Big Ten Power Rankings: January 7

010713Today we begin our weekly Big Ten power rankings for the 2012-13 conference season.

These power rankings will appear on this site each Monday and will be determined by Inside the Hall reporter Justin Albers. So, without further ado, this week’s edition.

12. Northwestern (9-6, 0-2) … The Wildcats found themselves at No. 9 in Alex Bozich’s non-conference edition of these power rankings, but that was before their pathetic showing in the Big Ten opener against Michigan. Sure, they were playing the best team in the conference (oops!) and the No. 2 team in the country, but the Wildcats lost by 28 points on their home floor. Many teams in the Big Ten are dealing with injuries, but it’s clear losing Drew Crawford has hurt Northwestern more than injuries have hurt other teams.

11. Nebraska (9-6, 0-2) … It’s still sort of hard for me to consider the Cornhuskers part of the Big Ten. It just doesn’t seem right. But anyway, it’s going to be another rough season in Lincoln. Nebraska was blown out in its first conference game, losing at Ohio State by 26, and then it fell to Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon. Oh, and next up for the Cornhuskers: a Wednesday night meeting with Michigan.

10. Penn State (8-5, 0-1) … The Nittany Lions, last in Bozich’s earlier power rankings, opened my eyes with a good showing at Wisconsin in their conference opener. When they lost Tim Frazier (ruptured Achilles) for the season, the Nittany Lions were expected to go to the cellar and stay there. But after a respectable nine-point loss at the Kohl Center, maybe Penn State will offer a little more fight than we thought. The Nittany Lions welcome Indiana to town tonight.

9. Purdue (7-7, 1-1) … This is a tough one because of Purdue’s impressive home win against Illinois, but I believe the Boilermakers belong in this spot. They may be a tough out at home this season, but they are absolutely dreadful on the road, something they proved again in an 84-61 loss at Michigan State on Saturday.

8. Iowa (11-4, 0-2) … You could have made the argument the Hawkeyes belong in the No. 9 spot, but after seeing them in person on New Year’s Eve, I believe they are for real. They took a highly-ranked Indiana team right down to the wire and lost by only four points. They will likely struggle on the road this season because of their many freshmen, but which Big Ten team won’t?

7. Wisconsin (11-4, 2-0) … This is a spot Wisconsin figures to remain for a good part of the season. It’s hard to really know what to expect from the Badgers yet. They lost Josh Gasser and that’s significant, but how much will it really hurt them? Wisconsin has yet to play anybody in the conference, beating Penn State and Nebraska to open the Big Ten season. But tests against Illinois and Indiana are coming up.

6. Ohio State (11-3, 1-1) … Maybe the Buckeyes were just a little bit overrated in the preseason. Ohio State got destroyed at Illinois on Saturday, losing by 19 points to a team that had just been upset by Purdue days earlier. It’s still not clear how good the Buckeyes are, but a Jan. 13 home game against Michigan should tell us a lot.

5. Illinois (14-2, 1-1) … Man, what an interesting week for the Fighting Illini. Illinois lost to a bad Purdue team on Wednesday, and then beat up Ohio State on Saturday. Like in previous seasons, it doesn’t appear that Brandon Paul’s game will travel on the road. Luckily for the Illini, two of their next three games are at home.

4. Michigan State (12-3, 1-1) … The thing you can’t help but notice about the Spartans is they continue to get better and better as the season goes along. They were right there and had a chance to win at Minnesota on Monday, but couldn’t quite get it done on the road. But the Spartans responded with a 23-point home win against Purdue. With a fairly young team, don’t be surprised to see Tom Izzo’s club to be near the top come March.

3. Minnesota (14-1, 2-0) … Has there been a more surprising team in the conference thus far? Minnesota is extremely talented, and that talent has fit together well to this point in the season. The Golden Gophers earned an impressive home win against Michigan State and a victory over Northwestern, but they will be tested when they visit Assembly Hall next Saturday. Then again, they did win in Bloomington a year ago with a much less-talented group.

2. Indiana (13-1, 1-0) … The Hoosiers have been off since Monday, but they get back at it tonight at Penn State. Even though their win at Iowa was closer than expected, the Hoosiers escaped with a road victory, something that has proven to be difficult in this conference (See: Illinois, Ohio State). Indiana will face a major test on Saturday when Minnesota visits for a noon game.

1. Michigan (14-0, 1-0) … There’s no doubt about it, Michigan has been the best team in the conference so far. The Wolverines haven’t really been tested, their closest game a five-point win against Pittsburgh in November. They beat the roar out of Northwestern in the conference opener, and then took care of Iowa at home in a 28-point win on Sunday. The Wolverines’ first real test comes next Sunday at Ohio State.

  • SCHoosier

    I really think UM is the top team in the country right now. They match up with Duke very well and have a deeper bench. Burke is Burke..Haradway has his total game back..Robinson is a great freshman…they have the best shooting freshman in that 6-6 Canadian kid and have 10 fouls to give in the post with their two big guys. Gonna take IU’s best effort..even at A-Hall to beat these guys…(unless they have an off day shooting the 3)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.woods.9659 Jordan Woods

    Minnesota was at home against NW

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Ummmm…Minnesota beat Northwestern at home in Williams Arena, not on the road.

