Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 11

  • 03/06/2012 1:15 pm in

The regular season is complete and three co-champions have been crowned. But the Big Ten power rankings don’t always agree with the conference standings. There’s a shakeup at the top this week and seven teams saw movement in the pecking order:

12. Nebraska (12-17, 4-14) (LAST WEEK: 12)…The Cornhuskers have won only one game since Jan. 26, and that came against a reeling Illinois team. In the win against the Fighting Illini, they scored 80 points. In the other eight games during the stretch, they’ve scored more than 70 only once.

11. Penn State (12-19, 4-14) (LAST WEEK: 11)…Tim Frazier was named to the All Big Ten first team, but that’s the only accolade the Nittany Lions will receive this season. They dropped four in a row to close the season, including a six-point home loss to Michigan. They’ll play Indiana in the first round of the conference tournament on Thursday.

10. Illinois (17-14, 6-12) (LAST WEEK: 9)…They got a good win against Iowa, but the Illini continued their losing ways against Michigan and Wisconsin to close the season. Illinois lost eight of its last nine and 11 of its last 13, and will play Iowa on Thursday to open the conference tournament.

9. Minnesota (18-13, 6-12) (LAST WEEK: 10)…When the Hoosiers visited Minnesota on Feb. 26, it looked like the Golden Gophers had packed it in for the season. They’ve played well against good opponents of late, but the wins simply haven’t been there. Minnesota has dropped six of seven, the only win coming Saturday against Nebraska.

8. Iowa (16-15, 8-10) (LAST WEEK: 8)…After knocking off Indiana and Wisconsin in back-to-back games, the Hawkeyes closed the season in the worst possible way — by killing all of their momentum. They dropped two of their final three, including a home loss to Northwestern to close the regular season.

7. Northwestern (18-12, 8-10) (LAST WEEK: 7)…ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Wildcats as one of his final four in on this week’s bracketology, but it’s hard for me to imagine them making the Big Dance without winning at least one game in this week’s Big Ten tournament. If they beat Minnesota, though, they just might make it for the first time in school history.

6. Purdue (20-11, 10-8) (LAST WEEK: 5)…Like I said earlier this season, the Boilermakers belong in this spot. They aren’t good enough to be considered elite, but they take care of the teams they’re supposed to beat. Sunday’s loss to Indiana notwithstanding, Purdue is one of the conference’s hottest teams right now. They won five of seven down the stretch.

5. Michigan (23-8, 13-5) (LAST WEEK: 6)…They earned a split of the Big Ten title on Sunday, but I still think Indiana is a better team than the Wolverines on a neutral floor. They finished the regular season with consecutive road wins, but Illinois and Penn State aren’t exactly world beaters.

4. Indiana (24-7, 11-7) (LAST WEEK: 4)…The Hoosiers are playing better than any team in the conference right now. They’ve won four straight and seven of eight, and they could be in line for a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament if they win a couple games at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse this weekend.

3. Wisconsin (23-8, 12-6) (LAST WEEK: 2)…The Badgers have quietly won three straight to close the season and will play the winner of the Indiana-Penn State on Friday afternoon. They aren’t flashy, but the Badgers are always a dangerous postseason team because of their commitment to execution.

2. Michigan State (24-7, 13-5) (LAST WEEK: 1)…The Spartans were playing as well as anybody in the country before they ran into Indiana and Ohio State to close the year. Their home loss to the Buckeyes was disappointing, but Tom Izzo vowed to win the conference tournament and get the title they should have won on Sunday. For some reason, I believe him.

1. Ohio State (25-6, 13-5) (LAST WEEK: 3)…It’s hard to know which team will show up on a given day, but the Buckeyes are the Big Ten’s best team when they play like they did Sunday. William Buford isn’t ready for his career to end, and Jared Sullinger dominated at times in last year’s conference tournament.

Filed to:

  • If only we hadn’t lost to Minn and Nebraska, we’d be co champions too. Of course every team has a sad loss but its to be expected with a young team.  Those losses are way behind us and we are now a “mature” team ready to make some noise.

  • mrjonessodaandme

    After this weekend, IU is going to be atleast #3 on this list and a #3 seed in the Tourney. The like-home neutral court is a great asset. Looking forward to atleast 2 victories.

  • cpmichae

    I definitely think we are ahead of Wisconsin. IMO Wisconsin and Michigan should be switched, and we are not ahead of MI only because they earned a share of the title. Even though, we are still a better overall team. I’d like to play them in the B1G Tourny.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    of course you could reverse that and say ‘what if we hadn’t beaten osu, msu, and mich’. either way, you’re right about those tough losses being behind us. their brutal journey thru the B1G had the same feel as a john hughes coming-of-age movie. there was laughter, drama, and tragedy (nebraska) along the way, but they ultimately came out of it stronger, more mature, and thankfully all in one piece!

    seriously, is there any doubt that the team today is better than the one that beat pUKe in Dec?

