Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 9

  • 02/20/2012 1:03 pm in

The Big Ten continues to be as balanced as any conference in the country as we get into the final weeks of the regular season. With Ohio State’s loss at Michigan on Saturday, only Michigan State has fewer than four losses in conference play.

There was much movement in our ninth edition of Big Ten power rankings, but there is still plenty to be decided with four games left to go in the conference season (except Penn State, which only has three games remaining).

12. Illinois (16-11, 5-9) (LAST WEEK: 10)…Bruce Weber has completely lost his team now. The Fighting Illini competed with Purdue, but an 80-57 loss at Nebraska on Saturday was about as bad as it gets.

11. Penn State (12-16, 4-11) (LAST WEEK: 11)…The Nittany Lions beat Iowa at home and played well at Wisconsin on Sunday. Tim Frazier and Co. figure to be a tough out in the conference tournament early next month.

10. Nebraska (12-13, 4-10) (LAST WEEK: 12)…It wasn’t that they beat a reeling Illinois club, it was that the Cornhuskers dominated the Illini to end a four-game skid. Nebraska only plays one more home game in its last four.

9. Minnesota (17-10, 5-9) (LAST WEEK: 9)…After two more losses, the Golden Gophers’ tournament hopes are slipping away. They are just 1-5 in the month of February.

8. Iowa (14-13, 6-8) (LAST WEEK: 8)…The Hawkeyes picked up an impressive win against Indiana on Sunday after back-to-back road losses at Northwestern and Penn State. If Matt Gatens continues to shoot like he did against the Hoosiers, Iowa might just make a run in the Big Ten tourney.

7. Northwestern (16-10, 6-8) (LAST WEEK: 7)…They couldn’t quite pull the upset at Assembly Hall, but give the Wildcats credit: They win the games they’re supposed to win. They probably need three more wins to earn a spot in the big dance.

6. Purdue (17-10, 7-7) (LAST WEEK: 6)…Even without D.J. Byrd and Kelsey Barlow, the Boilermakers played inspired basketball against Michigan State on Sunday. Some have wondered if the Boilers can make the tournament without Barlow. I almost wonder if, like Ryne Smith said after Sunday’s game, it isn’t “addition by subtraction.”

5. Indiana (20-7, 8-7) (LAST WEEK: 5)…An ugly loss at Iowa notwithstanding, the Hoosiers have played good basketball of late. But their play on the road continues to be a major concern.

4. Wisconsin (20-7, 9-5) (LAST WEEK: 4)…The Badgers lost at Michigan State and beat Penn State at home last week. They’re just two games behind Michigan State for first place in the conference.

3. Michigan (20-7, 10-4) (LAST WEEK: 3)…The Wolverines beat Ohio State on Saturday, but the Buckeyes are still the better team. Regardless, Michigan is getting hot at the right time, and all four of its remaining games are winnable.

2. Ohio State (22-5, 10-4) (LAST WEEK: 2)…Did anybody think the Buckeyes would lose four conference games? They’ve lost two of three, and they still have to go to Michigan State to end the season.

1. Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) (LAST WEEK: 1)…They got tested at Purdue, but the Spartans pulled away in the second half for their fifth consecutive win. During that stretch, they’ve beaten the No. 2, 3 and 4 teams in our power rankings.

(Photo creditAP/Tony Ding)

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  • Ryanbimmer

    You know what? I’m happy to be in the top half of the big ten this year! That’s all I have to say!

  • Robert_Montgomery

    No kidding!  It really is survival of the fittest out there.  You have to be on top of your game every single night.  You’ve had IU beat OSU, Northwestern beat Michigan State, Iowa beat Wisconsin AND Indiana, Illinois beat OSU AND MSU and then turn around and lose to Purdue and Nebraska, plus all of IU’s up and down stretches….This season has been an absolute rollercoaster!!!

  • BKLock

    It is definitely an up and down BIG season for IU. I agree that they have played well enough over the past few games to stay in your top five. However, it would really be great to get one last road win at Minnesota and then take care of business at home against MSU and PU. That would just cap off a terrific season that many did not expect. GO Hoosiers!

