Big Ten Power Rankings: January 14

IUMinnITH0024It was quite the interesting week in the Big Ten, but a week we should probably come to expect going forward given the remarkable depth of the conference. Here are this week’s Power Rankings:

12. Penn State (8-8, 0-4) (LAST WEEK: 10) … No doubt about it, the Nittany Lions are the worst team in the conference right now. They looked like they were steadying themselves after losing Tim Frazier as they entered Big Ten play, but for the most part they haven’t even competed thus far. A 16-point home loss to Northwestern was particularly alarming.

11. Nebraska (9-8, 0-4) (LAST WEEK: 11) … After an ugly 70-44 loss at Ohio State to open the conference season, the Cornhuskers have actually played much better. They lost by only six points against Wisconsin, fell by a respectable 15 at Michigan, and 10 against Michigan State on Sunday. At the end of the day, though, all three are still losses.

10. Northwestern (10-7, 1-3) (LAST WEEK: 12) … The Wildcats did earn a win at Penn State, but it looks like it’s going to be a long season in Evanston. They rely heavily on Reggie Hearn, who just returned from injury, but they really don’t have many other capable scorers. Upcoming games against Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota won’t help much, either.

9. Iowa (12-5, 1-3) (LAST WEEK: 8) … After the showing the Hawkeyes had against Indiana on Dec. 31, we all thought they would be much improved. And while they have looked good at times, they didn’t get their first conference win until Sunday at Northwestern. Iowa let one get away against Michigan State, and got absolutely blasted in the second half at Michigan.

8. Illinois (14-4, 1-3) (LAST WEEK: 5) … It was a disappointing week for the Fighting Illini as they looked much more like they used to under Bruce Weber than they have for much of this season. Illinois wasn’t competitive in games against Minnesota and Wisconsin, losing by 17 and 23 points, respectively. The Illini will have a chance to regain confidence, though, with games against Northwestern and at Nebraska coming next.

7. Purdue (8-8, 2-2) (LAST WEEK: 9) … Are the Boilermakers really better than Illinois? That’s hard to say. What we do know is neither team has been able to win on the road, and Purdue beat Illinois head to head. So, for now, the Boilermakers look like a better team.

6. Michigan State (14-3, 3-1) (LAST WEEK: 4) … Kind of a ho-hum week for the Spartans, and that’s kind of surprising. I expected them to get better and better as the season goes along, and it doesn’t always look like they are. Sure, Iowa is tough at home so any win is good. But a 10-point home win against Nebraska that was close the whole way? Scratching my head.

5. Wisconsin (12-4, 3-0) (LAST WEEK: 7) … Typical Wisconsin team, no? Even though the Badgers don’t have the talent of other teams in the conference, they just keep winning. They haven’t played anybody ahead of them in the power rankings to this point, but that will change when they visit Assembly Hall on Tuesday night.

4. Ohio State (13-3, 3-1) (LAST WEEK: 6) … Huge win for the Buckeyes on Sunday against Michigan, a team I don’t see losing more than two or three games all season. Ohio State certainly has its flaws — Deshaun Thomas shoots too much, for one — but it is an incredibly talented club that should continue to get better.

3. Minnesota (15-2, 3-1) (LAST WEEK: 3) … I think we learned the Golden Gophers are for real in the second half of Saturday’s game at Indiana. They didn’t fold, they just kept fighting, and they almost entirely erased a 23-point halftime deficit. We’ll learn even more about Minnesota when it hosts Michigan on Thursday, but I expect the Gophers to be right in the race for the remainder of the season.

2. Michigan (16-1, 3-1) (LAST WEEK: 1) … Up until Sunday, the Wolverines hadn’t looked the least bit vulnerable. But winning at Ohio State has never been easy, and it certainly wasn’t for even a very complete Michigan team. Now, the Wolverines visit Minnesota on Thursday.

1. Indiana (15-1, 3-0) (LAST WEEK: 2) … You could make the case for either Indiana or Michigan in the top spot, but here’s why I went with the Hoosiers: their second half against Minnesota. They made endless mistakes and didn’t look like the same team as the first half, and yet they still beat a top-10 team. The Hoosiers have already accomplished great things, but they can still get so much better.

  • InTheMtns

    What’sUpKnight — “has crean ever beaten wisc?” — Not at IU, but I think he was 3 and 4 against Wisconsin while at Marquette.

  • MillaRed

    I hear you. Berggren will have a great time selling cars when Cody is starting for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

  • MillaRed

    You’re not kidding. This is Flop University up here. Berggrenn isn’t that bad. But Brian Butch and others were just terrible.

