Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 7

  • 02/06/2012 10:46 am in

After a week with little movement, six teams are in a new position in week seven of our Big Ten power rankings. The changes come in the bottom half of the rankings as the top four teams in the conference have begun to pull away from the pack.

12. Penn State (10-14, 2-9) (LAST WEEK: 12)…They played with a good Wisconsin team at home for awhile, but the Nittany Lions just don’t have enough late-game options to compete in the conference. Penn State has lost four straight and seven of eight.

11. Nebraska (11-11, 3-8) (LAST WEEK: 9)…The Cornhuskers dropped two winnable games this week, one at Northwestern and the other against Minnesota. Uncharacteristically, Nebraska has given up 69 or more points in five straight games.

10. Northwestern (14-8, 4-6) (LAST WEEK: 11)…They needed a good week, and the Wildcats got one. Back-to-back wins — including one at in-state rival Illinois on Sunday — has closer to the NCAA Tournament bubble.

9. Minnesota (17-7, 5-6) (LAST WEEK: 7)…The Golden Gophers could have continued their climb in the power rankings had they held onto a sizable lead at Iowa. Still, they’re a team to watch as we get closer to the Big Ten Tournament.

8. Iowa (13-11, 5-6) (LAST WEEK: 10)…They had their chance to fold after an ugly loss at Indiana and a dreadful start against Minnesota, but the Hawkeyes bounced back nicely for two wins this week. They’re on the road for the next two against Northwestern and Penn State, but both are winnable.

7. Purdue (15-8, 5-5) (LAST WEEK: 6)…The Boilermakers saw their chances for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid take a significant blow with a home loss to Indiana on Saturday. Purdue has dropped three of four and has a trip to Columbus to play Ohio State coming on Tuesday.

6. Illinois (16-7, 5-5) (LAST WEEK: 8)…Much like many of the teams in the Big Ten, Illinois is too inconsistent to be considered an elite team. The Fighting Illini beat both Ohio State and Michigan State at home, but their home loss to Northwestern was their fourth defeat in five games.

5. Indiana (18-6, 6-6) (LAST WEEK: 5)…A slow start at Michigan was worrisome, but the Hoosiers bounced back with a big win at Purdue. Now they’ve got to take care of business at home on Thursday against Illinois.

4. Wisconsin (18-6, 7-4) (LAST WEEK: 4)…The Badgers didn’t quite have enough to beat Ohio State at home, but they proved a lot by the way they competed.

3. Michigan (17-7, 7-4) (LAST WEEK: 3)…The Wolverines split games with Indiana and Michigan State last week. They continue to grow as a team, and freshman point guard Trey Burke looks more like a veteran with each passing game.

2. Michigan State (18-5, 7-3) (LAST WEEK: 2)…They struggled down the stretch in a disappointing loss at Illinois, but the Spartans returned to form with a big home win against rival Michigan. Still, the Spartans need to start playing better on the road where they’ve now lost three straight games.

1. Ohio State (20-3, 8-2) (LAST WEEK: 1)…After losing to Illinois on Jan. 10, the Buckeyes have won five consecutive games — including three against ranked teams. They beat a hot Wisconsin team at the Kohl Center on Saturday night.

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  • Jdewitt82

    I think 6-6 is good considering we are the only team to play 12 games in conference so far. We also have had a tough schedule. Finish strong IU and could possibly be top 3.

  • HoosierDadE

    I don’t know what to think about Illinois…tO$U win and that beautiful offensive effort they had against MSU.

    They are so up and down…I’d like to put most of the blame on our favorite Illinois coach, Baby Boy Brucey

  • HoosierDadE

    I don’t know what to think about Illinois…tO$U win and that beautiful offensive effort they had against MSU.

    They are so up and down…I’d like to put most of the blame on our favorite Illinois coach, Baby Boy Brucey

  • MillaRed

    Alex I have a question for you.

    Since the Big Ten now has an even number of teams, will there no longer be byes for the top teams in the first round of the BT Tournament??? Are they just playing the 1-12 seeds like the NCAA tourney or what???????

    I suppose the top 4 could still have byes while the other 8 duke it out in the first round. But I wasn’t sure.

  • jahhoosier

    Top four with byes, 5-12 play Thursday.

  • jahhoosier

    I quibble with Wisconsin over IU. Assuming you watched the Wisc-IU game, who wins on a neutral floor between the two teams (assuming a fair officiating crew)? There is not a doubt in my mind that the Hoosiers win that game.

    That should be the judgment standard, in my opinion: who would win on a neutral floor. (And with it, truth be told, I would have IU over Michigan, though I cannot criticize someone who would have them the other way ’round.)

  • Eastwood88_2

    I agree, but we have to bring the effort like we did Saturday to every road game.  If we continued to push at Wisconsin we would have won.  I want the 4/5 seed and Wisconsin to be the other.  A win.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I agree, but we have to bring the effort like we did Saturday to every road game.  If we continued to push at Wisconsin we would have won.  I want the 4/5 seed and Wisconsin to be the other.  A win.

  • Mr_Howard8h

    It’s interesting that Michigan State’s conference road record is 2-3, with those wins coming early at Wisconsin and at Nebraska.  They have lost at Northwestern, Illinois, and Michigan.
     
    MSU hasn’t won on the road since January 3rd.  This is just proof that the B1G is the toughest conference in America, and how hard it is to get a W on another teams’ floor.

