them back in the bottom spot this week.

11. Nebraska (9-8, 1-5) (LAST WEEK: 12)…As the season progresses, the  Cornhuskers are getting better and better. Case in point: Their two games against Wisconsin. They lost by 24 points at home in the conference opener, and then fell by only five points at Wisconsin on Sunday.

10. Minnesota (14-5, 2-4) (LAST WEEK: 11)…Two impressive wins for the Golden Gophers in a week, both on the road — at Indiana and at Penn State.

9. Wisconsin (14-5, 3-3) (LAST WEEK: 8)...Two wins at Purdue and against Nebraska, but the Badgers were passed because of some impressive wins by others teams in the conference. The Badgers lost at home to Michigan State. Northwestern beat the Spartans at home.

8. Iowa (11-8, 3-3) (LAST WEEK: 7)…A 16-point home win against Michigan was good, but it doesn’t erase the fact that the Hawkeyes lost their previous two games (Ohio State, at Michigan State) by a combined 60 points.

7. Northwestern (12-5, 2-3) (LAST WEEK: 9)…The Wildcats played well twice this week, and shocked the nation when they upset Michigan State at home. A 66-64 overtime loss at Michigan is nothing to hang their heads about, either.

6. Purdue (13-5, 3-2) (LAST WEEK: 6)…Only one game this week, but it was a home loss to Wisconsin.

5. Michigan (14-4, 4-2) (LAST WEEK: 4)…They’re good at home, but the Wolverines have struggled so far on the road. A 16-point loss at Iowa isn’t terrible, but it could be tough to swallow with games against Michigan State and Ohio State coming up in the next two weeks.

4. Indiana (15-3, 3-3) (LAST WEEK: 1)…A tough week for the Hoosiers. They lost at home against Minnesota, and then got hammered at Ohio State in a rematch of a game they won at home on New Year’s Eve. If the Hoosiers don’t play better defense soon, they may hover around .500 for a while.

3. Ohio State (16-3, 4-2) (LAST WEEK: 2)…The Buckeyes were dominant in their win against the Hoosiers on Sunday, but they didn’t look nearly as good in a 79-74 road loss against Illinois earlier in the week.

2. Michigan State (15-3, 4-1) (LAST WEEK: 3)…They stayed unbeaten in league play for the longest, but the Spartans’ loss at Northwestern was certainly shocking.

1. Illinois (15-3, 4-1) (LAST WEEK: 5)…Surprised to see the Illini in this spot? Who isn’t. But with Illinois’ win against Ohio State this week, combined with their win at Northwestern (where the Spartans lost), there’s really no other place to put the Illini. Until they play Michigan State on Jan. 31, that is.

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  • IUfanPurduePhD

    It was the most frustrating week of IU bball to this point, but there’s still plenty of season left, and I’d still take 4th at season’s end (finishing outside the top 5, however, would be a disappointment).

  • The Minny game is the one that really killed us. I can handle losing @OSU, although would have liked to perform better, but losing a home game to an mid-level Big Ten team is what puts us behind the 8 ball. 

  • We are still in the top 4.  I suspect we will end here as well just as Dakich had predicted.

    Defensive intensity is a CTC strong suit.  The issue moving fwd is how to keep the upperclassman happy while the younger guys get more PT.  Defensively VO and Abell seem to be quick and effective. CZ is amazing but why they call tic tac fouls on him is frustrating.  Other than that there is a drop off. Sheehey is good.  The others have to work hard to be effective and are improving.  The formula in a word for success – they have to be –   relentless.

  • Ben Billman

    Illinois at #1?  Michigan State and Ohio State both deserve higher.  MSU only has one Big Ten loss, and it against a desperate Northwestern squad in Welsh-Ryan.  OSU has more quality wins than the Illini do, and it took 43 points from Brandon Paul just to win by 5.  Until OSU loses a game at home or blows it against a cellar dweller on the road, they can’t fall past #2.

  • Ben Billman

    Illinois at #1?  Michigan State and Ohio State both deserve higher.  MSU only has one Big Ten loss, and it against a desperate Northwestern squad in Welsh-Ryan.  OSU has more quality wins than the Illini do, and it took 43 points from Brandon Paul just to win by 5.  Until OSU loses a game at home or blows it against a cellar dweller on the road, they can’t fall past #2.

  • Ben Billman

    Granted, the Minnesota loss was bad.  I still ask anyone to name 5 teams in college basketball that would finish with a better record than 3-3 if they played the same schedule IU played in their first 6 Big Ten games.  The only ones I can think of are Syracuse, maybe Kentucky, maybe Baylor.  Other than that, no one would do any better than the Hoosiers.

  • HoosierMan

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if this team wants to be a serious contender for either a big ten title or even finishing in the top three or four and also making a deep run in the tournment they are going to have to realize the ball needs to go through the all American freshman. It doesn’t mean he shoots everytime, it means others benefit from him touching the ball. However, he does need to shoot more, a lot more. When your best player who is shooting over 65% is only shooting 5 to 9 times a game, that’s not enough! Come on Hoosiers, feed the Z and we’ll all be happier!

  • HoosierMan

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if this team wants to be a serious contender for either a big ten title or even finishing in the top three or four and also making a deep run in the tournment they are going to have to realize the ball needs to go through the all American freshman. It doesn’t mean he shoots everytime, it means others benefit from him touching the ball. However, he does need to shoot more, a lot more. When your best player who is shooting over 65% is only shooting 5 to 9 times a game, that’s not enough! Come on Hoosiers, feed the Z and we’ll all be happier!

