Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Week 2
1) Purdue (-)
W vs Xavier
Purdue beat a top-40 team at home, but the competition should really ramp up as the Boilermakers head to Honolulu for the Maui Invitational. Purdue could play #11 Gonzaga, #7 Tennessee, and #1 Kansas over three days.
2) Iowa (-)
L at #8 Creighton, W vs Arkansas St
This is going to be a trend for this week’s power rankings: a team loses to a very strong opponent but takes care of business against everyone else.
3) Nebraska (+2)
W vs Rider, Stony Brook, Oregon St (N)
Don’t look now but Nebraska has the most wins in the Big Ten. We’ll have to recount again next week, but they should enjoy their time on the podium.
4) Northwestern (-)
W vs Western Michigan, Rhode Island (N). L vs Mississippi St (N)
Losing to a top-20 team on a neutral court should not, by itself, make you drop. Most teams below the Wildcats just didn’t do enough to jump them.
5) Indiana (+2)
W vs Wright St. L vs #5 UConn (N)
Indiana got smoked by #5 UConn at Madison Square Garden but could have a bounce back win against Louisville. The Hoosiers have looked shaky at times but have managed to win games.
6) Illinois (+2)
L vs #4 Marquette. W vs Valparaiso, Southern
Another team whose sole loss was to a top-5 opponent. This once came on Illinois’ home floor, though.
7) Penn State (+2)
W vs St Francis PA, Morehead St
The last of the undefeated teams in the Big Ten after beating some cupcakes. Not sure that streak makes it past this week as the Nittany Lions will take on #15 Texas A&M in Florida.
8) Michigan State (+4)
L vs #9 Duke (N). W vs Butler, Alcorn St
Was I a bit harsh on MSU, perhaps. But the Spartans have 0 quality wins this season so far. That could all change when they take on #3 Arizona on Thanksgiving.
9) Michigan (-6)
W at St. John’s, L vs Long Beach St
Biggest drop of the week goes to the Wolverines who dropped a game to Long Beach State at home. The one caveat is that Juwan Howard is still not back coaching, but at least this Michigan head coach isn’t there for a good reason.
10) Minnesota (-4)
L vs Missouri. W vs SC Upstate
Minnesota lost to a top-100 team at home by 2 points. The Gophers have made strides to improve on what was an abysmal season last year, but they are not there yet.
11) Ohio State (-)
W vs Merrimack, Western Michigan
Two home wins vs bad teams hopefully got the bad taste out of OSU’s mouth. We’ll see how another top-15 matchup against Alabama will treat them.
12) Rutgers (+1)
W vs Georgetown, Howard
Rutgers has won 4 in a row after losing to Princeton but aren’t moving up simply because I pretty much refuse to move a team down (Ohio State) after a 2-0 week or better.
13) Wisconsin (-3)
L at Providence. W vs Robert Morris
The loss at Providence wasn’t a bad loss, but the teams that jumped the Badgers were just better this past week. Wisconsin will have an opportunity at a good win when they take on Virginia in Fort Myers.
14) Maryland (-)
L at #21 Villanova
Not a good start for the Terps as everyone that has any punching power has taken down Maryland. Three straight home games against sub-150 teams should help right the ship.