  • marcusgresham

    I haven’t looked, but is IU the only team to have beaten all three of the co-champs? Obviously none of those three would have done so.

  • the_Ancient_Hoosier

    This year’s team has demonstrated a tenacity that at times could have earned them the B1G Title and played at times as if we were a generic brand product. The boys in the “Candy Stripes” have proven they can shoot, rebound, drive and fast break with the best the B1G has to offer. What will be tested in the next 9 days or so is our strength of character.  Do we have the emotional stamina and physiological muscle to give it all in the B1G Tourney and then return to form in the first and second rounds of the dance?  Exhaustion, hard work and a maximum effort will be demanded if IU is to succeed. Victory, glory, honor and exaltation are the rewards for this effort.  This year’s team has come such a long way since the dark days of 2007/08.  How far will they go in this NCAA Tournament?  It will be fun to watch the drama unfold…………

  • bendaroo

    With MSU losing their 3rd best player for the rest of the year, you almost have to feel bad for them and rank them lower at this point in any power polls.  I’d have to put OSU as the top potential for the tournament, but if IU can play hard against them they should be able to win the game.  I see IU having difficulties on a 3 or 4 games in a row stretch, though, if they are playing their hearts out in the first half of games like they have been lately.  Not enough total energy to keep it up (and I love seeing that energy).  It will be great for them to have the energy in the NCAA tourney, though, playing 2 games every weekend with a day between in each game.

  • IUeconAlum

    Indiana can win the B1G tourney. That place will be loaded with Hoosiers.

  • HoosierSkywalker

    indeed we are!

  • millzy32

    I think we are on a roll and we are better than when we beat pUKe earlier.  Unfotunately I think the same could be said for pUKe, they are a lot better than when we beat them earlier in the year. 

    If the Hoosiers could somehow stop pUKe from winning it all this year then it would truly be a magical season.

    Verdell says we are winning it all and he’s been playing much better so I believe him.

  • millzy32

    The way IU and Wisconsin are playing “right now” and the way Michigan is playing “right now” I think they got it right putting Wisconsin and IU ahead of Michigan. 

    Michigan did really well this year with what they have but to be honest I would be much more scared to play Wisconsin than Michigan.  If Michigan’s long range Indiana born bombers aren’t on for a night they could lose by 20 to about anyone.

  • millzy32

    The way IU and Wisconsin are playing “right now” and the way Michigan is playing “right now” I think they got it right putting Wisconsin and IU ahead of Michigan. 

    Michigan did really well this year with what they have but to be honest I would be much more scared to play Wisconsin than Michigan.  If Michigan’s long range Indiana born bombers aren’t on for a night they could lose by 20 to about anyone.

  • millzy32

    It’s about as close to a Home Game as you can get.  Other than playing at Bedford North Lawrence or something.  Maybe Edgewood.

  • I think IU has a fantastic draw in the B1G Tournament. I’m very confident the Hoosiers can make it to the championship game. Win that game, and I wouldn’t put a 2 seed out of the question. Indiana would have defeated Wisconsin, Michigan and either Michigan or OSU to win the title. These are all teams slotted as either 2, 3, or 4 seeds. 

    I’m not expecting that to happen, but I wouldn’t be shocked in the least. 

  • IU wins 2 games and then is a 4 seed in the tourney.  They play in Boston…and get to the sweet 16 and surprise everyone by getting to the final 8 where the Zeller brothers battle to a stand still and the Hoosiers –

  • IU wins 2 games and then is a 4 seed in the tourney.  They play in Boston…and get to the sweet 16 and surprise everyone by getting to the final 8 where the Zeller brothers battle to a stand still and the Hoosiers –

  • MisterSlippery

    I think IU will actually end up winning both the B1G and national championships – pretty easily.

  • MisterSlippery

    I think IU will actually end up winning both the B1G and national championships – pretty easily.

  • HoosierPat

    Oh the suspense is killing me!!!

  • Leedaddy23

    Yeah I keep thinking the same thing. Dang we were that close. Way to go boys lets end it on abetter note. Go Hoosiers!

  • millzy32

    Agreed.  Also that makes it 2 out of 3 wins vs both MSU and either Mich or OSU which is pretty compelling.

  • millzy32

    You live somewhere near Boston don’t you? How about let them win the Big Ten tournament and still play in Boston.  That would be fine by me.  I want to watch 4 games this weekend instead of 2 or 3.

  • millzy32

    Crazier things have happened.  Not many but some.  The 2002 run was not expected and that team was a lower seed than we’ll be this year.  That team also never won 3 games vs top 5 opponents.

    You’re starting to sway me.

  • Devout Hoosier

    These are all messed up.  You realize all 18 games have been played right?  An opinion ranking (not even a poll) is only relative on ties at this point.  You have Wisconsin, Indiana, & Michigan all messed up.  I love reading the opinions, but facts are still facts.