Monday, January 21, 2008

Big Ten Bloggers Power Rankings

Before I delve into the loss at home to Michigan State Sunday afternoon, here is my new Big Ten Power Rankings. After all of the Big Ten Bloggers have their rankings in, you'll see an updated Power Rankings on the right sidebar.

1. Indiana (16-1, 5-0) Previous: #1
Last week: 2-0 (W @ Minn., vs. PSU) Next week: 1/23 vs. Iowa, 1/26 vs. UConn

I'm now convinced the Hoosiers are the cream of the crop in the Big Ten. Never mind Eric Gordon. It's DJ White that makes this team the team to beat in the conference. He's vastly superior to Michigan State's lumbering Goran Suton and lanky Drew Naymick and White also will win the day against Wisconsin's Brian Butch. Gordon gets the press, but White's the cog that makes it all work.

2. Wisconsin (15-2, 5-0) Previous: #2
Last week: 2-0 (W @ PSU, vs. NW) Next week: 1/22 vs. Mich., 1/26 @ Purdue

In conference play, I'm not sure the Badgers have really been tested. That will change next weekend when Bo Ryan takes his team on the road to face the Boilers on Keady Court. Hawkeye State at BHGP is looking even further ahead to Bucky's tilt against Indiana at the Kohl Center. But I'm not sure the Badgers will head into that contest unblemished in conference play. Look for Purdue to hold home court next weekend.

3. Purdue (13-5, 4-1) Previous: #4
Last week: 2-0 (W @ Iowa, vs. Ill.) Next week: 1/23 @ PSU, 1/26 vs. Wisky

I'm sure some will say I shouldn't have the Boilers ahead of the Spartans. But Matt Painter's team took control on the road against Iowa against a team that Sparty crumbled against. And if we want to write that Purdue is destined to be streaky because of its youth, I'll just point out that no top-tier Big Ten team has been streakier than MSU. The Boilers are my early 2008-09 Big Ten favorites and they can take a giant step this week by upsetting Wisconsin.

4. Michigan State (16-2, 4-1) (Previous: #3)
Last week: 2-0 (W vs. OSU, @ Minn.) Next week: 1/24 @ NW, 1/27 vs. Mich.

Tom Izzo's team is obviously tournament bound and has the depth to be a conference title contender. But the Spartans don't have the feel of a team that can strike a knockout blow to lesser competition. Minnesota has hung around twice. Iowa pulled the upset. And after jumping out to a huge first half lead early last week against Ohio State, the Spartans watched their lead disappear. However, at no time during conference play has both Raymar Morgan and Drew Neitzel played well at the same time. Should that happen, watch out.

5. Ohio State (12-6, 3-2) (Previous: #6)
Last week: 0-2 (L @ MSU, @ Tennessee) Next week: 1/22 vs. Ill., 1/26 vs. Minn.

No shame in losing at Michigan State or Tennessee (I love the Vols, btw). But the Buckeyes are sitting in roughly the same position as our Golden Gophers. They need that quality win to find themselves in the NCAA come March. This week is a big one for Thad Matta and company. They have to hold home court with games against Illinois and Minnesota.

6. Minnesota (12-5, 2-3) (Previous: #5)
Last week: 0-2 (L vs. IU, vs. MSU) Next week: 1/26 @ OSU

Minnesota falls behind Ohio State here because the Gophers' losses to ranked teams this week came at home. As much as we like to dream big dreams about Tubby Smith's first version of maroon and gold, the team hasn't exhibited enough consistent play to be anything but a middle of the road team at this point. Should they go into Columbus next weekend and get a win, that could all change.

7. Illinois (9-10, 1-5) (Previous: #9)
Last week: 1-1 (W vs. Mich., L @ Purdue) Next week: 1/22 @ OSU, 1/27 vs. NW

Someone had to fill the 7-hole, and why not Bruce Weber's fallen-on-hard-times Illini. Seriously, however, the Illini have played in some close games but have been unable to pull off any big wins.

8. Penn State (10-7, 2-3) (Previous: #7)
Last week: 0-2 (L vs. Wisky, @ IU) Next week: 1/23 vs. Purdue, 1/26 @ Iowa

I feel sorry for the Nittany Lions. They might not have been NCAA material, but they had a chance for a near .500 record in the conference with Geary Claxton leading youngsters like Talor Battle and Jamelle Cornley. Hand it to Ed DeChellis and his team for playing well at IU for 3/4 of the game. Unfortunately for them, the career-ending injury to Claxton means season is over.

9. Iowa (9-10, 2-4) (Previous: #8)
Last week: 1-1 (L vs. Purdue, W @ Mich.) Next week: 1/23 @ Ind., 1/26 vs. PSU

I should probably swap the Hawkeyes in the rankings with the Illini, but seriously, this team would welcome an addition of someone like Kevin Payton.

10. Michigan (5-13, 1-5) (Previous: #10)
Last week: 0-2 (L @ Illini, vs. Iowa) Next week: 1/22 @ Wisky, 1/27 @ MSU

Well, at least Rich Rodriguez and his West Virginia detractors are giving the UM fans something to talk about.

11. Northwestern (6-9, 0-5) (Previous: #11)
Last week: 1-1 (W @ Chicago St., L @ Wisky) Next week: 1/24 vs. MSU, 1/27 @ Illini

How many years does Bill Carmody get? Just curious.


lonebadger said...

You are correct about the #2 team. (I won't mention their name) They are 5-0 in conference against the bottom five teams. However, all the victories have been by double digits. I don't believe they are as good as their record but that little anomaly will work itself out over the course of the season. Rankings shouldn't even be done before half the conference season is over. On a side note, the fact that the (name redacted) have had five different 20 point scorers in those five games really is remarkable.

PJS said...

Wuck Fisconsin.

lonebadger said...

Finally, some life!

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