Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 8

  • 02/13/2012 11:31 am in

Michigan State is heading in one direction and Illinois is going the opposite way. After the Spartans upset Ohio State in Columbus, we have a shake-up at the top of this week’s power rankings. The bottom also looks different as the Fighting Illini continue to fall out of the race.

Here is the eighth edition of Inside The Hall’s Big Ten power rankings.

12. Nebraska (11-13, 3-10) (LAST WEEK: 11)…It’s beginning to look like the Cornhuskers are running out of steam in their first season in the Big Ten. After beating Iowa on Jan. 26, Nebraska has lost four straight — three of which came against teams in the bottom half of the conference (Northwestern, Minnesota and Penn State).

11. Penn State (11-15, 3-10) (LAST WEEK: 12)…A home win against Nebraska gets the Nittany Lions out of the bottom spot for the first time in weeks.

10. Illinois (16-9, 5-7) (LAST WEEK: 6)…The free fall continues for the Illini after losses at Indiana and Michigan. Illinois has lost six of seven, including defeats to Penn State, Minnesota and Northwestern. Bruce Weber will likely be on his way out if the Illini don’t turn it around in a hurry.

9. Minnesota (17-8, 5-7) (LAST WEEK: 9)…An overtime loss to Wisconsin is usually nothing to be ashamed of, but the Golden Gophers really needed that one to improve their chances of making the NCAA tournament. Given the strength of their remaining schedule, the Gophers might not win again until the season finale against Nebraska.

8. Iowa (13-12, 5-7) (LAST WEEK: 8)…An 83-64 loss at Northwestern last week was the fifth time this season the Hawkeyes have given up at least 80 points on the road. They haven’t given up that many points on any occasion at home.

7. Northwestern (15-9, 5-7) (LAST WEEK: 10)…The Wildcats followed up a win at Illinois with a pretty impressive showing against Iowa, but couldn’t quite steal one at Purdue. Northwestern is still in the thick of it, though, with a few winnable games remaining on the schedule.

6. Purdue (16-9, 6-6) (LAST WEEK: 7)…It just seems like the Boilermakers belong in this spot. Why? Because they are perhaps the perfect definition of an average team. They are good enough to beat the teams in the bottom half of the conference, but not the league’s top five teams. The way this season has gone, I expect Purdue to finish 9-9 and be right on the tournament bubble.

5. Indiana (19-6, 7-6) (LAST WEEK: 5)…The Hoosiers seem to have righted the ship after a tough start at Michigan. Now, Tom Crean faces the challenge of keeping his team sharp with nearly a week in between games.

4. Wisconsin (19-6, 8-4) (LAST WEEK: 4)…They earned a big road win at Minnesota, but the Badgers still have to go on the road to play Michigan State and Ohio State.

3. Michigan (19-7, 9-4) (LAST WEEK: 3)…The Wolverines played two struggling teams last week, but they took care of business and did what they were expected to do. Can the Wolverines take out Ohio State at home like they did Michigan State?

2. Ohio State (21-4, 9-3) (LAST WEEK: 1)…The Buckeyes had close calls against Wisconsin and Purdue, and then got beat by Michigan State at home. When they go to East Lansing for the season finale, a conference title could be very much up for stake.

1. Michigan State (20-5, 9-3) (LAST WEEK: 2)…After a loss at Illinois, the Spartans are suddenly the conference’s hottest team. They’ve won three straight, including victories against Ohio State and Michigan. Tom Izzo’s team looks poised to make another run late into March.

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  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Man, we are realistically very close to being 23-2 and 11-2 in the conference.  Coulda woulda shoulda I know.  Nebraska and Minnesota losses should have never happened, but Michigan and Wisconsin were a couple key plays away from turning around and becoming W’s on the road.  Still in good shape and the season has been great fun.  Go IU!!!

  • MillaRed

    The first thing that sticks out here is the overall records. MSU and OSU are top 8 teams in the country and they have only a few more wins than IU despite our non-conf schedule of KY, NCST, ND etc.

    These top 5 B1G teams can beat each other on any given day.

  • rgd213

    Was just thinking…I hope Mich St wins till the 28th ….Then maybe the Hoosiers would have a shot at beating #1.#2 and a #3 Mich St…lol

  • IULaw79

    Does anyone know tiebreakers for B1G tourney seeding?  Just playing around with some scenarios, I could see a 3 way tie (or any combo of 2 way ties) between Wisconsin, Michigan, and our Hoosiers for the 3-4-5 seeds.  3 and 4 seed get the Thursday bye, 5 seed has to play Nebraska or Penn State for the right to play the 4 seed on Friday.

    I have a feeling we’ll get screwed by the unbalanced schedule loss to Wisconsin without the return game in Bloomington…but our split with Michigan, who beat Wisconsin in their only matchup could alter that (especially if 3 way tie).

  • IULaw79

    nevermind, i found it.  If we end up in a 3 way tie, we are screwed based on winning percentage between the 3 teams (we are 1-2, Wisc 1-1, UM 2-1).

  • Walt

    Pardon the swagger, picking it up from my favorite bb team IU!  The key to all this prognasticating is just do it…WIN.

  • Recker777

    I would say we more then likely finish 5th and play #12 in the big ten tourney. A win could setup a matchup with Wisconsin which I would love to have. I think we take them by 10 or 12 in a rematch. Plus it would be fun to play on the weekend in the big ten tourney since we usually are pretty crappy and lose the first game.

  • walton

    cannot deny improvement from a year ago

  • CreamandCrimson

    Michigan State was very impressive at Ohio State.  Sullinger was awful (ten turnovers for a big man?!) and was clearly frustrated by the collapsing double teams and rotating big bodies MSU threw at him.  Combine that with a very bad shooting day for the Buckeyes and it was a convincing win for MSU. 