  • mrjonessodaandme

    Agreed. I watched both their games this week and all I could think was, ‘Wait, how can there be a team that shoots as well (maybe better) than us?’

    Their middle is the weak-spot. If Zeller can bring it against Michigan, we will have a much better shot at beating them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/geoff.chenoweth Geoff Chenoweth

    Agreed that UM looks really good. But like IU last year, we’ll have to wait and see if their freshman can play big on the road. Remember Cody’s first game at MSU?

    I’m a homer, but good luck at getting a road win at Bloomington. Road wins are going be extremely tough this year in the B1G this year and we’ve got the toughest venue in the nation. I don’t think we truly appreciate how big the win in Iowa was last week.

  • HoosierTrav

    It pains me to say this but Michigan is CLEARLY the team to beat in the B1G this season. We are going to need CWat to max out his potential, Hollowell and or Perea to become much more productive, and Zeller to really demand the ball. I’ve seen some on here saying that if the post entry isnt available theres no need to force it. Obviously that would be true if this were the case. I’m not sure if we’re watching the same games. He will bust his a$$ to fight for position, gain position, ask for the ball, and we will look him off and swing it around the perimeter and throw up a forced three. Burke is a vocal leader and you can see that he demands things from his unit. I cant remember which blue chip recruit said this but it was refreshing to hear. “I work hard for the ball and I EXPECT to get it.” This has to be the mentality that Cody AND Yogi needs to adopt. I noticed Yogi is really starting to become a vocal leader when i read his lips against Iowa. He came into the game and yelled at Sheehey and CWat to “Rebound the damn ball..” I loved that! Every champion has a guy like that and him being our point guard magnifies this trait. I understand that we beat Iowa by 10-15 if Hulls would have been close to his average shooting % and I fully expect to never see that kind of shooting night out of him again. I’m just a worried fan bc I dont see a team that has gotten better as the season has progressed. I’m confident that this team will hit the afterburners at some point and become nearly unbeatable but I’m impatient and I have to deal with a lot of UM fans at work. I want to brag about a conference title. I have a feeling that between UM and IU, if one of us can beat Minnesota twice, that team wins the conference outright. Otherwise i see another 3 way tie between us three. Minnesota’s length and athleticism scares me from a match up stand point.

  • HoosierTrav

    I dont think he is bigger and stronger as much as i think he loves initiating the contact. He’s pesky and thankfully, Cody has the stones and brain to handle this type of player (Meyers Leonard). The biggest difference right now is Michigans freshman are producing in a BIG way. Our freshman, aside from Yogi, arent playing with confidence or to their strengths. When Hollowell starts to play more on the perimeter and Hanner starts to gain that nasty edge/attitude he normally plays with, where he attacks the rim and defenders, we will be the tops in the B1G. I realize that the NCAA has done us ZERO favors in getting these kids acclimated, but it is what it is. I’ve seen Hollowell score at will against certain pros. He plays with a certain swagger and confidence that i just havent seen this year. Once Hanner starts to hate his opponent more than hes trying to figure things out, WATCH OUT! I hate to rely on Frosh in any way but as crazy as this may sound, I truly believe that these two are going to be vital to our success, much like McGary and GR3 are for UM. Yogi and Hanner’s comng out party is against Minnesota on saturday bc we need speed, length, and athleticism. Jordy is going for 20-30 tonight. I’ll be shocked if he doesnt hit 4-6 3′s

  • http://twitter.com/DrewLyon21 Drew Lyon

    It’s a race between Indiana and UM at the moment. Minny and MSU are not far behind and if OSU can figure it’s offense out they’ll be right there as well. In the end though, we have Oladipo and Zeller with a supporting cast of Hulls, Watford, Yogi, Sheehey, Abell, Perea, and Elston. So I’ll take our chances against anybody.

  • http://twitter.com/DrewLyon21 Drew Lyon

    Cody>McGary. And it isn’t even close.

  • Mo

    Wait, are you saying Myers Leonard liked to initiate contact? LOL

  • InTheMtns

    “I have a feeling that between UM and IU, if one of us can beat Minnesota twice, that team wins the conference outright. ”

    Michigan only plays Minny once in the regular season, so two wins over Minnesota won’t be the deciding factor. You may be right about the three-way tie, though. I still like IU for first place with Michigan and Minnesota tied for second; but there is a lot of season left to play and it’s going to be an interesting ride, that’s for sure.

  • jermhoosierfan

    I really want to see how they react to the atmosphere in Columbus this Sunday. That will be their first challange of the year. Ohio State is a very tough place to play as a freshman. I would really like see Stauskas keep up his pace as a freshman going to Ohio St., Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan St., and Bloomington. Welcome to the B1G!!

