Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 5

After another week full of upsets in the conference, we bring you our fifth edition of power rankings this season. Last week’s No. 1 (Illinois) lost to last week’s No. 12 (Penn State). Last week’s No. 11 (Nebraska) beat last week’s No. 4 (Indiana). And then both Penn State and Nebraska suffered blowout losses in their next games. If nothing else, this week of conference play proved once again just how difficult it is to win on the road in the Big Ten.

12. Penn State (10-11, 2-6) (LAST WEEK: 12)…Impressive home win against Illinois, but the Nittany Lions still have only one road victory this season. If they are going to get better, they need to find a second scorer after Tim Frazier.

11. Nebraska (10-9, 2-6) (LAST WEEK: 11)…Nice upset of Indiana, but the Hoosiers were as much responsible for giving that game away as the Cornhuskers were for taking it. They finished the week with a 34-point home loss to Ohio State.

10. Northwestern (12-7, 2-5) (LAST WEEK: 7)…The Wildcats have struggled since their upset of Michigan State on Jan. 14. It’s still hard to know what to make of this team. They’ve lost their last two games by a combined 43 points, including a 75-52 beatdown at Minnesota on Sunday.

9. Iowa (11-9, 3-4) (LAST WEEK: 8)…You never know what you’re going to get with the Hawkeyes. They won at Wisconsin and at Minnesota, and they beat Michigan at home. But they’ve also lost twice to Purdue and fell to the conference’s top two teams (Ohio State and Michigan State) by a combined 63 points.

8. Illinois (15-5, 4-3) (LAST WEEK: 1)…Well, the Fighting Illini didn’t last long in the top 25. They proved that their win against Ohio State was probably a fluke by falling at Penn State and at home against Wisconsin last week.

7. Minnesota (15-5, 3-4) (LAST WEEK: 10)…Don’t look now, but the Golden Gophers have won three games in a row after losing their first four on the conference slate. They dominated the Nittany Lions on the road — something few teams have done — and followed it up with an impressive 23-point win against Northwestern.

6. Purdue (14-6, 4-3) (LAST WEEK: 6)…Inconsistency is the best word to describe the Boilermakers. Win one, lose one, win one, lose one. They haven’t won back-to-back games since they opened the conference season with wins against Iowa and Illinois. They beat Iowa again last week, but then got hammered by 25 points at Michigan State.

5. Indiana (16-4, 4-4) (LAST WEEK: 4)…The Hoosiers bounced back nicely after a disappointing loss at Nebraska to beat Penn State, but they’ve still struggled of late. A Thursday night game at Wisconsin should be a good test for the overachieving Hoosiers.

4. Wisconsin (16-5, 5-3) (LAST WEEK: 9)…The Badgers have won four straight after a rough start, including a four-point win at Illinois on Sunday. Wisconsin is as hot and as dangerous as any team in the conference right now.

3. Michigan (15-5, 5-2) (LAST WEEK: 5)…The Wolverines suffered a disappointing loss at Arkansas on Saturday, but it still had to be a good week in Ann Arbor after they beat rival Michigan State. Michigan has to go on the road twice this week, to Purdue and Ohio State.

2. Michigan State (16-4, 5-2) (LAST WEEK: 2)…The Spartans needed a win badly after two road losses, and they got it against Purdue on Saturday. They were just a last-second shot away from beating Michigan and going 2-0 on the week.

1. Ohio State (17-3, 5-2) (LAST WEEK: 3)…The Buckeyes have won by at least 17 points in all five of their Big Ten victories, including four wins by 29 or more points. They are by far the most dominant team in the conference and, with two home games coming this week, they should own the top spot in our power rankings for quite a while.

  • Anonymous

    Hasn’t Matt Jones committed to Duke?

  • http://profiles.google.com/ocean2026 steve fischer

    Agree that Wisconsin is a good test but not sure I’m on board with your “overachieving Hoosiers” comment.  A good case could be made for “underachieving Hoosiers” as well.

