Big Ten Power Rankings: January 27

  • 01/27/2014 11:03 am in

The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back for another week as conference play continues. This week’s rankings feature (once again) a new No. 1 and another set of shake-ups after yet another wild week in conference action.

Check out where each team stands after week four of league play. (Photo credit: Dustin Johnson of

12. Penn State (10-10, 1-6, PPP: .97, PPP Allowed: 1.08) (LAST WEEK: 12) … Well, the Nittany Lions finally won a close game. On Thursday, the Nittany Lions battled a Nebraska team coming off a win at home against Ohio State and held the Cornhuskers to 54 points in a comeback victory at the Bryce Jordan Center. Still, the Nittany Lions are 1-5 in games decided by five points or less this season. (Up next: Jan. 29 at Ohio State, Feb. 2 vs. Purdue)

11. Illinois (13-8, 2-6, PPP: .92, PPP Allowed: 1.02) (LAST WEEK: 9) …  Another two losses for the Fighting Illini put John Groce’s group on a six-game losing streak as of Sunday after starting the Big Ten season 2-0. The Illini boast the conference’s second-worst offensive efficiency and worst effective field goal percentage (40.5), and in their six-game skid, they are averaging only 55.7 points per game. In a league where you need offense to win, Illinois is simply lacking. (Up next: Feb. 1 vs. Iowa) 

10. Northwestern (10-11, 3-5, PPP: .84, PPP Allowed: 1.04) (LAST WEEK: 10) … Put simply, Northwestern is not a team that will contend with the conference’s top dogs, but by no means are the Wildcats the worst in the conference. Despite a putrid offense — the worst in the Big Ten — Chris Collins has built a team that gets its boost from its defense, and it resulted in three wins in four tries (against Illinois, Indiana and Purdue) before Saturday’s 26-point home blowout loss to Iowa. And even in the Iowa game, the Wildcats seemed like a worthy opponent — at least in the opening 20 minutes. (Up next: Jan. 29 at Wisconsin, Feb. 1 at Minnesota)

9. Purdue (13-7, 3-4, PPP: .99, PPP Allowed: 1.02) (LAST WEEK: 7) … Purdue’s slide to No. 9 in this week’s power rankings comes after a 63-60 double overtime loss to Northwestern in which the Boilermakers shot only 21.6 percent on 2-point shots and scored only .83 points per possession. They followed that performance with a 14-point loss at home on Saturday to Wisconsin, a team that had lost three straight. (Up next: Jan. 30 at Michigan, Feb. 2 at Penn State)

8. Nebraska (10-9, 2-5, PPP: .97, PPP Allowed: 1.06) (LAST WEEK: 11) … This was a roller coaster week for the Cornhuskers, but at least it showed there is life in Lincoln, after all. Monday’s six-point win against Ohio State was huge for the Cornhuskers’ confidence, and they backed it up with an 82-78 win over Minnesota on Sunday. But a road loss at Penn State in between is a head-scratcher. Regardless, the Cornhuskers have broken through and finally have reason to be optimistic heading into the rest of the Big Ten season. (Up next: Jan. 30 vs. Indiana)

7. Indiana (13-7, 3-4, PPP: .97, PPP Allowed: 1.0) (LAST WEEK: 8) … After hanging tough on Tuesday at Michigan State, the Hoosiers finally were able to win a game in which they scored less than 60 points in a 56-46 win against Illinois on Sunday. A nice bounce-back week for the Hoosiers, especially after last weekend’s debacle against Northwestern. (Up next: Jan. 30 at Nebraska, Feb. 2 vs. Michigan)

6. Ohio State (16-4, 3-4, PPP: 1.01, PPP Allowed: .97) (LAST WEEK: 5) … Only a few weeks ago, the Buckeyes were No. 1 in our Big Ten Power Rankings, but four straight losses, including one to Nebraska on Monday, have dropped them to No. 6 overall. Finally, on Thursday, they were able to stop the bleeding with a seven-point home win against Illinois, another struggling Big Ten team, by shooting a 50.0 eFG% from the floor. Still, their past three games have seen three of their four lowest scoring outputs of the season. (Up next: Jan. 29 vs. Penn State, Feb. 1 at Wisconsin) 

5. Minnesota (15-6, 4-4, PPP: 1.10, PPP Allowed: 1.11) (LAST WEEK: 6) … The Golden Gophers came away with another big result at home this week with a 13-point victory against Wisconsin, following last week’s 10-point win over Ohio State. Sunday’s loss to Nebraska, though, was the worst of the Gophers’ season, to date. (Up next: Feb. 1 vs. Northwestern)

4. Wisconsin (17-3, 4-3, PPP: 1.17, PPP Allowed: 1.06) (LAST WEEK: 4) … After a 13-point loss at Minnesota on Wednesday, their third straight defeat after starting the season undefeated, the Badgers got back into the win column by handling Purdue at Mackey Arena on Saturday, 72-58. That was after a mini-slump in which they allowed 77.7 points per game. (Up next: Jan. 29 vs. Northwestern, Feb. 1 vs. Ohio State)

3. Iowa (16-4, 5-2, PPP: 1.12, PPP Allowed: .96) (LAST WEEK: 2) … After Wednesday’s eight-point loss at Michigan in which the Hawkeyes didn’t lead once in the second half, Fran McCaffery had his team rebound with a nice 76-50 win over a Northwestern squad that had been allowing 48 points per 40 minutes in its past four games. A win on Tuesday against Michigan State could be big for the Hawkeyes’ confidence moving forward, too, as they look to contend for a Big Ten title. (Up next: Jan. 28 vs. Michigan State, Feb. 1 at Illinois)

