Last week: 1
Again, easy pick. When #1 in the power rankings goes 2-0, they stay at number 1.
Last week: 6
This is not your grandfather’s Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights already own the best win so far in conference play and after beating Ohio State and a hot Northwestern team, they sit as the second best team at the moment.
Last week: 7
The fighting Illini have rattled off 4 straight victories after starting conference play 0-3. They have knocked off Wisconsin and Michigan State at home as well as Nebraska and Minnesota on the road, all by at least 9 points. Illinois is starting to find its groove.
Last week: 10
Iowa has also rattled off 4 straight wins after starting 0-3. The Hawkeyes have beaten Indiana, Michigan, and Maryland at home and Rutgers on the road. Their schedule will ramp up soon, however as they will take on Rutgers, Illinois, and Purdue in a row. That stretch should show if Iowa is for real.
Last week: 5
Michigan split their games this week, losing at Iowa and winning at home against Northwestern. Michigan continues to struggle against established and fundamentally sound teams, but they have the talent to remain in any game.
6) Michigan State
Last week: 3
The Spartans dropped two this week at Illinois and home against Purdue. Neither is a bad loss but Michigan State will continue its brutal stretch this week against Rutgers and at Indiana before taking on Iowa and going to Purdue.
7) Penn State
Last week: 12
Penn State won its sole game this week by thrashing Indiana at home. Their next game at a struggling Wisconsin should be a fun one to watch as Seth Lundy and Jalen Pickett have provided plenty of fireworks so far this season.
Last week: 4
Rough week for the Wildcats, as they lost to Rutgers and at Michigan. This could be water finding its level in Evanston, but there are still plenty of opportunities for good wins for Northwestern.
Last week: 11
After losing 3 straight games, Indiana decided to put the clamps on Wisconsin and didn’t even allow them to score 50, albeit without Tyler Wahl. Indiana is still without Xavier Johnson and Race Thompson for the foreseeable future, but if they can play defense like they did against the Badgers, things could look up.
Last week: 2
The injury to Tyler Wahl and the recent schedule has definitely hurt Wisconsin, who are on a 3 game losing streak. They have fallen to Illinois, Michigan State, and Indiana, none of which are pushovers. Wisconsin needs to score more, as they have failed to score 70 since coming back to conference play.
Last week: 8
Maryland lost its sole game at Iowa since last time. The Terrapins have beaten Illinois and Ohio State at points that they were reeling. They have lost 3 of 4 and the losses have been by an average of 21 points. It will be a grind for Maryland, as all B1G games are.
12) Ohio State
Last week: 9
Ohio State has be in free fall lately as they have dropped 4 straight, including a bad loss to Minnesota at home. They will have to try and get right at Nebraska next and try to get back into the upper half of the Big Ten.
Last week: 13
0-2 this week as the Cornhuskers lost to Illinois and Purdue on the road. Fred Hoiberg’s squad is 9-9 on the season, and a bottom tier finish looks inevitable. I’m not sure how Hoiberg still has a job.
Last week: 14
Minnesota got its first Big Ten win! Despite the lack of studs on this team, they go into every game under Ben Johnson and fight to the finish. But that will only get you so far. The Golden Gophers welcome in Purdue this week in a David vs Goliath match.