  • Phil

    First of all, I didn’t say we haven’t looked vulnerable. Even still, there are a couple of differences.

    1. Iowa is a better team than Nebraska. Iowa is likely a bubble NCAA tournament team, whereas Nebraska likely won’t make the NIT.

    2. It was a road game for us whereas the Mich game was played in Ann Arbor.

  • HoosierGrad07

    Agreed and it seems pretty clear that Michigan was given the easiest 3 game opening stretch for any B1G team this year. @ Northwestern, vs. Iowa, vs. Neb…wow. Of course they came out of those 3 looking good. It’s not they haven’t looked vulnerable at all this year. They looked pretty vulnerable letting Pitt (who is now 1-3 in the Big East) stay within 5 basically the whole game. And the Neb game is a solid example as well.

    Michigan showed their true colors yesterday. They got down early against good but not great defensive pressure. They went about 4-5 minutes against OSU and only even attempted about 4 shots because of all the turnovers. Then once they had caught back up, they just started jacking up bad 3’s like they would do last year. They may be more talented but they are basically the same Wolverines who lost to Ohio in the tourney last year.

  • HoosierGrad07

    It’s easily the best non-IU game of the week. I’ll take that one over Lville vs Syracuse even. Both teams coming off of a loss and they both will see us move to 4-0 tomorrow so that will add some more fuel to the fire because obviously the loser falls 2 games back of us. I said on a different story last week that Michigan will lose 3 of their next four road games. 1 down and still have Minn, Ill, and IU to go.

  • HoosierGrad07

    It’s easily the best non-IU game of the week. I’ll take that one over Lville vs Syracuse even. Both teams coming off of a loss and they both will see us move to 4-0 tomorrow so that will add some more fuel to the fire because obviously the loser falls 2 games back of us. I said on a different story last week that Michigan will lose 3 of their next four road games. 1 down and still have Minn, Ill, and IU to go.

  • HoosierGrad07

    MSU for some reason loves to run almost as much as we do. And if they’re smart they will change their game plan for Bloomington. But I don’t think they will which is why that could be a decently easy win for us considering how good MSU can be. Teams should want to slow it down but you’re right, they will (stupidly) try to keep running and that’s good for IU.

  • Sdpolley

    My issue with Michigan is that despite having the league leader in assists and a very balanced scoring distribution they’re only around 40th or so in assists per game. For me that points to a selfish basketball team and this proves to be an issue for them in the first half of the Ohio state game because of OSUs overwhelming ball pressure.

  • HoosierGrad07

    umm yeah, you’re right. Dekker can’t handle Oladipo.

  • HoosierGrad07

    So the Cavs are gonna start stockpiling Zellers for the eventual Zeller-arms race? I like it…

  • SCHoosier

    Maybe VO’s ” who to guard issue” will translate into a more aggressive offensive role for Vic. TC used him more in isolation against MN..and I hope he will against whoever tries to guard Vic at WIS. We’ll want to up the pace…but if we take quick shots and don’t play smart..we’ll end up in a low scoring meat grinder..just Bo’s style.

  • SCHoosier

    Maybe VO’s ” who to guard issue” will translate into a more aggressive offensive role for Vic. TC used him more in isolation against MN..and I hope he will against whoever tries to guard Vic at WIS. We’ll want to up the pace…but if we take quick shots and don’t play smart..we’ll end up in a low scoring meat grinder..just Bo’s style.

  • SCHoosier

    We need to pound it in to Cody and take our chances. WIS will try to pull Cody away from the bucket by making Berggren a top of the key threat (which he is)..might open the lanes for some of the other Badgers..so good D needed by everybody. Agree this is not one of WIS’s more formidable teams.

  • SCHoosier

    Hey if Crean thinks Alex Smith can play pro-ball..’ol Berggren might get a shot with somebody cause he can board and shoot..but i “hear what your sayin'”.

  • SCHoosier

    No ..but refs are pretty consistent..u use the non-dribbling arm as a lever and they are gonna call it. I’m not sure Jordy even touched him when he threw his arm out. IU got two of those calls in the first half.

  • IUfanToby

    I’m for Minny as well…..I’m really starting to dislike Michigan and Trey Burke…..he’ll fit right in in the NBA.

  • HoosierGrad07

    I’ll put it this way, if we hit 65 in Columbus we’ll win. That would be 23 below our average. But college sports can have a lot to do with timing, a lot of it will come down to if either team is in a “must win” type situation. IU could be 10-0 going into that game. So does that mean we won’t have the 100% urgency you need on the road? We hope not but perhaps. If we can’t win at Illinois the game before, I think that greatly increases our chances of winning that game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.snyder.92 Doug Snyder

    i agree with your analogy on what it takes to win the Big 10. Better yet, i love the old school reference to Antoine Joubert. I remember the hated Scott Skiles calling Antoine a fat boy ( he was kinda chubby ) during a MSU-UM game.
    Classic!