2. Michigan State (18-2, 6-1, PPP: 1.11, PPP Allowed: .97) (LAST WEEK: 1) … The Spartans were never able to answer Michigan’s late second-half run on Saturday, as the Wolverines emerged from East Lansing with a win and an unblemished record in Big Ten play. To make matters worse, junior Branden Dawson is out 4-5 weeks after he broke his right hand during a film session, and Adreian Payne still hasn’t returned from his lingering foot injury.  (Up next: Jan. 28 at Iowa, Feb. 1 vs. Georgetown in New York City)

1. Michigan (15-4, 7-0, PPP: 1.19, PPP Allowed: 1.05) (LAST WEEK: 3) … What a week it was for the Wolverines. After closing out Iowa at home on Wednesday, Michigan’s late-game presence and run led the nation’s 20th-least experienced team to a very impressive win in the Breslin Center. John Beilein once again has built a team that can shoot incredibly well, one that is shooting a 58.9 eFG% in conference play, and it has carried the Wolverines to nine straight victories overall. Michigan hasn’t flinched in the big moments this Big Ten season, and because of that, it is again in the mix for a Big Ten championship. (Up next: Jan. 30 vs. Purdue, Feb. 2 at Indiana)

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  • kyle jenkins

    After loosing a guy like burke last year you would think they would decline but once again they bounce back and have a chance at the big ten championship. But like any other team on our conference they CAN lose at Indiana. We are becoming the dark-horse that no one wants to play. Especially when the BIG tourney comes around.

  • Hoosier Hall

    We should* beat Nebraska and then if we can give Michigan their first loss, we could be sitting at 4th or 5th in the conference.

    *See Northwestern home game on 1/18

  • Eastwood88_2

    At Nebraska, Who Beat Minny And Osu, My Guess We Will Be Dogs. We Will Beat Michigan Sunday. Mark It down

  • HoosierPat

    The Nebraska game is definitely one we should win. However, given this team’s recent inconsistencies, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got beat. I’d like to think that they will build off of the Illinois win, but we thought that after the Wisconsin game too. Hopefully we can go get a big road win.

  • HoosierHysteria5

    I’m hoping that our team has learned a valuable lesson from the loss against Northwestern. Hopefully, on Thursday we come out swingin’!

  • N71

    Michigan State with Dawson and Paine healthy are the best Big Ten team. They’ll loose a couple more until those guys are back which will knock them down to a #3 seed and some #1 with a weaker schedule (Wichita State, Arizona, etc.) will catch them in the round of 8 and get run.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Are we favored at Nebraska? I’m guessing the line will be Nebraska by 2 or something.

  • David Macer

    No line yet (per my SportsCenter app). Might start showing up on Wednesday.

  • David Macer

    Burke leaving was addition by subtraction. The surrounding team just picked up like nothing happened. UM only lost two guys to the NBA, while we lost 5 seniors that had been thru the wars. Big difference.

  • Ole Man

    Neb is way tougher than you think.
    They will probably be favored at home.

  • SCHoosier

    aAgree…they should be favorite at home. They want to run..that’s an I U strength..but they can also shoot..obviously NOT a Hoosier strength.

  • Eugene Debs

    Wow, Michigan has really surprised me this year; they also lost a lot of talent.

  • Eugene Debs

    I’m sure Northwestern would lace ’em up against us again.

  • Ole Man

    Youngest team in the B1G.

  • Ole Man

    I posted, but they didn’t “approve” a comment to the fact that MI is rated as the youngest (by experience) team in the B1G this year.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    Maybe we win the BIG in Indy and that turns this season into one we’ll cherish. Crazier things have happened in the world of sports.

  • David Macer

    So true. Someone tried to tell me that Illinois had the youngest team in the B1G.
    Sometimes Burke would take over a game and not include the others. UM suffered when that happened. Sorta like Yogi has done a couple times this year. Crean has pulled him a couple times when he did that. Hopefully, he will let the game come to him instead if forcing it.

  • Ole Man

    It finally was approved. See above. Takes more time; I have to use more patience.
    Great thoughts on Yogi.

  • David Macer

    Not really. Lost Burke and one other to NBA. The loss of Burke was addition by subtraction.

  • Losing the consensus national player of the year is “addition by subtraction”? I think I’ve heard it all now.

  • David Macer

    Alex, sometimes Burke would try to do too much. Not every time, but sometimes. Don’t see that happening with this UM team.

  • Ole Man

    LOL! Thanks for the morning chuckle.

  • SCHoosier

    Really..”not really”. Burke player of the year..and a stand out rookie in the NBA..Hardaway..multi-talented..getting big minutes with the Knicks..and McGary projected All-american ..out with medical problem..yet “they haven’t lost a lot of talent”? Interesting view David.

  • VAHoosier

    I think David’s point makes sense. Really great players can sometimes stunt their team’s development–the teammates can become complacent and wait for the superstar talent to do his thing. If you’ve never perceived that, I’m not sure what to tell you. I’ve seen it with Yogi at IU. And I’d say that PSU has had that “problem” some with Tim Frazier.

    When Crean pulled Yogi during the 2d half of the Wisco game, I thought the TEAM began to move better and just play better team ball. It was a good lesson for Yogi, I hope, and a really smart (and brave) piece of coaching from CTC.

    That said, it’s not always a very bad problem to have, and I’m not sure Burke had those issues. But it happens.

  • Eugene Debs

    There are 300 college teams that wish they had Burke right now. I gotta say “fail” on your analysis.

  • I hate that Michigan is doing so well. This just means that they are going to recruit our territory even better.

  • Hoosierfan2335

    recruiting hasn’t been the problem for IU this year.

  • Hoosierfan2335

    that’s one of the dumbest things i’ve ever seen anyone say haha. IU has burke at point guard last year and we hands down win the championship.