A delayed version of the Big Ten power rankings this week. We’ve waited long enough — and more importantly, we’ve made you wait long enough, so let’s just dive right in, shall we?
Inside the Hall Big Ten power rankings: Week 8
The CBI is On Line 11. Indiana – NR; 12-14, 3-10; 33 total points
Christian Watford is back, though he’s not going to be 100 percent through the rest of the season. Indiana needs his aggression to be all there, however, with an even chance at grabbing at least a spot in the CBI with a couple more wins.
The Because We Beat No. 11 No. 10: Iowa – NR; 10-15, 3-10; 30 total points
There’s really no other reason for Iowa to be here. Consider that if you take away the two wins against IU, the Hawkeyes are basically atrocious. But we won’t, because the Inside the Hall rankings are too nice. We also have a soft spot in the old heart-ski for Melsahn Basabe.
The We Weren’t Moving In This Direction Before No. 9. Northwestern – NR; 14-10, 4-9; 27 total points
Northwestern had better make the most of its next two games (home to Iowa, at Indiana). After that, the sledding to win another game could get tough. Bill Carmody has an NIT appearance reputation to protect, daggum!
The In Its Rightful Place No. 8. Penn State – NR; 13-11, 6-7; 22 total points
One of the lowest point totals we’ve ever had at No. 8. The Nittany Lions are an exercise in proving the theory that you can’t just sail through your non-conference. Chalk back a home loss to Maine and Penn State is feeling a lot better about its NIT chances than it does right now.
The Some Sweet Day We’ll Be in the Tourney No. 7. Michigan State – Still NR anymore; 14-11, 6-7; 21 total points
Everyone kept waiting for the Spartans to right their own ship. After losing two of their last three (at Wisconsin, at Ohio State) to the conference elite of which they were supposed to be one, perhaps it’s time to recognize that this just isn’t Tom Izzo’s best crew. As it is, everything is a must-win from here on.
The John Beilein Memorial No. 6. Michigan – NR; 16-10, 6-7; 17 total points
Instead of me writing something insightful (unlikely) or hilariously funny (even more unlikely), I would simply ask you to read this incredible story by Mike Rothstein from AnnArbor.com. Thanks.
The Bruce Weber Memorial No. 5. Illinois (tie) – NR; 16-9, 6-6; 15 total points
Does Illinois deserve to be No. 5? Probably not. Does anybody else? Oh no. The Illini won their first three Big Ten games this season. They promptly lost six of their next nine. Never did a team need to beat Michigan, Iowa and Indiana at home in a worse way. And we’re not even sure that’s enough to impress the committee.
The How Far Has the Big Ten Fallen No. 5 Minnesota (tie) – Receiving votes in both polls; 17-8, 6-7; 15 total points
The weekly Big Ten press release is kind to point out that the Big Ten has as many teams (3) in the country’s top 11 as any conference in the country. What it neglects to mention is that those three teams, which coincidentally make up Nos. 1-3 in this poll, are the ONLY three teams left in the Top 25. Minnesota ain’t one of ’em, just like Illinois or Michigan State. Oof.
The D.J. Byrd Memorial No. 3. Purdue – Consensus No. 11; 20-5, 9-3; 8 total points
The home tilt with Wisconsin that’s going on as we type is crucial in the battle for the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament next month. Still, without an obvious option behind E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, it’s hard to see Purdue getting past the Sweet Sixteen without a sympathetic road leading there.
The Jordan Taylor Memorial No. 2. Wisconsin – Unanimous No. 10; 19-5, 9-3; 7 total points
His system might not be exciting, nor is his recruiting. Bo Ryan might not blow your mind, and he might not light up every NCAA Tournament in which he plays. But nobody — and we do mean nobody — beats Bo at home.
The not-so-unanimous No. 1. Ohio State – No. 2 AP/No. 3 Coaches; 25-1, 12-1; 3 total points
Ah, all good things must end. But it is concerning, even in Madison, that a team that wants the world to believe it has national title credentials could so easily surrender a 15-point lead. Just sayin’.