  • Geoff_85

    I don’t know…Michigan has @ Ill, @ Penn St, @ NW, @ Neb, vs O$U, vs PUke, and vs Ill. I think they lose 3 of those games meaning IU would have to finish very strong.

  • Geoff_85

    Anyone surprised that Indiana is #23 and Michigan is #25 in today’s USA Today/espn poll?

  • Matt Lee

    It makes sense if you really start looking at who and especially WHERE they’ve played. On the season, Indiana is 4-5 on the road (2-5 in the Big Ten). Michigan is only 1-6 on the road for the season (1-4 in the Big Ten). Their only road win is at Purdue, while we’ve won at Purdue, Penn State, NC State and Evansville. 

    We’ve beat Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan at home. They’ve beaten Michigan St., Wisconsin and us. 

    Apples to apples, Indiana has a better resume. Just look at KenPom, Saragin, etc.

  • Daburns0

    It will be very interesting down the stretch.  I noticed yesterday that we have played more conference games than anyone else.  Plus, we have played most of the tough ones (@OSU, @MSU, @UM, @WISC, @PU, vs. OSU, vs. Mich).  So, 6 losses looks heavy, but we will see what happens going forward.

  • SCHoosier

    No..Michigan looked awaful against MSU..’ol Izzo shut down Bruke’s drives pretty well and Green out rebounded  the entire MU team. HOpe Crean was watching.

  • SCHoosier

    No..Michigan looked awaful against MSU..’ol Izzo shut down Bruke’s drives pretty well and Green out rebounded  the entire MU team. HOpe Crean was watching.

  • SCHoosier

    THEY are up and down? Probably saying the same thing about the Hoosiers up there.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree.  Michigan’s schedule (right now at 7-4) isn’t super tough but there are some potential losses in there.  However, MSU has to play at IU, at PUke, at Minny, and two games against OSU and they’re 7-3.  I actually think it’s feasible for both IU and Michigan to end up in a tie with MSU for 2nd at the end of the year!

    I think Wisconsin is crap out of luck because they still have to play at OSU (almost certain loss), at MSU (tough to win there), and at Iowa which already beat them at home.  They could drop back to the pack fast! 

    It sets up nice for IU to finish no lower than 4th if they play like they did Saturday night and possibly as high as a 2nd place tie!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Was there some sarcasm in that “beautiful offensive effort” comment?  I’m sensing a bit of sarcasm after a 42-41 win.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Was there some sarcasm in that “beautiful offensive effort” comment?  I’m sensing a bit of sarcasm after a 42-41 win.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I think IU will pass Wisconsin and “possibly” Michigan . . . see comment above.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, if they don’t pull it together on the road quickly they could be in for a disappointing seed and late season swoon with road games at IU, PUke, Minny, and OSU and a home game with OSU.

    Not a good schedule for them at all!

  • HoosierDadE

    Yes, your sarcasm detector should be going wild

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I was surprised to see IU still at 9th in the KenPom ratings.  It’s understandable though since the SOS has risen so much with conference play.  I question Wisconsin’s ranking at like #4 or 5 though.  That’s just my two cents.

  • HoosierDadE

    Touche’…I just believe there is a pretty good drop from 5th to 6th in the Big Ten.

    And to be honest SCHoosier, I just wanted to take a shot at Weber 🙂

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    NC State and Notre Dame are definitely helping IU’s RPI and tournament resume right now!  NC State has a chance to pick up a signature win or two down the stretch or completely fold.  It would be nice to see them beat a Duke, FSU, or Carolina (latter two at home) and get a tournament bid.  Their RPI isn’t bad.  It isn’t good at this point but it isn’t bad.  ND is in the same boat but they’ve had a lot of good wins lately.

  • HoosierDawg

    Good points, Matt. At 4-5 on the road ( and with at least a chance to end up 6-5), not many teams nationally have a better road record. And yet all I hear is how terrible they are. Granted the past three years have been awful, but so was the home record. Those days are OVER! I still think we can finish out with 8 straight wins and tie for 3rd in the B1G. How great would that be?

  • HoosierDawg

    Good points, Matt. At 4-5 on the road ( and with at least a chance to end up 6-5), not many teams nationally have a better road record. And yet all I hear is how terrible they are. Granted the past three years have been awful, but so was the home record. Those days are OVER! I still think we can finish out with 8 straight wins and tie for 3rd in the B1G. How great would that be?

  • marcusgresham

    I was trying to figure this out the other day and my guess was that 5 plays 12 and the winner plays 4, 6-11>3, 7-10>4, 8-9>1. Anyone know if that is correct?  If so, with current standings, IU would play Penn State again and the winner would get Wisconsin.

  • jahhoosier

    That’s correct.

  • DannerPerea

    Yeah, i saw where ND beat UCONN and Marquette…makes our victory over ND look more impressive. On the matter of rankings and where everyone should be, who wins a game between Murray State (AP #7) or IU (AP #23) on a neutral court?

  • the_Ancient_Hoosier

    This is the toughest overall schedule  IU has played in quite a while.  When Coach Crean began his rebuilding effort it looked as if it might take five to seven years to bring us back to a top level B1G team.  He is on the verge of doing that in five years!  Now the real work begins.  There is nothing but heavy lifting in our future until we hoist the next banner.  To do that we have to be able to win at least half of our away games.  The bar only gets higher from this point for each recruiting class, each game, each individual effort and each possession.  Go Big Red!

  • calbert40

    8-9 winner plays 1 seed
    7-10 winner plays 2 seed
    6-11 winner plays 3 seed
    5-12 winner plays 4 seed