  • http://www.insidethehall.com firedad

    I agree that UM is #1 as I have watched both UM and Duke a lot this season, and when they are clicking UM is scary good (as are we). But I like our chances, just for the fact they haven’t played an offense as efficient as ours. Granted they score the ball just as good or better, but of what I have watched of them they are not impressive defensively. I think NC State is the best offense they have seen and they had a chance to pull the upset at Ann Arbor. If IU can play tough D, and Zeller plays to the NPOY caliber he is capable of, we have more than a shot up there.

  • CreanFaithful

    If that were the case he would be getting more than 15 min per game. He does pack more weight than Cody though.

  • Cory Robinson

    I think it boils down to BEST atmosphere for home games between the two. IU wins this point!

  • notfargj

    can’t agree more with your statement, “(Zeller) will bust his a$$ to fight for position, gain position, ask for the ball, and we will look him off and swing it around the perimeter and throw up a forced three.”

  • IU_Sweet16:#1-2013!

    My litany from last year, although they’re in a loser conference, was “screw Kentucky”. Now it’s “screw Michigan”. I really don’t pay much attention to any team outside the Big Ten, but I don’t like Duke or Notre Dame (at all). As far as teams outside the Big Ten, I like Butler and Louisville. That’s about it. In the Big Ten it will come down to the Wolverines and the Hoosiers, no doubt. I am not a betting man, but if I were, my $’d be on IU.

  • notfargj

    our last game of the season is against UM in AA. we best have our stuff together by then, can see a possible title showdown.

  • notfargj

    our last game of the season is against UM in AA. we best have our stuff together by then, can see a possible title showdown.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daren-Patrick-Collentine/1498325427 Daren Patrick Collentine

    who is this guy? casual-gamer Reed?

  • CreanFaithful

    LOL! Called out…

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Is that what your crystal ball says Wicken?!

  • jdav_03

    1. Michigan
    2. Indiana
    3. Minnesota
    4. Illinois
    5. Ohio State
    6. Michigan State
    7. Wisconsin
    8. Purdue
    9. Penn State
    10. Iowa
    11. Northwestern

    12. Nebraska

  • calbert40

    A couple points. First, IU has a true road win already. Yes, UM beat NW, but NW is clearly overmatched right now. They have looked terrible twice in conference now. Iowa is a good team, and I bet they only lose 2-3 in Iowa City this season. It is nice to have won a true road test already. It should give us some confidence going forward.

    Secondly, I think UM and IU will eventually start to distance themselves from the league. I think what will be really interesting will be watching spots 3-8 shake out. I think you will see a lot of those teams splitting with one another home and home.

    Like most seasons, it is going to be all about which team travels well.

  • calbert40

    A couple points. First, IU has a true road win already. Yes, UM beat NW, but NW is clearly overmatched right now. They have looked terrible twice in conference now. Iowa is a good team, and I bet they only lose 2-3 in Iowa City this season. It is nice to have won a true road test already. It should give us some confidence going forward.

    Secondly, I think UM and IU will eventually start to distance themselves from the league. I think what will be really interesting will be watching spots 3-8 shake out. I think you will see a lot of those teams splitting with one another home and home.

    Like most seasons, it is going to be all about which team travels well.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    I bet you’re basketball picks are about as accurate as you’re spelling …..Good job STEEV .

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    I think IU is behind schedule a bit due to the suspensions . HP, and PJ obviously didn’t get to develop and their absence hindered Hollowell’s progression as well . We have had the three injuries that haven’t helped either . I think once we get these guys up to speed we will be a lot better . Last year we had that dreadful stretch around this time and it proved to make us a tougher team .
    As far as Michigan goes ,Sure I think they are good , But I really think they have only played one good team in NC State and that was at home and they almost lost it . Everyone else they have played is doodie .Pitt is about to lose their third in a row tomorrow ,and WVU is a paltry 7-6 .

  • mike

    Bottom line, IU’s guards cannot contest shots due to their size. That is IU’s achilles heel. Crean could easily remedy that by returning to a bigger lineup with Oladipo at the 2, but he won’t. And that is really going to hurt IU against MU, MSU, OSU, and Minnesota — all of whom have long, athletic, good-shooting 2-guards who will be ecstatic to see Jordy guarding them.

  • mike

    Bottom line, IU’s guards cannot contest shots due to their size. That is IU’s achilles heel. Crean could easily remedy that by returning to a bigger lineup with Oladipo at the 2, but he won’t. And that is really going to hurt IU against MU, MSU, OSU, and Minnesota — all of whom have long, athletic, good-shooting 2-guards who will be ecstatic to see Jordy guarding them.

  • Ole Man

    OSU has really on one scoring option this year. I expect MI to pull out a tough win on the road there.

  • marcusgresham

    You, Sir, are brilliant.

  • marcusgresham

    …and then they’ll play again a week later on a Sunday afternoon in March in a bigger arena.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Love the icon …. 8 time champions ! ********

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Love the icon …. 8 time champions ! ********

  • MPmike

    What are you a UM Wolverine fan or are you out of your mind?

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