  • Kleeman20

    a little biased here…. calling Illinois win against Ohio St. a fluke after Penn St. and Wisconsin losses…. Same thing could be said for Hoosiers after Minnesota and Nebraska losses… I really like this team, but we’re no better than Purdue or Illinois at this point.. too much inconsistency… There is no reason that Cody Zeller should still only get 8 shots a game, and that is purely coaching.  We’ve said it after every game this year, and this team still doesn’t play through him.  Watford is slowly regressing back to himself, Jones III is disappearing, and team defense may be the worst in the Big Ten.  We may have been spoiled with early season upsets, but this is a lot closer to the team we all thought they’d be before the season started.

  • Kleeman20

    a little biased here…. calling Illinois win against Ohio St. a fluke after Penn St. and Wisconsin losses…. Same thing could be said for Hoosiers after Minnesota and Nebraska losses… I really like this team, but we’re no better than Purdue or Illinois at this point.. too much inconsistency… There is no reason that Cody Zeller should still only get 8 shots a game, and that is purely coaching.  We’ve said it after every game this year, and this team still doesn’t play through him.  Watford is slowly regressing back to himself, Jones III is disappearing, and team defense may be the worst in the Big Ten.  We may have been spoiled with early season upsets, but this is a lot closer to the team we all thought they’d be before the season started.

  • IUFAN

    once again agree with your power rankings but another big test for IU like you said about penn st. IU has to prove they can win on the road in the big 10 this is the week all it takes is that 1 and this team will roll into march looking good.  For the comments from kleeman- there has been to much inconsistancy but to say underacheivers come on man know one expected this team to have this many wins.  Crean turned to TP and DE more against penn state and liked it beleive that is the reason this team got back on path the second half need them juniors to be able to come in off bench and lead this team when the freshman-sophmores are struggling a little and they did.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/6d23AK8nlfQhXB9.TiLAzaVhfzuQMFMf9EasPBSqtGzumA--#eee30 DeeLyle

    I respectfully disagree with most of what you said.  IU is certainly better than both Illinois and Purdue.  Don’t you think both of those teams would trade their signature wins for ours?  Also, it’s not as easy as you make it seem to “play through Cody”.  Regarding your last point, I’d refer you the article back in November where numberous fans predicted our record at the end of the year.  Very very few predicted anything close to what we’ve seen so far.

  • Anonymous

    I think the reference he made is to him making Illinois #1 after that win. That was jumping the gun. These early power rankings are quirky anyhow. Some teams have played tough schedules and others pretty light. Those should balance out.

    I agree that those losses made our win over OSU look flukey too.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/6d23AK8nlfQhXB9.TiLAzaVhfzuQMFMf9EasPBSqtGzumA--#eee30 DeeLyle

    Just reread the original post and I read it differently.  I think he very clearly is stating Illinois and Purdue are on the same level as IU.  I strongly disagree.  You’re correct that we’ll find out in the next couple weeks, but I think we should keep things in perspective.

    If you’re a Purdue fan, you’re ready to jump off a cliff after you beat High Point by 2 and Iona by 1 at home.  Plus, there are really no signature wins by Purdue.  Beating unranked Illinois at home is really the best they have.

    If you’re an Illinois fan, you’re in a better situation, but you still have some scary wins at home to Cornell and St Bonaventure who are just awful.

    My point is, I like where we are right now.  A couple different bounces of the ball (which very easily could have happened) and we’re 6-2 and leading the B1G.

  • Shime

    It is easy to say go throgh Cody more but you cannot go through when he has two big men on him at all times. Quit blaming the coach he wants to go throgh him more but for one thing Cody is still learning to how to get open . If you go with the game plan of going into Cody everytime they will just collapse inside . I know what you are saying but is not that simple. I like our team but it is not the best passing team IU has ever had. And until this year they have not had a reason to feed the post.

