Big Ten power rankings

7 comments by   |   Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 9:18 am EDT

1. WISCONSIN BADGERS (15-0, 2-0)
Badgers are being Badgers, and that means racking up the wins regardless of style points. No reason to think that changes any time soon, as their next real test comes against Ohio State on Feb. 1. In addition to the veterans, freshman Nigel Hayes is coming on strong, winning the most recent Big Ten Freshman of the Week award.

It’s taken most of the season for the Spartans to find their stride, but they are as healthy as they’ve been since the season opener and are now playing better. Depth continues to be an issue, but the trio of Adreian Payne, Gary Harris and Keith Appling are a matchup nightmare.

3. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (15-1, 2-1)
Buckeyes are the No. 1 team in the Big Ten in scoring defense and second in field goal percentage defense, and that’s their meal ticket. A solid nine-man rotation provides a worthy supporting cast for Aaron Craft, LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith. Despite the perfect mark, OSU’s best basketball may still lie ahead.

4. IOWA HAWKEYES (12-3, 1-1)
The Hawkeyes, and particularly the temper of coach Fran McCaffery, let a signature win get away in Madison over the weekend. Finding a way to stay composed and close out tight games is all that stands between Iowa and the breakout season that the school has been building toward.

Wolverines are still a work in progress, not only from last year’s losses, but now the absence of Mitch McGary due to likely season-ending back surgery. So far, so good in league play with wins over Minnesota and Northwestern. Upcoming games with Nebraska and Penn State provide a chance to build momentum.

Illini are a good team, but just inconsistent enough to make me hesitant to rank them higher. Guard Rayvonte Rice is the real deal, and junior point guard Tracy Abrams is playing the best basketball of his career. The reliability of the players around them will determine just how far this team can go.

Gophers have been better than expected in Richard Pitino’s first season at the helm. They have a strange blend of athletic guards with newcomer Deandre Mathieu and veterans Andre and Austin Hollins to go with stodgy posts like Elliott Eliason and Maurice Walker. But it’s working more often than not for now.

Close but no cigar for the Boilermakers to start the Big Ten campaign, but there are a number of positive signs. A.J. Hammons remains a bit up and down, but when he’s good, so is Purdue. The guard play is significantly better overall, which should start to pay off soon.

9. INDIANA HOOSIERS (10-5, 0-2)
After giving one away at Illinois, the Hoosiers were just no match for the Spartans last week. Everybody sees the potential in this Indiana team, but until it actually becomes reality, the struggles will continue. A win at Penn State Saturday is almost a must and would go a long way to making strides in the right direction.

Nittany Lions have been really good in the first half of each of their first two conference games, but have been blown out in the second half. It would seem they are on the verge of putting it all together, but are also struggling with the mental strength to overcome adversity when opponents make a run.

Currently riding a three-game losing streak, the Cornhuskers are certainly struggling, particularly on offense where they rank 244th in the nation in points per game. Nebraska needs something positive to happen soon before the season becomes a freefall.

Losses by 27 and 23 points in the first two conference games have the Wildcats off to a rough start. The next three games are Iowa, Illinois and Michigan State, so expect things to get worse before they get better in Chris Collins’ first year as head coach.

Share the Scoop!

Related content: Read more in Men's Basketball, Power Rankings
Purdue vs. Indiana alumni game this Saturday
Oladipo, Zeller named to USA Select Team
IU target Spalding commits to Louisville
Crean putting together vision for guard-oriented team
Spalding enjoying IU, recruiting process
#1 Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 10:58 AM EDT

Ugh…I’d point out what’s wrong with your “power rankings” but I don’t want you trampling my first amendment rights.

#2 Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 12:56 PM EDT

Wow, glad I posted my picks before you! Kidding, but it seems the rankings aren’t that hard to figure out these days: there’s the title contender tier (MSU, OSU, & UW in some order), the sleeper tier (Iowa), the “NCAA bid?” tier (Michigan, Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota, and Indiana), and then the bottom with PSU and Nebraska. And then there’s Northwestern.

Indiana’s got some work to do to climb past the other competitors to secure a NCAA tourney bid. The Penn State game seems almost like a “must-win.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 2:43 PM EDT

Hard to argue with Jeremy’s rational on his ‘Power Rankings” My list is somewhat different;

Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State

I believe IU has a strong grip on second place and will remain so this season. Only concern, will Ball State or Auburn join the Big Ten (+2)? That could drop IU to a 4th or 5th position.

#4 Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 2:53 PM EDT

I see the Alphabetical Factor is strong in your formula.

Hoosier Clarion
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 3:30 PM EDT

Boy is Dakich throwing verbal haymakers at Criminalipari and pUKe for remarks made by JC about fan etiquette at AH. Hilarious!

Hoosier Clarion
Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 9:34 AM EDT

Dakich labels Criminalipari the “Baby Baron”.

Friday, January 10, 2014 - 1:25 PM EDT

IMO they should have both kept their mouths shut. Move on……


RSS feed





Today @

Recent comments on The Scoop

  • W. Basketball. Indiana University Announces Curt Miller Resignation and Search for New Permanent Head Coach - Indiana University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass announced today that he has accepted the resignation of Curt Miller as IU's head women's
  • Varsity Club. Student-Athlete Spotlight: Audra Heilman, Field Hockey - Recently the Indiana University Varsity Club had the opportunity to speak with Audra Heilman, a senior on the IU field hockey team. Heilman discussed how important her scholarship
  • Top New Yorkers In Vegas (Day 2) - Thursday was a good day overall for New York teams playing in the 17U Las Vegas Fab 48 and
  • Miller leaves IU women's program - Indiana is searching for a new women's basketball coach following the abrupt resignation of coach Curt
  • Kenny Williams looks ahead to visits, outlines plan for trimming list -

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — His Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) career may have ended with a loss in the Peach Jam semifinals, but class of 2015 guard Kenny Williams

  • Report: Indiana offers 2015 guard Matt McQuaid -

    After his recent decision to re-open his recruitment, Indiana has jumped into the mix for class of 2015 Duncanville (Tex.) guard Matt McQuaid. The 6-foot-5 guard, who had been

  • De'Ron Davis updates recruitment - 2016 forward De'Ron Davis talked to on Thursday to update his recruitment. He's hearing from a few new schools. Find out who they
  • Indiana offers SMU decommit McQuaid - Tom Crean offered Matt McQuaid a scholarship on Wednesday in
  • Women's Basketball Coach Curt Miller Resigns from Indiana
  • The Thursday Thinker