Big Ten Power Rankings: January 22

  • 01/22/2013 9:00 am in

012212yWe’re a day late this week because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, but ITH’s Big Ten Power Rankings are back for the third week. These always get harder and harder to come up with as we get deeper into the conference season, but as always, I did my best. Here is this week’s edition.

12. Penn State (8-10, 0-6) (LAST WEEK: 12) … You can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for the Nittany Lions. They’ve hung tough of late — they lost to Michigan State by nine points and Nebraska by four points this week — but they haven’t been able to secure a Big Ten win without star guard Tim Frazier. And a win’s not coming this week either with Indiana and Ohio State next on the schedule.

11. Nebraska (10-9, 1-5) (LAST WEEK: 11) … Nebraska hasn’t had a ton of success since joining the Big Ten, but it finally earned a win at Penn State on Saturday. Now, the Cornhuskers have very winnable home games against Illinois and Northwestern.

10. Illinois (14-5, 1-4) (LAST WEEK: 8) … Like usual, the Fighting Illini are falling down these rankings by the week. They looked so good in the non-conference season after winning the Maui Invitational and at Gonzaga, but they have lost some head scratchers, including a 14-point home loss to Northwestern on Thursday.

9. Northwestern (11-8, 2-4) (LAST WEEK: 10) … A small jump for the Wildcats this week after a nice road win at Illinois. They also looked fairly good in the second half against Indiana on Sunday, but the Hoosiers have struggled late in games in several of their recent contests. But Reggie Hearn has proven he’s a capable player, and Northwestern should win a few more conference games.

8. Purdue (10-8, 3-2) (LAST WEEK: 7) … The Boilermakers had a good week. They won at Nebraska and throttled West Virginia of the Big 12, but they dropped a spot in the power rankings. Why? Well, it’s not so much about what they didn’t do as it is about what Iowa did. At this point, I feel the Hawkeyes are a better team.

7. Iowa (13-5, 2-3) (LAST WEEK: 9) … It took them a few games, but it looks like the Hawkeyes are getting comfortable in conference play. After losing three straight games to start the Big Ten season, Iowa has rattled off two straight, including an impressive 70-66 home win against Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes now have to go on the road for two straight against Ohio State and Purdue.

6. Minnesota (15-3, 3-2) (LAST WEEK: 3) … Look, Minnesota is really good, and the Golden Gophers have a chance to be there at the end, especially if Andre Hollins stays out of foul trouble. But look at their Big Ten wins: Michigan State at home, Northwestern at home and at Illinois. The Illinois one doesn’t look all that impressive anymore. Minnesota made a good second-half push against Michigan, but it looks like the Golden Gophers are just a step below elite at this point.

5. Ohio State (13-4, 3-2) (LAST WEEK: 4) … Certainly a three-point loss at Michigan State isn’t bad, but here are the facts. The Buckeyes are just 1-4 against teams in the top 25 this season and 1-3 away from home. Those numbers are going to have to improve if they are going to compete for a Big Ten title.

4. Wisconsin (13-5, 4-1) (LAST WEEK: 5) … It was probably unfair to expect the Badgers to win both games on the road last week, but I just don’t see Wisconsin being at the top of the conference standings at the end. They clearly have Indiana’s number, and we saw that last Tuesday night, but I don’t believe Wisconsin has the talent to remain in the Big Ten race.

3. Michigan State (16-3, 5-1) (LAST WEEK: 6) … It was a good week for the Spartans, a team that currently sits atop the Big Ten standings. They won at Penn State and pulled out a home victory against Ohio State, and they have now won five consecutive conference games after losing at Minnesota in the Big Ten opener. We should learn a lot about the Spartans this week after they travel to Wisconsin and Indiana.

2. Indiana (16-2, 4-1) (LAST WEEK: 1) … The Hoosiers haven’t looked much like the team rated No. 1 in the preseason, especially in the second halves of games. They let Northwestern hang around for far too long on Sunday, and they still couldn’t solve Wisconsin earlier in the week. But Indiana remains one of the most talented teams in the country, and home games against Penn State and Michigan State should give the Hoosiers an opportunity to solve some problems.