  • Dougmathis

    I love IU, too, but it seems kind of childish to be critical of the other teams wins and say IU’s losses are their own fault. IU is likely right there in the middle of the pack – and until they beat the other middlings on the road and hold them off at home, they may be the last team to get into the NCAA tourney.

  • Kleeman20

    a couple of different bounces and we could also be 1-6, last in the B1G…. I throw out non conference wins when looking at Power Rankings, just base it on conference play and we haven’t been impressive… Definitely not top four, but that 5-8 teams are pretty equal right now when it comes to conference alone…. Losing at home to Minnesota is inexcusable… And why is it so hard to play through Cody?  He doesn’t see any insurmountable double teams… Bottom line, he should have the most shots on the team every single game, period, and that comes down to coaching.

  • Kleeman20

    I never said under achievers, don’t know where you read that… But when I say this is who we thought they were, I mean the 4-4 Big Ten, not the 12-0 non conference.  We are still learning, but once again, no excuse for losing to Minny at home if we’re going to beat our chests and tout resume wins like UK and Ohio St.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares. Anybody can beat anybody else on any night in this conference. That’s why they play the game. IU at 16 nationally is probably about right..this is not a Top-10 team in any circumstance. Puts a huge target on their chest. gotta tighten it up and finish rest of season strong..worry about the ratings when the season is over. Ain’t how you start..its how you finish…and they say.

  • Kleeman20

    We want them to collapse inside, that’s the benefit of having a skilled big who can find open shooters …. and you must be watching different games, because Cody doesn’t see constant double teams…Start getting him 12-14 shots and they will double more, opening up our plethora of shooters …. take out the 4-5 plays where C Wat goes one on one and call those for Big Z and we’re 6-2 instead of 4-4.

  • Anonymous

    A couple of different bounces, and we could be 6-2 also.  You can’t look back at wins and losses and say that if something went right (or wrong) we would have won (or lost).

    Games aren’t played hypothetically.  Your record is what you have done.  We are 4-4.  We lost a couple we shouldn’t have lost, and we have won a few tight games. 

    Let me put it another way: I don’t believe that anyone looks forward to playing the Hoosiers anymore.  That is as good a reason as any that we are ranked 5th in this poll.

  • Plane1972

    Seriously? Underachieving? Really?

    You might be able to say that at the end of the year if we stub our toe down the stretch, but right now I don’t think you can. I know the Minny and Nebraska games were disappointing, but every team in the conference has lost a game or two to teams they were expected to beat. If IU has underachieved, so has just about every team in this conference with the highest RPI.

    The Big Ten is really THAT good this year.

  • Plane1972

    Seriously? Underachieving? Really?

    You might be able to say that at the end of the year if we stub our toe down the stretch, but right now I don’t think you can. I know the Minny and Nebraska games were disappointing, but every team in the conference has lost a game or two to teams they were expected to beat. If IU has underachieved, so has just about every team in this conference with the highest RPI.

    The Big Ten is really THAT good this year.

  • Anonymous

    I love that you guys place such an emphasis on advanced stats, but the people who vote for the award will probably be looking at conventional stats (I assume).  To that end, an article discussing the candidates should probably focus on those stats since they have a larger impact on who might win.  (but again, let me reemphasize how much I appreciate your use of advanced stats).

    Secondly, any chance Watford would have been a sleeper before our losing streak?  He had a couple week stretch where he was playing tough, scoring in all sorts of ways and helping lead the team.  He clearly isn’t a sleeper right now, but I do think he has potential to get back there if he can regain his form.

  • eph521

    Lots of good players in the B10, makes for a compelling player of the year race.

    I’m also quite intrigued by the freshman of the year contest, which seems to be between Zeller and Burke.

    I’m very impressed by Burke, but give the nod to Cody for FOY because 1. I’m a Homer and 2.  How IU went from an afterthought the last few years to being nationally relevant again… it’s difficult to quantify the difference Cody has made… we all know it’s HUGE.

  • Anonymous

    I think they just called another foul on us against Sullinger.  Kid can play though.