    On a side note: There is a debate on who should be B1G Freshman of the Year on the BIG Network. An article comparing Cody Zeller to UM’s Trey Burke has them running neck and neck. There is a poll for fans to vote on at the end of the article. Currently Burke has the edge in this poll. It’s time for IH readers/IU fans to shift the tide in the poll. Below is a link to the page.http://btn.com/2012/02/19/big-ten-freshman-of-the-year-burke-or-zeller/ 

  • Geoff_85

    Zeller will get it regardless of this poll. Big Ten fans are IU haters because we owned these teams for so long. They don’t want to see Indiana back and won’t give any Hoosiers players recognition. I wonder which IU player will be Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten next year…my money is on Yogi, but I think Hollowell will be the next biggest impact Freshman for IU next year…if they can find PT for him.

  • 888

    Dont forget Mitch McGary at Michigan. Hes got the name as well.

  • No. 5 is where we belong. 

    Need to finish strong with 10 conference wins and win at least one game in the B1G tournament. That’ll be a slightly better than neutral finish to the season.  Are we capable of winning all 3 games left or taking out Wisconsin in the 2nd round? Of course, but I doubt we will. Minnesota hasn’t been playing well, so I would love to get another road win then beat Purdue. A little revenge for letting Minny beat us at home, then a sweep of our in-state rival is a pretty nice finish. MSU would just be gravy, but with the way they are playing, I don’t know that the Assembly Hall crowd can make enough difference. 

  • cooper

    What good basketball have they played of late?

    After 1-4 the rankings should just say “other”

  • HoosierDawg

    Until yesterday I felt that IU was in the mix for #3, but see now that #5 is as high as they can aspire to. I just kept thinking UM and UW would fall back but misjudged both ways. I just hope our team doesn’t feel like their goals were all achieved with the 20th win. If that’s the case, it’s going to be a sad ending to an otherwise extraordinary season. Let’s finish strong and with real Hoosier pride!

  • HoosierDawg

    Until yesterday I felt that IU was in the mix for #3, but see now that #5 is as high as they can aspire to. I just kept thinking UM and UW would fall back but misjudged both ways. I just hope our team doesn’t feel like their goals were all achieved with the 20th win. If that’s the case, it’s going to be a sad ending to an otherwise extraordinary season. Let’s finish strong and with real Hoosier pride!

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    5th and falling . The3 iowa game has really disturbed me , I really don’t think we have gotten much better if any since the big ten started .

  • SCHoosier

    I think Burke has to be favored because..as he did against OSU..he controls the ball and can take over the game. So can Zeller..but not if the guards and others don’t get him the ball. Burke has the ball in his hands more than 60% of the time..Zeller..sometimes goes 5-6 minutes without a touch. Has Cody been more important to the success of his team than Burke has Michigan..probably…but Trey is MU’s “quarterback”..and is the trigger of their entire offense… that carries weight with the voters. I vote for Cody..but then…I’m biased. Success of team is important in this vote..that’s whylthis weekend helped Burke and hurt Zeller. But what do I know other than IU has to get back on track…to hell with personal awards.

  • A_Schick

    I like to look at the impact both freshman have had on their times (as in how their teams compared to last year). IU is markedly better, while UM is better but not by as much since replacing Morris with Burke. Just my two cents. 

  • A_Schick

    I like to look at the impact both freshman have had on their times (as in how their teams compared to last year). IU is markedly better, while UM is better but not by as much since replacing Morris with Burke. Just my two cents. 

  • Geoff_85

    Geesh, after every loss the wheels are falling off the bus with some people on this site. The Hoosiers played a God awful game, no doubt, and Iowa played much better than they should have, but remember what this team is capable of and how many games are left (including the Big Ten Tournament). The Hoosiers might start rolling heading into postseason play. Plenty of time to right the ship. And why is a 4 seed all of a sudden out of the question? I guarantee you wins over Minn and MSU gets IU a 4 seed provided that they spank Purdouche’s little bottom like I think they will. A win over MSU is not likely, but I’m just saying that it will get them a 4 if they continue to take care of business. Like I said, plenty of basketball left. Let’s see how the rest of the season pans out before we start getting too down.

  • Mister Slippery

    IU has to be at 5. They have the capability of beating 1-4, but they’re not nearly as consistent as 1-4. I could totally see this team winning the B1G tourney or losing early, that’s why they’re 5 and that’s why they’re 23/24.