1. Michigan (17-1, 4-1) (LAST WEEK: 2) … The Wolverines’ win at Minnesota was incredibly impressive, especially since it came right after a disappointing loss to Ohio State. When the Wolverines are making outside shots, there is not a team in the country that can beat them.

(Photo credit: Dustin Johnson/


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  • b_side

    C’mon Arch, how many NBA caliber players does Butler have? We have a lottery pick and a potential first rounder. Just because Smith outplayed Cody in one game, doesn’t mean Smith is the more talented player overall.

    Butler, as a team, is greater than the sum of its parts – hence a major reason why they can knock off a team like Gonzaga without the services of Rotnei. Would they have done so at the Zags’ arena? If I were a betting man, money would be on the home team, but that’s a different story.

    I think what BBB is trying to say is that there is a difference between having talent (McD’s recruits, NBA level draft picks, etc.) vs. a team like Butler which is devoid of 5-star recruits and relies more on toughness (mental and physical), discipline and above all, their experience.

  • b_side

    Newt is referring to the fact that many visitors felt winning banner #6 this year was a foregone conclusion. I agree with his observation.

  • b_side

    Half of the Movement lost 9 games – probably the most important games they could have played in from a development standpoint. Jeremy lost 3 games after he was starting to find a little offensive rhythm.

    Do we even need to defend Yogi? The guy is a top 15 freshmen in the nation, playing lockdown defense (when many suspected he would have a bigger learning curve) and is leading one of the best offenses in the nation. Relax, the future is bright.

  • In response to you other question, if I were to rank the conference based on who’d win head to head on a purely neutral court, I’d say #1 UM, then #2 is a 5-way tie between IU, MSU, Minny, WI, and OSU. Meaning, out of the 20 possible match ups between the 5 teams (sorry if my math is wrong), and I HAD to bet on any one game (no point spread), and my choices are either to bet $1,000 on a winner or give away $100 and not be forced to bet $1k, I’d choose to just throw away $100 (this is just involving the 5 teams in my tie for 2nd place. UM is not involved in this hypothetical betting pool). That’s why I’d lump 5 teams into a tie going by who I think will win in head to head competition based on their current body of work (not based on their potential).

  • shknqk

    We were number one bc we had 86% of one of the best offenses in the league returning, to be complemented by yogi, a pure pg, to make it run.

    Ps – don’t volunteer for the suicide hotline.

  • CreanFaithful

    Bad shots? Remy takes it to the hole and shoots 3s on kick outs… I can’t think of many forced shots on his behalf…

    He hit an unbelievable percentage in the beginning of the year and people were calling for more shots. But he didn’t take them. Remy plays within himself. Now he has struggled for a few games and he’s taking “bad shots”…

  • PDXHoosier

    I was really hoping to be undefeated in B1G play through the first 6 games since our schedule is so back-loaded. I still expect a bad loss on the road at some point. So we need to win a couple tough ones we shouldn’t.

  • shknqk

    Alex, what is the record for negative /downer clicks? This seems like it could compete. The fan base is fraying under pressure

  • shknqk

    Alex, what is the record for negative /downer clicks? This seems like it could compete. The fan base is fraying under pressure

  • If Hulls don’t start playing like a senior leader we will end up about 6th in the big ten

  • mike

    I think WatchingYogi_atYogis is so full of EMOTION that he cannot think straight. Or maybe he ust needs to sober up before he writes here.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    You got it Mike. Your brilliant coach Bo Ryan lost again last night though. Does it mean my “power ranking” was more accurate when the results of less than 24 hours later seem to vindicate it? It’s pretty clear just one day later that having IU any lower than 3 was just wrong.

  • marcusgresham

    That’s the thing with percentages–they’re percentages. Start hot you’re probably going to have a low point that brings your percentage back to where it belongs if you continue to shoot long enough.