  • BrianS

    I can’t wait to see Will & Victor in Robbie’s jersey with him!  His best basketball is behind him.  The Boiler is down.  Purwho needs a plumber instead of a Painter…

  • Anonymous

    Last team in the tourney?  Not unless they fall flat the rest of the year.

    There are 10 conference games left (one non-conference home game too).  Six home, Five away.  We will be the favorites in at least five of the six home games (MSU in March maybe a tossup).  We will probably be favorites in 2 of the roadies (Iowa and Minn).  Regardless, I think we could win as many as 8 or 9 of our remaining games.  Conversely, I think we could win as few as 3 or 4.

    For argument’s sake, let’s say we go 6-5 and finish 9-9 in B1G.  That would put our overall record at 22-9 going into the B1G tourney (probably a 5 or 6 seed).  Let’s say we go 1-1 in the B1G tourney, so our final record would be 23-10.  We’d have wins over #1 UK, #2 OSU, #13 UM and (my projections) Illinois and possibly a ranked MSU at home.  Our road record would be poor outside of a nice win against 15-5 NC State, but we would also have a neutral court win over ND, who just trashed then #1 and unbeaten Syracuse.

    Not only does that team get in the tourney easily, but we probably get a 5 or 6 seed.  We would have to fall completely flat to miss the dance this year. Something like a 2-8 finish and get a 6-12 B1G record. I think the B1G will get rewarded heavily this season for having such a tough conference. Right now, there are 9 teams in the top 50 RPI.

  • Anonymous

    He may have been, but I don’t think any other Hoosier would be considered over Cody.

  • Anonymous

    He may have been, but I don’t think any other Hoosier would be considered over Cody.

  • Anonymous

    I’m more interested in who makes 1st Team all-conference.  I think Sullinger, Green and Zeller are all automatics.  The question is who are the remaining two.

    If I had a vote, I think I’d go with Frazier and Burke.  Taylor and Hummel nipping at their heels, though.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    To me, Draymond Green is the best all around player in the Big Ten.  He does a little of everything and has been huge for his team as I think he has less of a supportive cast that Sullinger does.

    But, I do not know why there will be a vote.  It will go to Sullinger, for some weird reason he is a media darling.  I could see him getting hot down the strecth too.  Lord knows he will lead the nation in FT attempts for big men because if a man breathes on him it is a foul.

    Cody is 3rd to me.  He has been great for this team.  He really needs to bring it the last 10 games of the Big 10.  Cody should average 20 ppg but since he has few guards who can get him the ball, he will be 3rd.  Cody also needs to be a bit more aggressive in the post and demand the ball from his teammates and CTC.

    Sullinger cannot defend as well as Green, cannot pass as well, cannot shoot as well as Green.  Green means more to his team collectively.

    Sullinger just gets to park it 5 to 10 feet from the hoop, back his can into the defender until he gets his open shot after knocking the defender out of the way.

  • Rebelqb2011

    very smart answer. im glad you broke everything down like that. I agree with everything haha i see us getting a 5-6 seed as well

  • CZ40

    Cody is going to win at least one of these awards.  Its just nice to know that he will probably be 1st team this year if he keeps up his pace.

  • eph521

    I love Green. He does everything and anything his team needs. He leads, he motivates, he hustles, dives for loose balls, he rebounds, he scores… The only knock on him is he likes to whine to the officials too much, but then again, that can be said for many players. I’d love to have a player like him on IU.

  • eph521

    I love Green. He does everything and anything his team needs. He leads, he motivates, he hustles, dives for loose balls, he rebounds, he scores… The only knock on him is he likes to whine to the officials too much, but then again, that can be said for many players. I’d love to have a player like him on IU.

  • millzy32

    Over achieving for the season as a whole and under achieving for the Big Ten season based on the preseason no doubt.  Bad losses to Minny at home and Nebraska on the road.  This Wisconsin game is pretty big.  I expect a loss but a win would be much needed and could actually tip my view to Over achieving for the big ten season as well.  We need a signature road win and to this point don’t have one.

