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Big Ten Power Rankings

You can probably guess #1 and #14 but what lies between?

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The conference Power Ranking is the clickbait desperation writing of the tired mind. I’m no different. These rankings will be based on conference record as well as a mixture of factors in my head. Quibble with me in the comments but you can’t argue with the criteria because I’m not gonna tell you! So here we go! Rack ‘em up and let’s take a look.

  1. Michigan Wolverines - This one should surprise nobody. Even though the team is currently on pause due to Covid they’ve looked head and shoulder’s above the rest of the conference thus far. Their only conference loss was to Minnesota, I’m still confused there, but otherwise they’ve looked solid. If they come out of this two week pause healthy I see no reason they can’t stay atop the conference for the remainder of the season.
  2. Iowa Hawkeyes - BORING. Sticking with the standings so far but it’s hard to argue with this one. When you’ve got a player who is constantly bandied about as a National Player of the Year candidate in Luka Garza it’s hard to minimize what that team can accomplish.
  3. Purdue Boilermakers - Finally doing a bit of shuffling from the standings. Yes, I know Purdue lost their most recent game but that was against Michigan and as stated above Michigan is damn good. Purdue sits at 6-4 in conference and has not yet been able to play Nebraska which we all assume will be a win if that program can over get back to a healthy status. Purdue is playing their best ball of the season right now and are in line for an NCAA birth and a top 4 conference finish. What a shock that would be.
  4. Wisconsin Badgers - This one was tough because between them an Illinois it’s really a coin flip. Both have inexplicably lost games to Maryland on their home courts and each have two other losses that are completely understandable. I give the slight edge to Wisconsin here mainly because they’ve won three of their last four and are trending up right now.
  5. Illinois - As mentioned above this was tough. Illinois though has struggled recently losing two of their last three and so find themselves one spot down from Wisconsin. The next four for Illinois will define their season as they are at home vs. Iowa, go to IU, home vs. Wisconsin, and then on the road at Michigan. Come out with three of those games and you’re sitting pretty. Even two and you’d be in a good position, but it’s possible they come out 1-3 and look worse than they are. The conference is a meat grinder this year.
  6. Rutgers Scarlet Knights - I know that prior to yesterday things haven’t been looking good for Rutgers, but then yesterday happened. We can’t ignore it. They trounced Michigan State 67-37. Rutgers has really turned their basketball team around in just a few short years and that’s a testament to Rutgers coach [shuffles through papers] Christ, I can’t find it, to hell with it.
  7. Ohio State Buckeyes - Some may think this is too low for the Buckeyes who currently sit at #13 in the country but let me tell you, this is just the kind of conference they play in. Purdue has beaten them twice and they also have a loss to Northwestern on the books. By all rights I should’ve placed them higher as they have won five of their last six but quite frankly I just don’t like them that much.
  8. Minnesota Golden Gophers - Well here we are. The last ranked team in the conference, currently #21, and I’ve got them 8th in the power rankings. They sit at 4-5 in conference play so I’m not sure what else I can do for them here. Minnesota got fat to start the season by playing a Charmin (sponsorships accepted) soft non-conference including playing Loyola Marymount twice in the span of three days (huh?). They played seven non-conference games and never played away from home or against a ranked team.
  9. Indiana Hoosiers - I guess I almost have to rank IU here because it does seem like they are close to actually doing something. They took down Iowa recently! Now that I’ve typed this I assume that IU will lose their next game against Illinois. They do catch a bit of a break as they were set to play Michigan but with the Wolverines on pause that game won’t be going forward for the time being.
  10. Maryland Terrapins - No, a terrapin is not just a turtle. Seriously, ask anyone who went to Maryland they’ll tell ya. As someone who has lived in Maryland for the last 5+ years I can honestly say I’ve never seen less enthusiasm regarding a Maryland basketball team. Sure there are no fans and because of Covid I’m not seeing people I normally would but I’m not getting the texts or seeing the Facebook posts that I have in the past. That tells you something about the current status of the program.
  11. Northwestern Wildcats - Northwestern really surprised people at the start of the conference season when they rattled off three wins in a row against Michigan State, IU, and Ohio State. However, it turns out Michigan State isn’t very good and quite frankly neither is IU. Since those three wins Northwestern has gone 0-7 in conference.
  12. Penn State Nittany Lions - Am I only putting them here instead of Michigan State out of spite? I’ll never tell. Penn State has one good win in conference with their victory over Rutgers but their other conference win comes over fellow bottom dweller Northwestern.
  13. Michigan State - Well, well, well, how the turn tables. How we got here I’m not sure. A perennial favorite to win the conference and even get to the late rounds of the NCAA Tournament finds themselves 2-5 in conference play and getting absolutely embarrassed by Rutgers. Michigan State could manage just 37 points yesterday. I don’t know what’s wrong with this team but I’m loving every second of it.
  14. Nebraska Cornhuskers - Oh poor Nebraska. They almost really shouldn’t even be ranked. I’d almost prefer to give them an incomplete. Right now they are 0-5 in conference play but haven’t had a game since January 10th. We don’t know exactly how things are progressing or if they will return this season. Right now they’ve missed five conference games. It’s unclear if/when they come back how all of those games would be rescheduled. It’s possible that they simply won’t be. This is an unprecedented situation and we just have to wait and see what happens.

So that’s it, those are my rankings. What are your thoughts?