  • A TRAIN

    ive ranted and thrown things but now i hav calmed down after watching the 2nd half saturday…our boys need more of a killer instinct..our coaches gotta stay out of a zone and utilize yogi more as a press breaker…that said i luv our kids and coaches and i hate wisconsin and there never ending supply of 6 10 honkies that always beat us..its payback time go hoosiers

  • A TRAIN

    ive ranted and thrown things but now i hav calmed down after watching the 2nd half saturday…our boys need more of a killer instinct..our coaches gotta stay out of a zone and utilize yogi more as a press breaker…that said i luv our kids and coaches and i hate wisconsin and there never ending supply of 6 10 honkies that always beat us..its payback time go hoosiers

  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.snyder.92 Doug Snyder

    it’ easy to dump on Bo about his antics. that said, he has one of the best records in the past 15 years in the B10 and is constantly a thorn in the Hoosiers side. how he gets it done with his roster is beyond me.

  • jdav_03

    1. Indiana

    2. Michigan

    3.Minnesota

    4. Ohio State

    5. Michigan State

    6.Illinois

    7.Wisconsin

    8.Purdue

    9.Iowa

    10. Northwestern

    11. Nebraska

    12. Penn State

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    I don’t think Michigan is as good as they have been ranked . They don’t really have any big men and they’re youth will hinder them in the tough games as we saw on Sunday . I doubt I was the only one that picked the Buckeyes in that one . I was impressed with the way Wisconsin played though . They still have them big corn fed white boys down low .

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbspoonemore David Bradley Spoonemore

    We only played Wisc. once last yr, on the road. Only play them once this yr , at HOME!!

  • unclekerfuffle

    The last time I saw Joubert play at AH my wife and I had court level seats at the north end. Joubert was getting reading to shoot free throws right in front of us when, for some reason, the crowd went dead silent for maybe three seconds as he stepped to the line. In that moment a guy a couple of seats behind me stood up and screamed, “Hey, Joubert, why don’t you transfer to IU so Knight can cut your a$$.” It echoed throughout the hall and everyone laughed uncontrollably. Unfortunately, AJ sunk both the free throws.

  • Ole Man

    I thought we only played them up there last year. Our only home defeat last year was to MI.

  • InTheMtns

    That’s right, but we also played them last year in the B1G tournament.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t know that Minnesota will win (although I think they will,) but their front line should give Michigan fits.

  • marcusgresham

    In the mid-90s we had the D-II POY, Chris Bowles. He ended up playing pro ball in South America and Joubert was one of his teammates.

  • marcusgresham

    I thought Michigan St. was in trouble when Dawson went down. I didn’t expect to see him on the floor again this season because I thought his knee was gone. Glad the kid’s OK, but I didn’t want to watch the replay a 2nd time.

  • HoosierTrav

    Played them in the B1G tourney. Remember the guy who barely ever played scoring 40 on us? That’s how I remember that game, although I forgot the players name a day or Te’o after it happened.

  • marcusgresham

    I hope to see Cody take Berggren outside and drive around him like he did Saturday. He may have to show that he can knock down a 15-17 footer to draw him away from the paint.

  • marcusgresham

    I hope he does because the free throw shooting won’t be what it was Saturday.

  • marcusgresham

    If there’s no particular person for Vic to guard then put him on the point guard and let him force the issue.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t know that anyone has a mental edge against Zeller.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t know that anyone has a mental edge against Zeller.

  • marcusgresham

    Cleveland Cavazellers

  • marcusgresham

    If he wants to go out there let Watford guard him.

  • marcusgresham

    The first two fouls were legit but sooner or later a ref is going to call a guy for an offensive foul when he jumps into the defender. I don’t know how you fall for that as an official.

  • marcusgresham

    Whomever guards Stauskas needs to have direct instruction that “you don’t leave him, no matter what. I don’t care who is driving down the lane.”

  • Bball Papaw

    I consider Michigans front line extremely soft in comparison to the Hoosiers or Minny. Michigan doesnt have the frontline needed to make a deep run into the tournament. I consider IU much more of a threat in the tournament than Michigan. You have to have great balance to go deep in the tournament and Michigan is simply too thin up front. I see them getting their butts kicked in Minnesota Thursday night and here on College Game Day as well. I do beleive they will beat Illinois as the Illini have been figured out!

  • marcusgresham

    Illinois basically plays like Michigan but doesn’t shoot as well (usually.)

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