  • millzy32

    This team is very hard to beat when they are at their best.  See OSU and KY games, but at their average they are about average in the big ten.  This team couldn’t go on shooting at the high % that they did the first half of the season.  This is a team that if it gets into the NCAA’s which has now become a definite maybe instead of a lock then this team could do some damage if the right guys heat up from the perimeter.  Please see 02 team for reference.

  • millzy32

    You might be correct in your analysis but calling the Notre Dame game a neutral court game is a little sketchy.  Probably 90% IU fans in attendance for that one. 

  • Don Thomas

    Without question in my mind its Green, he fuels that MSU team, makes everyone around him better, if they need a big shot from anywhere on the floor he delivers, loves the big moment and can defend and rebound.  If I were playing MSU I would be more concerned with Green than any other player they put on the floor, including Appling.  Sullinger is the Media darling, great player who has a great personality and deserves the accolades, but he gets way to many calls in this league in my opinion.  Green is a typical senior who has been through the wars and grown into a position of leadership and without him it would be difficult for MSU to compete. 

  • Anonymous

    Not sure if anyone can shoot like Roth.  Ready for the nickname:  autoMATTic.  

    Not selling Hartman short though – he’s just a different player, more complete in terms of his ability to drive, play defense and rebound.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    He’s faster than AJ Hammons, which is what truly matters.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    He’s faster than AJ Hammons, which is what truly matters.

  • Casey B.

    Judging from the Perea dunk I just watched yesterday, I’m not too concerned. If all he does is murder the rim and block shots, I’ll be fine with that.

  • Anonymous

    Normally I don’t like to dwell on rankings but hanner falling that far is not a good sign. He was probably 47 on potential but hasn’t improved enough to keep that ranking. Hopefully he can improve steadily when he gets to Btown

  • BIGWayneIU

    How are the McDonald’s All Americans determined?  I always thought that whatever the ESPNU rankings netted out at was the determining factor for the Mc D’s game?  That said don’t they only take the top 30 guys?

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    *gags, dry heaves*

  • SirEric

    what a bump for Hollowell! excited to see this kid play

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Here are the details of the selection process:

    http://www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com/2012_SelectionProcess.pdf

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Here are the details of the selection process:

    http://www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com/2012_SelectionProcess.pdf

  • SirEric

    they took amir williams last year who wasnt a top 30 guy. He probably wasnt the only one either. I’d bet that yogi goes.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like ESPN’s ranking are down on Yogi & Hanner compared to Rivals and Scouts. Is that an accurate statement?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care what the ratings are.  I just want them, all five of them, on campus and under Crean’s tutelage as soon as possible.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not too concerned with Hanner falling. He’s on completely stacked team that doesn’t need him to provide scoring. He’s a stud. We all know it! Yogi is the definitely top twenty. From what I’ve seen at adidas nations he was most impressive pg there. I get the feeling that they rank other pg’s higher strictly bc of their size. Yogi and purvis will have the biggest impact freshman year IMHO. Also, I believe hollowell should be an all american. He scored at will against the top talent in the country this summer. He’s so smooth. Not alot of flash. Game’s easy to him.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the effort these guys put into traveling around and ranking these players, but it’s obvious that there are too many politics involved.

    Case and point, did 19 players really get significantly better than Mitch McGary since last summer, when he was uncommitted?  I just don’t buy it.  The rankings are fun to look at, but ultimately meaningless to me.  All I know, is that we have a five man class coming in that would make just about any coach giddy. Every one of those boys (besides Peter, who stil has work to do but I believe will be a STUD) deserves to be in the Top 100 based on their talent and merits.

  • MillaRed

    I’m going to be honest, I do look at stuff like this. And when I do, ESPN is the last ranking I bother with. It’s never made any sense to me.

    I’m surprised 15 commercials didn’t pop up when I made the jump.

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