  • Anonymous

    This is not a great team, it is a good team.  They are going to have to learn to go on the road and play hard defense and rebound.  Those two things are killing us.  We still don’t have anyone who can go strong to the basket.  People who were talking 29-2 a few weeks ago were nuts.  I think 22-24 wins will be a good result.  I knew that we would have some surprise loses (like Minn).  Let’s keep this season in perspective.

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I don’t think there was really a debate before that people were making for IU being above O$U and MSU. IU needs to prove they belong in the #3 spot. I’m guessing at season’s end the top teams will finish in the standings like this:

    1. O$U
    2. MSU
    3. Indiana
    4. Michigan
    5. Illinois
    6. Minnesota
    7. Wisconsin
    8. Northwestern
    9. PUke
    10. Iowa
    11. Penn State
    12. Nebraska

    The season still looks good for IU. They’re #15 in the RPI poll which is starting to make sense and will certainly have an effect on seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers are also #13 in the espn/USA Today poll and #11 in the AP poll. Indiana has lost 1 bad game and looked bad/sloppy in a few games. The Hoosiers need to fix that QUICKLY, but the hardest part of the schedule is over and no one saw them being a near top ten team at this point. If IU can steal one at Michigan or PUke, that will impress the NCAA Tournament committee and do wonders for this team’s confidence. IU has got to start playing Hoosier basketball soon, but like I said, the hardest part of the season is over. Go Hoosiers!

  • Anonymous

    I like how you dropped Purdue down to 9th and called them PUke to add insult to injury.  I think that your 1-5 are good, but 6. Wisc 7.PU 8. Minn 9. NW are how I see it falling.  The road is tough in the big ten this year ( I guess it is every year). I still think #3 for IU is a bit high, but I thought Wisconsin was going to be better coming into the year.

  • Anonymous

    I like how you dropped Purdue down to 9th and called them PUke to add insult to injury.  I think that your 1-5 are good, but 6. Wisc 7.PU 8. Minn 9. NW are how I see it falling.  The road is tough in the big ten this year ( I guess it is every year). I still think #3 for IU is a bit high, but I thought Wisconsin was going to be better coming into the year.

  • Anonymous

    it would seem Watford was reading his press clippings and not working as hard the last couple games. They have also started to pay alot more attention to CW so working harder is the only cure.

  • Strummer50

    1. If you do not play defense, whats wrong with a seat on the bench? Our young guys surely could do no worse on defense or offense while getting experience?
    2. Like dribble drive offense,but could we do better waiting to use this  when right athletes arrive?
    3. Love Hoosiers and Tom Crean, certainly have no special talents here as far as an expert goes, just curious if there is a different approach that might be more effective for personnel we have.  Hate the negativism from my point of view as I could do no better. Just want team to do good. Love Hoosier basketball.

  • Anonymous

    this team had better figure out how to play defense and rebound or we could be fighting for our tournament lives.  if we lose at nebraska  the ship may start to sink.lets turn this thing around now before its too late.i know we are  15-3 but …..

  • 1scooper

    It was sure nice to see Cody move out around 8 feet and hit some jumpers,  I thought he would play the wing sometime in his career and with Pritch in the game he could do that.

  • Anonymous

    I am not bothered too much by the OSU game.  I am just disappointed the boys didn’t come out to play.  I am still very disappointed about the loss against Minnesota.  IU is a superior team and was playing at home.  IU shouldn’t lose at home to unranked teams anymore.  I hope they come to play against Nebraska, or we are in trouble.  Crean needs to get them ready to play and coach them back on the right track.

  • knuckledrager

    Yes, the Minny game hurt. Plus it being a “home” loss…well, excrement occurs. OSU game had some positive points. I.U. has been a second half team most of this season. If I.U. had played the first half like they played the second they could have possibly won that game. If a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump it’s ass on the ground. Go back before the first game this season. I would have been glad for a winning, or at least a none losing season. Hoping for a bid to the NIT, would sacrifice a virgin for a waltz at the big dance. With 13 games left in the regular season I think we’re doing just fine. Remember where we were a year ago, now think about the future. I think we all need to buy shades. Peace on everyone. GGGGGggggggggOOOOOooooo HHhhOoooooooosiers     

  • IUFAN

    Like the rating as of now i mean it was a hard loss to minny but hope these few days of rest and not travel will due the team good.  Also, agree with a lot of people have said this team is not great but look at what we have accomplished this far and we have a lot of improving to do so looks good to me.  Once again as stated last week we still have a few rough weeks ahead of us before we win our last 7 heading into big ten play in indy any guess who the favor will be.  We will be playing in march looking at a 3-8 seed.  No way Ncaa denies a team that has as many major wins as IU has gotten. 

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree.  The past few games have had a more “me” feel vs. “team” feel.  Assists, ball movement, and communication seem to have fallen off in favor of one-on-one moves, quick shots, no blocking out, etc.  I think the lack of a true, capable point guard hurts us, especially when we play teams that can apply good ball pressure.  Having Yogi next year will change everything.

  • Anonymous

    It will if they don’t win games they should. Losing at home to a team that didn’t have a Big Ten win through 4 games mean they could lose to anyone. If Indiana doesn’t go at least 19-12, they won’t be in.