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Big Ten Power Rankings – Conference Play Week 2

BIG

  1. Maryland (15-2, 4-1) Last Week-1  – Despite losing a close one at Michigan, the Terps are still the best team in the conference. Melo Trimble is probably the conference POY right now, but they will need to bounce back in their upcoming home games against Ohio State and Northwestern.
  2. Iowa (12-3, 3-0) LW-2 – The Hawkeyes have had over a week off since starting 3-0. They have a big one on the road against Sparty tonight at 7pm ET on ESPN. Then they’ll host a hot Michigan team on Sunday in Iowa City.
  3. Michigan State (16-1, 3-1) LW-3 – After the loss to Iowa, Michigan State has rattled off 3 straight Big Ten wins. They get their redemption tonight as they host Iowa before traveling to Madison on Sunday to take on Wisconsin,
  4. Indiana (14-3, 4-0) LW-6 – Amazing that they are playing this well without James Blackmon Jr. They survived a squeaker against Wisconsin and then blew out Ohio State. The Hoosiers are good again and Thomas Bryant is their best big man since Zeller left.
  5. Michigan (13-4, 3-1) LW-5 – Big Blue just beat the Maryland, a huge bounce back after losing to Purdue by 17. But they are without Caris LeVert, so they will continue to need big games out of Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton. The Wolverines look to win their 2nd straight game against a ranked opponent when they travel to Iowa on Sunday.
  6. Purdue (15-3, 3-2) LW-4 – The Boilermakers had a rough week as they got thumped by Illinois. But they still have a better team then they are showing on the floor and I expect them to bounce back. They beat Penn State this week and get Rutgers on Monday.
  7. Ohio State (12-6, 4-1) LW-7 – The Buckeyes were about to climb in the rankings after a good win against Northwestern until they got pummeled by Indiana. Indiana is good but it was a very poor showing by Ohio State. Things don’t get much easier as they travel to an angry Maryland on Saturday.
  8. Northwestern (15-3, 3-2) LW-8 – The Wildcats bounced back nicely from the Ohio State loss with 2 straight wins, but it didn’t help them too much that their wins were against 2 of the bottom 3 with Minnesota and Wisconsin. They have another must-win game against Penn State before traveling to College Park on Tuesday to take on Maryland.
  9. Nebraska (10-8, 2-3) LW-12 – Nebraska took over the best of the bottom feeders by beating Rutgers and Minnesota with quite ease. The Huskers have 2 straight away games with Illinois and Michigan State coming up this week. If they beat Illinois they should be very proud of their first 6 conference games.
  10. Illinois (9-8, 1-3) LW-10 – Illinois shocked everyone by beating Purdue, pretty easily i might add, as Malcolm Hill went off for 30 points. This might be the spark that the Illini needed, as I said last week, I had no idea what was going on in Champaign and why they weren’t playing better. Guess they should give away more bobbleheads!
  11. Penn State (10-8, 1-4) LW-11 – Penn State lost 2 tough games against Michigan State and Purdue so we can’t penalize them for that. They have 2 winnable games this week with against a reeling Northwestern and Wisconsin.
  12. Wisconsin (9-9, 1-3) LW-9 – Things are bad in Madison. This is the worst team that Wisconsin has had since I can remember. It is a shame to waste Nigel Hayes’ senior season. They have 3 straight losses and 6 out of 9 overall. Ethan Happ is still playing outstanding basketball and is a definite nominee for the conference All-Freshman team.
  13. Minnesota (6-11, 0-5) LW-14 – Minnesota has struggled less than Rutgers during conference play so far. But They can’t be very happy with their results. Five tough losses and it doesn’t get much better as they have Indiana and Michigan this week.
  14. Rutgers (6-12, 0-5) LW-13 – Rutgers has lost their 5 games by an average of 23 points. It is hard to expect much more from a team playing with only 7 scholarship athletes.

Scott Zolotorow