    I am not sure what Iowa did to move up to number 8 in these rankings.  It doesn’t really matter but I don’t see why getting blasted by Northwestern moves you up one spot.  In my opinion, the Big Ten gets seven teams into the tournament.  Hope IU is sharp on Wednesday because NW needs that game in the worst way and if you aren’t paying attention and you aren’t on your game, they will slice you to death.

  • JerryCT

     How right you are. NU is my favorite offense to watch most of the time because:

    + it is rare to see a player take more than 3 dribbles before passing

    + first pass comes quickly once past half court and they get into the offense w no delay

    + hard cuts, screens, passes, drives, 3 pt shots …….. makes you dizzy

    + zone trap defense beyond the 3 pt line can create havoc and offense

    We will have to work on defense every second of every possession on every man.

    Also I do not see why Roth vs Pritchard was 6th man of the game against IL. He set 7-8 screens in about 10 minutes netting at least 5 pts from VO and Hulls and we got stops on 50% of IL possessions.

  • Drewp1

    I would like to play Nebraska again, along with Wisconsin. I dont like the bye’s. Too many bad Colts memories.

  • Drewp1

    Also, it seems like one of the teams in the finals, always plays all the games.

  • 888

    I think were gonna do really good in the BIG tournament this year. Its a neutral court and we got alot of good shooters. OSU and MSU are tough but beatable outside their own gyms. I think the BIG as a whole will have a great year in THE tournament. Beating the crap out of eachother all year is gonna pay off when it matters most. How huge was that Minny and Nebraska loss now. Wed be 1 game out of first with MSU coming here and OSU going to Michigan. It couldve been ours.

  • Outoftheloop

    The polls are out, Indiana is now 18 in the AP and 20 in ESPN. UNLV 11/11, San Diego St 13/15, FL 14/12, Murray St 16/14, Louisville
    19/18, and St Mary’s 21/16 are seriously over-ranked. Indiana is 4-4
    against the top 25 with one more home game against #7 to get a win and
    go 5-4 in the regular season. None of the teams that I mentioned have a
    comparable record. IU, WI, MI should be ranked in order of their B1G standings. But MI drew the short straw compared with WI. Not sure how that works, they are about as even as you can be. The last games in the B1G even out the strength of schedule and IU can tie MI and/or WI for 3rd or 4th place in the B1G, which will be huge in the B1G Tourney seeding. GO IU!

  • SCHoosier

    On any neutral court I like our chances against both WIS and UM..OSU..we have a chance..MSU..Izzo is sooo good at planning a defense..crashing the boards ..making teams play their game..and generally making life miserable for everybody. But right now..I want to make sure we can handle NW at home (Shurna is a stud) at Iowa..beat the Pukes a second time..and take our chances against MN and MSU..

  • cooper

    Seems like a typical Izzo team that no one considered early and will make the final four

  • GaHoosier

    Two things I noticed during the OSU vs Mich St:

    First: Izzo always reminds me why he is a great coach. His game plan against OSU was awesome. He always gets the most out of his players…I’m just glad CTC learned from him.

    Second: Dakich was announcing the game and Ted V. made a horrible foul call (we are used to that), but Dakich said, “that’s just Teddy V. reminding everyone that he is one of the refs!”. Awesome statement from Dakich!

  • GaHoosier

    Because Coach Izzo is a great coach!

    That is one Big Ten team that I actually cheer for during the big dance! I never cheer for OSU, Illinois, Michigan, or PUke!

  • Ohio St is one of the dumbest BB top ten teams I have seen in a long time. They have little game sense and that was one of the reasons they lost a close one in Assembly. MSU on the other hand is smart defensive team. UM is just so inconsistent that I think they have 2 or 3 losses left in them. UW is just so tough that it is hard to pull away from them, but they too have at least 2 losses left. There in lies IU’s opportunity. They must win at least the two on the road to kill that cliche even though they would be 4-5 in conference in doing so….how the F#@b3e6041d3d06d60204a8e12ca8cec846:disqus % did they lose in Nebraska?

  • jaywiz

    That is what I have been saying!!!  IU will beat UW in a rematch, and they wont underestimate NU again. Get a nice little run going into one of the big boys,

  • Hoos13rs

    I think most likely we can finish tied with Wisc but they would win based on head to head

  • hoosierodi

    Norte dame is ranked now too if that counts as a ranked win.

  • Kennydescombes

    Has anyone else caught any Michigan games recently?  Sure they are playing pretty well of late, but is it just me or do they get away with more fouls than any other team in the big 10?  It seems to me that their PG habitually extends his off arm to create space from the defender almost everytime he has the ball.  They seem to get a lot of tie balls after grabbing defenders arms.  However, they do seem to be able to get away with it or late, but come NCAA tourney time, they will be whinning about the refs when they are in foul trouble and out in the first round to a team they could beat.  Has anyone else noticed this?

  • Kennydescombes

    I find it to be very interesting and possibly about time that Illinois is mentioned above as possibly being on a stretch run that ends Bruce Weber’s tenure at Illinois.  Talk about underachieving at Illinois since the days of Deron Williams, (but he couldn’t win a title with that team either) possibly for an entire tenure for the Weber lead Allini.  This could seriously open up the Chicago/Peoria/Illinois recruiting grounds for Indiana and Crean over the next few years.  I am excited and find myself with some serious motivation to root against Illinois the rest of the way!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Not to mention it’s a neutral court where IU has a slight home court advantage.  I know I’ve been to a couple B1G tourney games in Indy and it was a very pro-IU crowd!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    But IU has played MSU really tough even at their place the last couple years.  I think it’s a decent match up.  Well, honestly, I think IU matches up with really any team this year because they have more balance than in the past. 

    That’s nice.