Big Ten Power Rankings: February 17

  • 02/17/2014 9:37 am in

(Photo credit: Scott Mapes,

The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back for another week as we head towards the final stretch of conference play. This week’s rankings feature more shake-ups after another set of shocking results in what has been — to say the least — an exciting Big Ten season.

Without further ado, check out where each team stands after week seven of league play: 

12. Illinois (14-12, 3-10, PPP: .93, PPP Allowed: 1.03) (LAST WEEK: 11) …  Against teams not named Indiana or Penn State this season, Illinois has struggled immensely, going a combined 0-9 against the rest of the Big Ten. That included two losses this past week to Nebraska and Ohio State. Illinois’s 13-2 start to the season is long in the past, as John Groce’s team ranks last in the Big Ten standings with just five games to go and is floundering to the finish with the league’s second-worst offense. (Up next: Feb. 19 at Minnesota) 

11. Indiana (14-11, 4-8, PPP: .97, PPP Allowed: 1.01) (LAST WEEK: 9) … This past week might have been the most tumultuous in the Tom Crean era, which included an 11-point collapse to Penn State in the final 2:26 of the game, the arrest of sophomore Hanner Mosquera-Perea and an 18-point blowout defeat at the hands of rival Purdue. Earlier in the season, plenty were talking about how tough of an out the Hoosiers might be as the season went on. Instead, the Hoosiers have regressed, now on a three-game losing streak and losers of four of their past five. (Up next: Feb. 18 vs. Iowa, Feb. 22 at Northwestern)

10. Penn State (13-13, 4-9, PPP: 1.0, PPP Allowed: 1.08) (LAST WEEK: 12) … For the second time in the past three weeks, the Nittany Lions prevailed after what seemed an insurmountable deficit (first at Ohio State), winning by one at Indiana, 66-65, after trailing, 64-53, with less than three minutes to go. Pat Chambers has his team fighting to the final buzzer, and its four wins show continued improvement as the season has gone on. (Up next: Feb. 20 at Nebraska)

9. Northwestern (12-14, 5-8, PPP: .88, PPP Allowed: 1.02) (LAST WEEK: 6) … Well, Northwestern’s run was fun while it lasted. After losses this past week to Michigan State and Minnesota — including an 85-70 defeat to the Spartans — the Wildcats have dropped three straight and still have another tough battle ahead at Ohio State this Wednesday. After that, though, the Wildcats’ remaining opponents have a combined 19-30 Big Ten record, which will give Chris Collins’ squad a fighting chance at a .500 conference record. (Up next: Feb. 19 at Ohio State, Feb. 22 vs. Indiana)

8. Purdue (15-10, 5-7, PPP: .99, PPP Allowed: 1.03) (LAST WEEK: 10) … The Boilermakers’ victory over Indiana on Saturday was extremely impressive, as they got off to an early lead, went on a 19-1 run to close the first half and start to the second half and then cruised to their first victory over the Hoosiers since Feb. 23, 2011. In that game, the Boilermakers scored 1.15 points per possession, their best output in a Big Ten game this season, as their offense finally got into the flow coach Matt Painter has been looking for all season. (Up next: Feb. 20 vs. Michigan State, Feb. 23 at Nebraska)

7. Minnesota (17-9, 6-7, PPP: 1.06, PPP Allowed: 1.07) (LAST WEEK: 7) … The Golden Gophers’ results this past week were inconsistent but expected, as they lost by eight on Thursday at Wisconsin in a 78-70 game and then battled through at Northwestern for a 54-48 win on Sunday. To capitalize on the inconsistency point: Minnesota allowed 1.18 points per possession to the Badgers but just 0.81 to the Wildcats, as Richard Pitino’s squad stays on the bubble with about a month to go until Selection Sunday. (Up next: Feb. 19 vs. Illinois, Feb. 22 at Ohio State)

6. Nebraska (14-10, 6-6, PPP: .96, PPP Allowed: 1.02) (LAST WEEK: 8) … What a win Nebraska had on Sunday. The Cornhuskers had no business going into East Lansing and emerging with a victory, but that is exactly what Tim Miles’ squad did in a 60-51 victory. Only nine days ago, the Cornhuskers had yet to win a single road game this season. But Sunday’s win is their second on the road and a signature one, as they gave the Spartans their third home loss this season. And don’t look now, but Nebraska has won six of its past eight games and has only one remaining opponent ranked in the top 70 of the rankings. (Up next: Feb. 20 vs. Penn State, Feb. 23 vs. Purdue)

5. Ohio State (20-6, 7-6, PPP: 1.02, PPP Allowed: .97) (LAST WEEK: 4) … The Buckeyes had a great opportunity this past Tuesday to  beat rival Michigan at home and stuck with the Wolverines for much of the game. That is, until John Beilein’s squad pulled away late and left the Buckeyes without a win against “that team up north.” It was a tough loss that stalled the Buckeyes’ surge of late, but Saturday’s win at Illinois was one that kept any snowballing, something that might have affected them earlier this season, from happening. (Up next: Feb. 11 vs. Michigan, Feb. 15 at Illinois) 

4. Iowa (19-6, 8-4, PPP: 1.13, PPP Allowed: 1.0) (LAST WEEK: 3) … There wasn’t much of an opportunity for the Hawkeyes to make a statement this past week, but they did take care of business on Saturday in State College. The Hawkeyes are only a game back in the race for the Big Ten title, and a battle with Wisconsin on Saturday is one that plenty should be looking forward to. (Up next: Feb. 18 at Indiana, Feb. 22 vs. Wisconsin)

3. Michigan State (21-5, 10-3, PPP: 1.10, PPP Allowed: .98) (LAST WEEK: 1) … Well, Keith Appling returned to action on Sunday but it wasn’t enough in a nine-point, home loss to Nebraska. A Nebraska team that was 13-10 this season before Sunday’s win. It’s a bad loss for a Spartans squad that had the opportunity to take the outright Big Ten lead, and after starting the season 18-1, they have now gone 3-4 in their past seven games. (Up next: Feb. 20 at Purdue, Feb. 23 at Michigan)

2. Wisconsin (21-5, 8-5, PPP: 1.12, PPP Allowed: 1.04) (LAST WEEK: 5) … There isn’t much of an argument against it: Wisconsin is the hottest team in the Big Ten, at the moment. And Sunday’s 13-point win in Ann Arbor is proof of that, as the Badgers won their fourth straight game and became just the second team this season to beat the Wolverines in the Crisler Center. There was a stretch this season in which Bo Ryan’s squad lost five of six, but it seems that turmoil is over and the Badgers are back to their winning ways. (Up next: Feb. 22 at Iowa)

1. Michigan (18-7, 10-3, PPP: 1.15, PPP Allowed: 1.07) (LAST WEEK: 2) … Tuesday’s win in Columbus showed what this Michigan squad is capable of, as John Beilein’s team stepped up when it needed to and willed its way to a 70-60 win over the Buckeyes. But on Sunday, the Wolverines lost by 13 at home to a streaking Wisconsin squad, epitomizing the ups-and-downs this young Wolverines squad has dealt with in February. But here the Wolverines are, tied for first in the league, and with five games remaining could very possibly wind up as Big Ten champions. (Up next: Feb. 23 vs. Michigan State)

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